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Donor-driven Tsunami Housing in Sri Lanka: Resident Outcomes and Experiences

  • Caulfield Campus room G1.04 building G, lunch provided 900 Dandenong Road Caulfield East, VIC, 3145 Australia (map)

2004's Boxing day Tsunami was undoubtedly the worst catastrophe in the recent history of Sri Lanka. It demanded a fast recovery process and the planning authorities reacted to the situation with the motto of 'Build, Back, Better'. This resulted in new roads, hospitals, schools, houses and new settlements in affected areas. It has been almost 15 years that such developments occurred.  Little is, however, reported about the spatial, social and economic implications of new settlers in the post-planning period. This talk reports on the post-reconstruction process and the community outcomes for residents of the Midigama resettlement village in Southern Sri Lanka. The sustainability of the design and social flourishing of the settlement are also examined. 


Dr. Rangajeewa Ratnayake, Head, Department of Town and Country Planning, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka 

Discussant: Andrew Butt, RMIT 




Rangajeewa Ratnayake is the Head of the Department of Town and Country Planning Department at the University of Moratuwa. He is a Chartered Town Planner and made a fellow in the Institute of Town Planners in 2018. Rangajeewa received his PhD from La Trobe University. His research involves the sense of safety in urban settings, planning education and urban informality. He has served on numerous editorial boards, is the co-editor of Bhumi: Planning Journal and has served as a consultant to various public organisations.  


Andrew Butt is a planning educator and researcher with a focus on rural and regional planning issues.  He has a background in planning practice and his current research and supervision is in the area of land use change and planning policy associated with regional Australia, food systems and peri-urban development. He also has extensive experience working in tsunami and conflict affected areas of Sri Lanka.