THE EFFECT OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT AESTHETICS ON THE CITY IMAGE
Kandy, Sri Lanka's second largest city is a popular tourism destination for both residents andvisitors from across the world. Modernization and commercialization of the built environment are currently posing a significant danger to city image, destroying its historical value. Therefore, this article aims to explore the influence of built environment aesthetics on the image of Kandy as a historic city. A selected sample of fifty repeat visitors who had regularly visited Kandy city in Sri Lanka was used to perform an online questionnaire survey to obtain primary data. The field observations were carried out for further confirmation of the data sources. The methods of data analysis were adopted as descriptive analysis and content analysis techniques. The findings revealed that, despite all of the history protection efforts implemented, the city's image has been distorted, and there is a risk of losing the city's historical value due to growing economic and demographic pressure. The Findings of the study prove 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. As key concerns of the cities built environment characteristics, vendors' lack of awareness for protecting the historic city image, a lack of coordination and rules, obsolete legal requirements, and a lack of transparency in compensating shop owners for their losses have been noted.
Keywords: Built Environment Aesthetics, City Image, Modernization, Commercialization