Urban wetlands and the built environment: how Colombo’s green spaces enhance city life
Colombo must justify the renewal of its Ramsar Wetland City status this year. Has the city sufficiently utilized green infrastructure?
Sitting at the Kelani River delta on the west coast of Sri Lanka, set amidst a backdrop of shiny hotels, red-tiled colonial era-buildings and street markets, Colombo appears to be your typical Asian metropolis. But interspersed amongst the city’s built environment sit 19 kilometers of wetlands. Colombo’s urban wetlands make the city livable.
Every Colombo resident benefits directly or indirectly from various wetland services. Colombo was recognized in 2018 with Ramsar Wetland City Accreditation. This distinction is given to cities that deliberately value and protect the wetlands upon which they are built and provides an opportunity for governments to further invest in policies and practices that restore and protect wetlands. This October, Sri Lanka must justify the renewal of Colombo’s Wetland City status. In the 6 years since its accreditation, how has Colombo integrated wetlands into the urban landscape to build a more resilient and livable city?