Kandy – the royal capital established in the 14th Century AD is a city that has undergone constant physical and socio-economic changes while continuing to have unique cultural traditions and rituals over six centuries. As the capital of the central province of Sri Lanka, it embodies a great degree of meaningful conceptions and symbolic representations associated with Buddhist rituals and cultural life. It is a city in Sri Lanka that has a unique spirit of place.
However, regardless of all the heritage conservation efforts, with the rapid socio-economic and ad-hoc urban structural changes, the spirit of place of the city is being disturbed, thus losing its unique experiential qualities. Recently, the city had begun to lose the essence, meaning and the sense due to the physical alterations and modifications. Hence it is necessary to understand what is to be retained in a historic place and how the issue of reinstating the spirit of the place can be managed in Kandy. This paper intends to reveal how the wide-ranging traditional urban design principles and built form strategies have contributed to generate the spirit of place of Kandy and re-evaluate them in the present context. It proposes a set of key determinant factors that should be considered in decision making processes of its future planning and urban development.
How to Cite:
Wijesundara, J., 2015. Re-invigorating the Spirit of Place of Kandy: Urban Design and City Planning Strategies. Built-Environment Sri Lanka, 11(2), pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/besl.v11i2.7606