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dc.contributorDepartment of Building and Real Estateen_US
dc.contributor.advisorHui, Chi Man Eddie (BRE)en_US
dc.creatorSinghapathirana, Priyanwada Indeewaree-
dc.publisherHong Kong Polytechnic Universityen_US
dc.rightsAll rights reserveden_US
dc.titleInvestigation of underutilisation of public lands, critical factors and their inter- relationships : the case of Sri Lankaen_US
dcterms.abstractIn general, 'Public Land', also identified as 'State Land' or 'Government Land' refers to the lands owned and governed by public authorities functioning at the central, regional or local level, or by any parastatal body. "Public land is an asset that belongs to all citizens" (Lin & Cheng, 2016, p.1). Hence, the public sector must ensure the 'public interest' in such lands. However, recent evidence (from both developed and developing countries) draw attention towards the misuse of urban public lands with development potentials.en_US
dcterms.abstractThe systematic review of the literature on urban public land revealed three key knowledge gaps. Firstly, withholding public lands and keeping them idle for prolonged periods without using them productively to fulfil the socio-economic needs of the public is found to be an ubiquitous practice in many cities. Yet, this issue has rarely been raised properly in scholarly discussions. Secondly, there have been no attempts at explicitly dismantling and analysing the utilisation (or under-utilisation) of urban public land and its development within a context of networked relationships. Thirdly, despite some discussions prevailing in the public domain, scholarly attention on Public Land Development (PLD) in developing Asian countries is inadequate.en_US
dcterms.abstractAgainst this backdrop, this study aims to address the question: why the public lands with development potentials remain underutilised in the urban areas of Sri Lanka. The study has five research objectives: 1) To examine how the concept of 'underutilization' is defined or characterized with respect to urban public land in decision making; 2) To identify the critical factors affecting the effective utilisation of public lands in the urban context; 3) To investigate the critical factors affecting the underutilisation of urban public lands with development potentials in Sri Lanka; 4) To examine possible inter-relationships between those critical factors and how they cause (if they cause) underutilisation of public lands in Sri Lanka; and 5) to develop a theoretical framework that can be used to assess the underutilisation of urban public land in Sri Lanka.en_US
dcterms.abstractThe study adopted a case study approach as the means to address the research question. Accordingly, multiple case studies (5 cases including a deviant case) were chosen from Colombo, Sri Lanka in order to examine underutilisation of urban public land in a real world context. The data was collected via multiple sources namely, 1) key-informant interviews, 2) documents, and 3) direct observations. The textual data obtained via these sources was analysed through coding and the thematic analysis. The network analysis was used as the key analytical tool to examine the inter-relationships between the critical factors that are affecting underutilisation, the key focus of the research inquiry. While adopting an abductive approach, the study postulated an explanatory hypothesis. The validity of the hypothesis was tested against the findings derived from Colombo using a qualitative approach.en_US
dcterms.abstractHaving completed an in-depth examination of individual cases, the cross-case synthesis of findings identified 31 critical factors that affect underutilisation of public lands in Colombo. Based on the initial screening, critical factors were classified into two categories; 1) the adverse conditions experience by the public landowners, and 2) the challenges in planning the development and consensus-building. The analysis of inter-relationships between critical factors helped identify 2 types of critical factors in terms of significance (based on the Degree Centrality of each factor within the network), that is influential factors and vulnerable factors. In the end, the critical factors were further classified into five clusters based on their inter-relationships. The clusters were; 1) Limited powers and functions of public landowners; 2) Ineffective property management; 3) Challenges in planning the development; 4) Failures in building consensus between key actors; and 5) Delays in disposing of land in the market. The inter-relationships across clusters revealed a cyclical movement, being recognised as the 'vicious cycle of underutilisation' that leads public lands in Colombo towards underutilisation. This vicious cycle of underutilisation indicates that there appears a lack of responsiveness or the elasticity of land institutions towards exogenous and endogenous conditions associated with public land. To discover such deep-rooted institutional backlogs of PLD, the study analyses the underlying 'process' of underutilisation. Finally, this study proposes a theoretical framework that can be used to assess the underlying process and institutional context of PLD in Colombo.en_US
dcterms.abstractThe findings of the study have both theoretical and practical implications. The study makes original contributions to knowledge on the PLD issues under investigation, shedding light on the concept of underutilisation and its conceptual lapses - a topic that has been largely overlooked in scholarly debates to date. Likewise, based on the evidence from Colombo, the study revealed the cyclical nature of underutilisation of public land. Practically, the findings provide useful insights into PLD in urban areas of Sri Lanka for urban planners and other professionals.en_US
dcterms.extentxiv, 285 pages : color illustrationsen_US
dcterms.isPartOfPolyU Electronic Thesesen_US
dcterms.educationalLevelAll Doctorateen_US
dcterms.LCSHPublic lands -- Sri Lankaen_US
dcterms.LCSHLand use -- Sri Lankaen_US
dcterms.LCSHCity planning -- Sri Lankaen_US
dcterms.LCSHHong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertationsen_US
dcterms.accessRightsopen accessen_US

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