Protection and restoration of urban lakes are receiving increasing attention in many cities across the world. Despite their unique spatial, socio-cultural, and economic value and ‘relationship’ with the city, urban lakes often end up being polluted as cities struggle with space for population expansion, economic growth and waste disposal. Designing effective policy solutions towards urban lake management is often challenging due to conflicting policy priorities and power dynamics between different stakeholders in the urban context. This talk shares experience from the implementation of a lake remediation project in the fast-growing city of Kandy in Sri Lanka. Kandy is a UNESCO heritage city and the Kandy lake has high social, cultural and political significance due to its long-standing history and location next to the sacred Buddhist Temple of the Tooth ‘Sri Dalada Maligawa’. The talk will reflect on the challenges and lessons for urban policy design in complex and sensitive contexts.
About the Speaker
Dr. Sreeja Nair is a Research Fellow at SUTD and her current research focuses on policy aspects of digital disruption and future of work in Singapore. She was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow jointly appointed with the School of Social Sciences and the Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Sreeja’s research interest lies in studying the design of policy strategies in anticipation of critical socio-technical and environmental transitions in the future. She holds a PhD in Public Policy (National University of Singapore), Masters in Climate and Society (Columbia University) and Masters in Environmental Studies (TERI University, India).