[Sponsored article] Since its first Covid-19 case was identified on January 27, Sri Lanka has reported more than 2,000 confirmed cases. The global coronavirus disease pandemic has resulted in public health emergencies and devastated economies in many countries, including the South Asian island nation that is home to more than 21.8 million people – making its much-anticipated economic transformation even more urgent than before. Long before the Covid-19 outbreak, the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, had been struggling with problems including a shortage of spare land, unemployment and mobility of businesses, and infrastructure issues, such as a lack of suitable roads for accessing the city’s port. The city’s response to these challenges is Port City Colombo, a new development, which is being built as an extension of the city’s existing Central Business District. Port City, which has been constructed on 269 hectares (665 acres) of reclaimed land, aims to be South Asia’s premier residential, retail and business destination beside the waters of the Indian Ocean. The development, which is expected to be completed in 2041, comprises five precincts – the Financial District, Central Park Living, Island Living, The Marina and the International Island – offering office, health care, education, retail and entertainment facilities, as well as hotels and restaurants. Port City, from construction to operation, is designed to provide employment right across Sri Lanka. When it becomes a fully operational modern financial and service hub, the availability of high-level positions and service sector jobs is expected to benefit the next generation of Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka has the potential to offer market connections across the Middle East, East Africa and Asia-Pacific, with Port City offering access and opportunities for groups and corporate figures across all of these regions. Colombo’s sustainable ‘green lungs’ With long-term environmental sustainability a priority, Port City hopes to position itself as Colombo’s “green lungs” by implementing various eco-conscious practices. A third of the development has been dedicated as verdant public parks, open spaces with lush greenery, waterways and beaches. It will also feature an updated road network, which will incorporate designated areas for walking and cycling. The aim is to minimise heavy traffic, which will help to reduce the pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from the city’s vehicles. To cut down on the use of portable water for irrigation, Port City is adopting a rainwater harvesting system. Waste generated within the development will also be separated to reduce the demand for sanitary landfill space. Ultimately, Port City hopes to become a modern metropolis destination offering high-quality, sustainable public spaces and infrastructure facilities and attractions, which will appeal to locals, visitors and international businesses. The views and opinions expressed are those of the sponsor and do not reflect the official policy or position of South China Morning Post Publishers Limited. Any content provided by our sponsors reflects their opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organisation, company, individual or anyone or anything.