Impact of Built Environment Aesthetics on the Image of Kandy Historic City, Sri Lanka


  • N.B. Sugathadasa Department of Estate Management and Valuation
  • R.G. Ariyawansa Department of Estate Management and Valuation


Kandy city in Sri Lanka is a world-renowned tourist hotspot among locals and foreigners. At present, modernization and commercialization of the built environment have become a major threat to city image which destructs its historical value. This paper attempts to discuss the impact of built environment aesthetics on historic city image in Kandy. An online questionnaire survey was conducted to collect primary data using a purposive sample of fifty including some residents and tourists who
frequently visit Kandy city along with the site observations. Descriptive analysis, content analysis, and photographic analysis were used as the methods of data analysis. The Findings of the study proves that regardless of all the heritage conservation measures taken, the city image has been distorted and there would be a possibility of losing the historical value of the city with the rapid economic and population pressure. Lack of awareness among vendors for protection of historic city image, lack of coordination
and regulations, outdated legal provisions and lack of transparency of compensating to the shop owners for their losses are identified as major issues of the built environment features of the city. Lack of management guidance has been identified which should be considered by relevant public authorities, real estate professionals, and regulators in the policy formulation process of future urban development.

Keywords: Built Environment Aesthetics, City Image, Modernization and Commercialization