In Jamaica: Kingston’s new look still undetermined

25 October 2011

Kingston to get a facelift…design model to be completed by February 2012

BY NEXT February, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) should complete its model of how the reborn downtown Kingston should look.

There are different opinions about how the city should look after the revitalisation and redevelopment are done, and the UDC is moving to end the argument.

Some persons are in favour of a market district with residential and commercial premises sharing the same space, while others want residents relocated and commerce being the only activity in designated areas.

There is also debate about whether the city should be a commercial centre with huge multi-storey towers or restrict the height of new buildings and ensure uniformity.

“This is why the UDC wants to settle this matter once and for all,” said Joy Douglas, the now-suspended general manager of the UDC, during a recent investment forum.

She noted that over the years, several plans have been prepared for the redevelopment of parts of Kingston, but members of the public are still not clear about the vision.

Massive visioning exercise

According to Douglas, to ensure that everyone understands the plan for downtown Kingston, the UDC is set to conduct one of the largest visioning exercises ever done.

“The World Wide Web will be the platform for this initiative, allowing Jamaicans, here and abroad, to participate in finalising what this vision of Downtown should be,” added Douglas.

She said the UDC was partnering with private-sector entities to do the model, with telecommunications firm Flow already agreeing to host it.

“So we are well under way with this initiative, and we will be launching it shortly. The proposal is to have it ready by February 2012, so by that time all of us would have participated and we would know how Kingston will look.”

This could be either high-rise buildings or a low-density plan with a few high-rise buildings dotting the landscape.


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