UDC leads third city stakeholder planning efforts

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Planning for the development of Jamaica's third city, as mandated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in July 2016, advanced in earnest last month with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) hosting an inaugural technical workshop at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

The event, held on September 27, involved multi-sectoral stakeholders and was organised to establish the context within which the 'smart city' would be developed and the approach to select its location.

“The development of a third city is being envisaged as becoming a location from which planning can start afresh from the ground up,” a news release quotes UDC board member William Tavares Finson.

“Resilience to climate change will be built in to afford that location the requisite infrastructure to support the new world order of smart growth and innovation,” he said, adding that “the city will be built to accommodate a target population which is anticipated to relieve Kingston of its current urban overflow and reduce the burden on the capital city's infrastructure.”

Dr Damian Graham, the UDC general manager, said a third city is a very important part of Jamaica's history. “Never before in Jamaica's development history has the UDC taken an approach such as this to come together with the best and brightest minds to determine where and how we will settle our people. It is a proud celebration of our progressive spirit as a developing nation,” Dr Graham is reported as saying at the beginning of the workshop.

He said the UDC was selected to lead the charge because it “is rightly placed to undertake and lead a project of this nature by being the Government's main urban and regional development agency and also by having a track record of renewing and revitalising several of Jamaica's main urban centres”.

The prime minister has mandated the board of the UDC to create the island's third city against the background that the dominance enjoyed by Kingston, which is the centre of governance as well as the financial and commercial hub, has created an imbalance with other locations based on the capital city's excessive demand for services and the provision of infrastructure.

The UDC, with the support of its Third City Planning Committee, engaged stakeholders in discussions and presentations aimed at reviewing and refining the terms of references relating to the site selection methodology to facilitate an unbiased selection of the optimal site for the third city.

Participating ministries/agencies included JAMPRO, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, National Environment and Planning Agency, and Jamaica Public Service.

The Third City project is currently in phase 1 — Selection. As the project progresses, there will be further engagement of the wider public in various visioning sessions. Upon securing consultancies in Phase 1, two other phases — Master Planning, and Implementation will occur.




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