Mo-Bay on Track to Become First ‘Smart City’

Photo: JIS Photographer Montego Bay’s Mayor, Councillor Glendon Harris (left), has the attention of key participants at the first Western Jamaica Economic Forum, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, on November 26. From left are: Director of the University of the West Indies, Western Jamaica Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth; former Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall; Professor of International Business and Director of the Mona School of Business and Management at the University of the West Indies, Densil Williams; and Co-Chairman of the Forum and Dean of the Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division at the Montego Bay Community College, Puis Lacan.

Story Highlights

  • Montego Bay, St. James could become the island’s first ‘Smart City’ under the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI), which will be launched next year.
  • This was noted by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, when he delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Western Jamaica Economic Forum.
  • The Minister said his forecast is based on the work that has so far been carried out by the St. James Parish Council under the initiative, a two-year development programme which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Montego Bay, St. James could become the island’s first ‘Smart City’ under the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI), which will be launched next year.

This was noted by Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Noel Arscott, when he delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Western Jamaica Economic Forum, held on November 26 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.

The Minister said his forecast is based on the work that has so far been carried out by the St. James Parish Council under the initiative, a two-year development programme which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The programme, which has also received support from the Government of Korea, seeks to provide long term sustainability for the city of Montego Bay and to improve the quality of life for its citizens.

“I want to commend the St. James Parish Council for taking up an offer that I made, which is the Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative, which seeks to explore the potential of the city. We expect by February next year that we will be in a position where the programme will be launched,” the Minister said.

“A component of the sustainable initiative is the creation of a ‘Smart City’…and we hope that when we are finished, Montego Bay will be the first ‘Smart City’ in Jamaica,” he added.

The Minister pointed out that under the programme, integrated communication will be established, which will see the Fire, Police, Health and Traffic departments and the Parish Council networking to deliver better service to the citizens, thereby bringing about an ease in doing business and in the movement of traffic.

Endorsing the Western Jamaica Economic Forum, Mr. Arscott said the event forms part of the transformation of Local Government, as it prepares to take on the tasks ahead.

“We have laid in Parliament the inclusion of Local Government in the Constitution of Jamaica and we are going to debate it in a few weeks,” he informed.

The Minister said the forum brings to the fore the ability of Local Government to mobilize and create capacity at the local level, and the partnership among the four  western parishes – Westmoreland, St. James, Hanover and Trelawny – was commendable.

The forum was staged in conjunction with the Montego Bay Community College, with significant support from the major stakeholders in the four parishes, including the four Parish Councils, which contributed $200,000 each.

JIS Social