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The $15 Billion Island that will make Sri Lanka

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The $15 Billion Island that will make Sri Lanka

The $15 Billion Island that will make Sri Lanka

Eager to create a global city and to punch above it’s weight on the world stage. Sri Lanka reclaimed 2 square km of land from the Indian Ocean to double the size of it’s capital. This is how Colombo will become one of South Asia’s most formidable new centres.

Each year around 200 thousand Sri Lankans. Many of them highly skilled leave the country in search of better employment prospects. Since the end of the civil war in 2009. Sri Lanka has sought to bring talent and jobs back to it’s capital. Driving a level of economic growth that would earn it global recognition.

Excellent Location

Positioned between the power houses of Dubai and Singapore. Within reach of New Delhi, Kuala Lumpar and Bangkok. Colombo’s geoghraphic context offers strong potential. But its location on Sri Lanka’s coastline means that any significant expansion of the city would normally be limited to it’s fringes. Well away from it’s current economic and cultural centre.

There is of course, one way around that. In order to boost the inner centre. Port City Colombo reclaimed 2 square km from the sea and will add a vast new district of commercial, residential and public spaces that is said to create 80,000 new jobs.

Funded and jointed by CHEC which is a subsidiary of the China Communications Construction company and the local government. The project is the largest private sector development in Sri Lanka’s history and is set to take more than 25 years to complete.

Attracting Corporations and Investment

The new district will have it’s own economic and commercial laws. Making it more attractive to global multi-national corporations. While it’s access to key shipping lanes through the Indian Ocean will further boost appeal. Built as an extension to the central business district and adjacent to the famous Galle Face green promenade. The Port City will consist of 5 precincts each with distinct purposes. Ranging from lavish leisure and entertainment facilities on the International Island to Grade A office and retail space in the Financial District.

They will combine to form an integrated urban environment that measures more than 5 million square metres. Designed for around 80,000 people as well as around 250,000 daily commuters.

Developed by Spidmore, Owings and Merril. The new districts master plan envisions a sustainable green metropolis with open areas, water ways and public spaces. This layout encourages walking and cycling without heavy vehicle traffic.

Buildings of varying height will be carefully arranged. While taller towers will sit nearer to the mainland. The structures will gradually decrease in size, the closer they are to the water front.

Conquering The Ocean

Constructing an entire new city district on a site located in the ocean is far from easy. The process of land reclamation first started in 2014. Initially some 3 million cubic metres of quarry material sourced from within 50 km of the site and over 40,000 pre cast concrete treta pods were used to construct an immense break water. Standing 20 metres high and running for 3.2kms. The barricade was built to protect Port City Colombo from the unpredictable monsoon climate. Indeed the wall was put to the test during it’s construction. A cyclone hit in November 2017 damaging parts of the end unfinished structure.

With the wall in place. 65 million cubic metres of material was dredged from the sea and used to create the vast area of land that Port City Colombo is now rising on. The reclamation works was completed in 2019. and the land was officially declared as part of Sri Lanka in December 2019.

The development is expected to meet its objective when it fully completes in 2041. Giving the country a supercharged capital that competes on the world stage.

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