Download Directors of Urban Change in Asia (Routledgecurzon Advances by Peter J.m. Nas PDF

By Peter J.m. Nas

Bringing jointly a gaggle of foreign students, administrators of city switch in Asia examines who the 'directors' for city switch are in an eclectic mixture of Asian towns. The books discusses how, within the majority of situations, city switch has turn up basically because the results of visionary leaders, on nationwide, neighborhood and native degrees. It additionally makes transparent that the fewer profitable towns have tended to lack such leaders.

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In order to allow the city of Colombo to play this role, its image had to change from being a predominantly politico-administrative centre to a dynamic, externally oriented, cosmopolitan business centre. The transition was clearly evident in the 1970s and the early 1980s when the city landscape was changing rapidly. Many old politico-administrative institutions were shifted to the new administrative capital of Sri Jayawardenapura, paving the way for new private sector business institutions such as banks, office complexes, residential towers and hotels.

The private sector wanted to build hotels, office complexes, luxury apartments, restaurants, warehouses and shopping malls. It looks as if the urban planners, architects and construction engineers working for the UDA and private sector firms came forward to facilitate the process rather than to provide any direction based on a clear vision for the future. This is reflected in the urban structural plans developed by the UDA with or without donor assistance. Most of these plans were almost devoid of any social, ecological and cultural content (Magnus 2002).

Another major factor that prevented the mayor from playing a more significant role was the high degree of politicization of the institution and widespread corruption and inefficiency. There appeared to be some change in the council in the late 1990s when a more dynamic and private-sector-oriented politician became the mayor. He privatized some of the municipal services like refuse collection in order to reduce wastage and corruption, but his tenure lasted only for a few years before he was elevated to a higher position in the national political hierarchy.

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