Institute of Town Planners


Institute of Town Planners



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Mar 27 2021


9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Annual Session

Planning for a better tomorrow for Planning in Sri Lanka
‘Where are we and Where do we want to be’

Let’s listen to our own voices abroad on the ‘possibilities’ for advancing Planning in Sri Lanka with lessons learned from other parts of the world

An interactive session on a virtual platform with Sri Lankan Town Planners work in Australia and Canada for sharing experience and picking up good

practices that can be adopted for the improvement of professional practices in Sri Lanka.

“Be the change that you wish to see. It is not the man that makes the vision, but the vision that makes the man”
Mahatma Gandhi

Planning practices are naturally processing through constraints and opportunities manyfold. Most of the time, we tend to be frustrated, dissented, and despaired. With all such realities, let’s seek for the possibilities for us to make a small change within us and the way that we grasp things, and thereby make a big difference in our thoughts, words, and acts.
This year, the Annual Session of the ITPSL is organized with an intention to provide a novel opportunity for the Members to reflect upon our own insights and our modes of practices. The session is designed with a focus on three, usually regarded as minuscule, but more frequently grumbled, situations experienced by Town Planners in Sri Lanka.
Planning has never been an apolitical process. Unlike many other professionals, we Town Planners have to work closely with the political authority in all matters related to planning, implementation, and projects. At times, we are challenged against our conscience and compelled to compromise our professionalism and fair judgment to progress through. Not many of us are in favor of such interventions, but we have no choice, but to face them. Is there a way to live with them with a positive mindset, keeping frustration away from us?
Practicing Town Planning demands-resources. Not that the planners in Sri Lanka are equipped with all types of resources such as unlimited access to fully fledges databases, modern technological apparatus, fully automated modern office environments, enjoyed by the planners practice in other countries. At times we are dreaming to enjoy the luxuries available in the planning studios and the conveniences of the systems engaged by planners in an international context. Yet, are the essentials, and can we compromise our desires for a while, and still practice planning diligently with what we have? We, professionals, are taught to make wise choices making use of the knowledge that we gain throughout our formal education and training as buddying young planners. In practice we associate and gain from allied professionals those who have a command in respective subjects that they profess. Even with such a glamourous body of knowledge, not that all efforts that we endeavor leads to fruitful outcomes. There seems to be some ‘common sense that we miss out on the guise of professional outreach. This hints to us that there is a lot more, out there from our planning studios and offices, for us to learn from the
community, in order to make wiser choices. Are we ready to learn from them? These will be discussed and debated by the Members on a virtual platform. The discussions will be supported by three Town Planners who worked in Sri Lanka for a long time and now work in ‘developed’ countries, where planning environments are said to be more ‘equipped and resourceful’, ‘independent and apolitical’, ‘lucrative and just’. The session will be a platform to reflect on our own experiences and share and pick small things that will be useful to enrich our own thoughts and practices.

Hourly Schedule

Session 01

9:00 - 9:10
Welcome Remarks
by Plnr. (Prof.) Jagath Munasinghe, President, ITPSL
9:10 - 9:15
Ground Rules of the Session
9:15 - 9:30
Panel Presentations / Talk
Plnr. Sumana Wijeratna
9:30 - 9:45
Panel Presentations / Talk
Plnr. Wickrama Abeysinghe
9:45 - 10:00
Panel Presentations / Talk
Plnr. Srimali Mellawa
10:00 - 11:15
Group Interactive Sessions on Following Themes
Managing political intervention in decision making. Increasing productivity amidst resource scarcity. Learning from the community for better planning.
11:15 - 11:25
Presentation of "Managing political intervention in decision making" Discussion Outcome
by Group 1: Moderator Plnr. (Dr.) Upuli Perera
11:25 - 11:35
Presentation of "Increasing productivity amidst resource scarcity" Discussion Outcome
by Group 2: Moderator Plnr. Vishvajith Peiris
11:35 - 11:45
Presentation of "Learning from the community for better planning" Discussion Outcome
by Group 3: Moderator Plnr. Jude Prasanna
11:45 - 11:55
Conclusions and Way Forward
by Plnr. (Prof.) Jagath Munasinghe, President, ITPSL
11:55 - 12:00
Vote of Thanks
by Plnr. Winson Gnanatheepan, Hony Secretary, ITPSL
Plnr. Sumana Wijeratna
Plnr. Wickrama Abeysinghe
Plnr. Srimali Mellawa
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