The Colombo Urban Lab will be a collaborative and interdisciplinary space that will enable connections between research, practice and public policy.

With a focus on key themes such as public space, housing, infrastructure, livelihood, transport and food sovereignty, and rooted in ethical engagement with communities, Colombo Urban Lab’s mission is to produce knowledge on inclusive, sustainable and just cities in Sri Lanka. The Lab is an incubator for those driven by the desire to better understand and analyse the transformations taking place in our built environment. We work with researchers and practitioners across Asia to draw on and learn from comparative experiences, and to locate our urban transformation in a growing body of literature on urbanisation and cities from the Global South. We advocate for more research driven policy making where the life experiences of a city’s citizens and their aspirations form the basis of a city’s development, and work with State actors and community members to use new and different tools of engagement and planning in the development process.