10 September 2018

Sri Lanka: Working with the past to build the future

In August, a two-week Urban Heritage Strategies training programme explored the ways in which shared cultural heritage could serve Colombo’s current needs.

Seventeen governmental officers from Sri Lanka participated in a specially designed two-week Urban Heritage Strategies training programme in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Participants presented their views on the future development of Sri Lanka’s fast-growing capital city. As these officials pointed out, Colombo’s urban heritage offers great potential as the basis for creating an attractive city centre for living, working and passing leisure time – and thus providing a viable perspective for the city’s built heritage. Amongst its shared cultural heritage are the Dutch Period Museum, the Wolvendael Church and a recently discovered 17th-century stable.

The Urban Heritage Strategies training programme for Sri Lankan professionals is a joint endeavour of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands and the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies. The programme was organised at the request of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Megapolis and will continue with elaborative workshops given in Sri Lanka in 2020.