JIS News

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  • The Government is focused on economic growth and wealth creation as part of the process towards achieving social cohesion and inclusiveness.
  • Senior Director for Development Planning, Policy and Monitoring in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Rollin Alveranga, made the comment as he addressed a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday, November 4.
  • Mr. Alveranga said that poverty is one of the greatest deterrents to social cohesion.

The Government is focused on economic growth and wealth creation as part of the process towards achieving social cohesion and inclusiveness.

Senior Director for Development Planning, Policy and Monitoring in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Rollin Alveranga, made the comment as he addressed a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday, November 4.

The session was held against the background of Jamaica’s observance of World Town Planning Day on Saturday, November 8.

The theme for this year is ‘Equality in the City: Making Cities Socially Cohesive,’ which focuses on engaging all sectors in development planning and catering to various needs.

Mr. Alveranga said that poverty is one of the greatest deterrents to social cohesion.

He said Government is well aware of this and has crafted several development policies to address this matter.

“It is the general Government policy and that of the Ministry to implement policies that will encourage economic growth, employment and wealth creation and that includes poverty reduction strategies.  Hence we are facilitating improvements in the development process by reducing the time taken in the decision making and development approval process,” he said.

Director of the Spatial Planning Division at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Leonard Francis, said the WTPD theme is appropriate, as it addresses development planning that is inclusive and sustainable.

“We want to see cities that actually cater to the needs of everyone within the city, the various groups, gender, religion, urban farming, transportation, access to facilities or just to be able to sit and enjoy the city itself,” he said.

“We want to see a city that is designed and developed along the lines of sustainable principles,” he added.

Senior Manager for the Spatial Planning Division at NEPA, Janet Hyde, who also addressed the Think Tank, pointed out that a greater effort is being made to include more women in planning.  This, she said, is to make the process of planning towns and their facilities more inclusive.

“Our needs as women tend to be a little different, so as part of this equality, we need to work together to achieve that goal of sustainable development.  This, so our cities can be more socially cohesive, women will feel freely to participate fully (in activities) and the designs that are there will serve both (gender) in a manner that each will feel that their needs are being met,” she noted.

Activities to mark WTPD will include a public forum at the Overtime Lounge at the National Housing Trust (NHT) on Park Boulevard in Kingston, where Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, will deliver the main address.

He will speak on how Jamaica can achieve social cohesion and equality through land use planning. He will also address the development approval process in Jamaica.

Other activities include an exhibition; career talks in schools; and an awards ceremony honouring stalwarts in the planning profession.

The aim of WTPD is to promote a better understanding, awareness and cohesion of planning issues at all levels of the society, and to encourage greater private/public partnerships in the process.