JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Critical stakeholders involved in building and development are being urged to provide for the needs of all members of society when designing and implementing projects.
  • These include private developers, planners, architects, engineers, among others.
  • Jamaica joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Town Planning Day on November 8, under the theme: ‘Equality in the City: Making Cities Socially Cohesive’.

Critical stakeholders involved in building and development are being urged to provide for the needs of all members of society when designing and implementing projects.

These include private developers, planners, architects, engineers, among others.

Minister of Water, Land Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, made the call while addressing a public lecture and exhibition held in observance of World Town Planning Day on Friday, November 7, at the National Housing Trust (NHT) in New Kingston.

Jamaica joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Town Planning Day on November 8, under the theme: ‘Equality in the City: Making Cities Socially Cohesive’.

Mr. Pickersgill said the Government is undertaking a number of initiatives to strengthen social equality and cohesion within the context of spatial planning and development orders.

Social inclusion and cohesion refer to equal access to public services and resources by all socio-economic groups. These include services such as education, housing, health and social protection.

The Minister said the government has been working to provide equal access to potable water, transportation, housing, employment and affordable energy to all citizens.

He noted that the provision of water remains a major challenge, pointing to the effects of climate change on weather patterns over the last few years.

Mr. Pickersgill said among the solutions being looked at is the development of a rainwater harvesting policy for implementation in both urban and rural areas.

“This will enable residents, particularly in urban areas, to access this resource on a more sustained basis,” he said.

He noted that rainwater harvesting will also enable the state to better manage its potable water supplies and to more effectively provide for persons, who live in areas of the city, where the availability of and accessibility to the resource is a challenge.

In regards to employment, Mr. Pickersgill said the development orders currently being prepared promote employment opportunities through policies that facilitate cottage industries, commercial and other non-residential developments, among others.

In addition, he said the orders reserve lands for employment and skills training institutions, which are important to enhance employment opportunities.

“The development orders also require that all proposed buildings meet certain standards to enable access and proper working conditions for all staff,” he pointed out.

As it pertains to the provision of suitable housing, Mr. Pickersgill informed that the various development order policies encourage the development of mixed income housing.

“For the first time in the draft Kingston and St. Andrew development order to be promulgated during the present financial year, policies have been included to encourage the provision of special needs and mixed income housing,” he stated.

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