Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The rise of the coastal metropolis


From the city of Venice in Italy to islands in Dubai such as Palm Jumeirah and The World, the world has been amazed by cities built on reclaimed land from the sea. Songdo International Business District, South Korea, Kansai International Airport, Japan, Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, Venetian Islands, Miami, USA, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain are few other notable similar land reclamation projects around the world. These unique urban planning have made them iconic examples of cities built in a watery environment.

With the commencement of the Port City Colombo, the beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, joined the fame demonstrating the country’s ambition and engineering prowess in creating new land from the sea expanding its urban, commercial and tourism infrastructure.

The Port City Colombo is designed to transform the reclaimed land into a modern, integrated city with residential, commercial, and recreational spaces, along with infrastructure and amenities. This project, which is wholly owned and regulated by the Government of Sri Lanka, will be South Asia’s premiere residential, retail and business destination that offers unrivaled city living beside the serene Indian Ocean; a new Singapore.

The primary objective of the Port City Colombo is to establish a world-class financial, commercial and residential hub that attracts local and international investments. In addition, it also aims to position Sri Lanka as a regional business and trade hub, boosting economic growth, creating jobs and enhancing the overall urban infrastructure of Colombo.

Port City Colombo is designed to be a self-contained city with modern amenities and infrastructure. When completed, Port City Colombo will have over 5.6 million square meters of built space comprising the best in design and standards. Some of its key features of this development include Financial District, Central Park Living, Island Living, The Marina and the International Island.

The residential spaces of the development will offer various types of residential units, ranging from apartments and condominiums to luxury villas  catering to different lifestyles and preferences while the Commercial and Business Zones in the Financial District will include areas designated for commercial activities, including office spaces, retail outlets, and convention centre aimed at attracting local and international businesses and visitors. Moreover, the recreational spaces will include parks, recreational areas, and waterfront promenades, providing residents and visitors with green spaces and leisure options.

The development will provide the highest quality commercial, medical, educational and lifestyle opportunities. Intertwining best green practices, it comprises of open areas, waterways and parks with abundant tree shading and renewable energy installed.

Port City Colombo

The Port City Colombo aims to incorporate sustainable practices in its design, including efficient waste management, energy-efficient buildings and green technologies. The infrastructure will be designed to accommodate modern transportation systems and connectivity. The philosophy behind this magnificent project is to create a space where people, organizations and visitors who are environmentally friendly can live and do businesses transcending the city of Colombo to the next level.

The Port City Colombo Special Economic Zone a first for South Asia will be foreign currency-designated and dedicated to the export of specialized services. The trade and investment potential coupled with the living and residential facilities will make Port City Colombo one of the most livable cities in the Region which is built on sustainable values, a healthy environment with future ready infrastructure to enhance living convenience.

The Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act, No. 11 of 2021 was approved by the Government of Sri Lanka in May 2021, with a modern legal framework and attractive regulations focused on ease of doing business.

The ‘Area of Authority’ (AOA) of the Port City Colombo consists of the boundaries set out in Schedule 1 of the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act.

From the date of commencement of the Port City Act (i.e., 27 May 2021), all land comprising the AOA has been vested in the ‘Colombo Port City Economic Commission’ (Commission) by way of a ‘Land Grant’ issued by the President of Sri Lanka (President) under the State Lands Ordinance (Chapter 454). Within the AOA, the Project Company has been given a (99-year) lease. When the city is fully developed by 2040, Port City Colombo is estimated to have some 6.3Mn m2 of build-up space with a new city population of 273,000, anticipated to be expatriates in the majority.

With the infrastructure development phase nearing completion, Port City Colombo has attracted significant attention from foreign investors and partners. Whilst it holds the promise of economic growth and development it also ensures the inclusivity of the development for all segments of society.

Port City Colombo represents a bold endeavor to reshape the urban landscape of Colombo and elevate Sri Lanka’s status in the global business and trade arena. As this massive development project progresses, it will be essential to balance economic interests with environmental sustainability and social inclusivity to ensure a prosperous and harmonious future for the city and its residents.



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