JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Housing Trust (NHT) has committed $173 million towards the completion of a spatial plan and development order for Jamaica.
  • Chairman, Easton Douglas, made the announcement on Friday (November 7), during a public lecture and exhibition at the agency’s New Kingston corporate office, which was held as part of activities commemorating World Town Planning Day, being observed today (November 8).
  • Mr. Douglas said a spatial plan cannot be static and must be regularly revised and updated, to guide development.

The National Housing Trust (NHT) has committed $173 million towards the completion of a spatial plan and development order for Jamaica.

Chairman, Easton Douglas, made the announcement on Friday (November 7), during a public lecture and exhibition at the agency’s New Kingston corporate office, which was held as part of activities commemorating World Town Planning Day, being observed today (November 8).

“By virtue of the NHT Act, to promote housing and facilities in Jamaica, we have dedicated the expenditure of (this amount)…, because if you don’t have a spatial plan you will not have a vision, and you cannot have orderly and progressive development,” he stated.

Mr. Douglas said a spatial plan cannot be static and must be regularly revised and updated, to guide development.

“What we have not done over the years is revise our plans for the benefit of the people; and as a result, you see, all over the island, adhoc and undesirable developments taking place,” he noted.

Meanwhile, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Knight, informed that the entity will receive $10.2 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to further strengthen the country’s institutional planning framework.

Mr. Knight said NEPA is working assiduously to improve planning in Jamaica, adding that the agency is actively pursuing three main objectives. These include: sustainable management and use of the environment and natural resources; risk reduction and adaptation to climate change; and sustainable urban and rural development.

 

“We are trying to build the planning framework and update the national spatial plan; and we’re hoping to cover the entire island with development orders by 2015,” he informed.

Mr. Knight said the agency has also added a civil engineer and an architect planner to NEPA’s staff, to help with the process of improving Jamaica’s planning framework.

Jamaica joins other countries globally in observing World Town Planning Day, today (November 8), under the theme, ‘Equality in the City: Making Cities Socially Cohesive’.

To commemorate the occasion, NEPA partnered with several stakeholders to host a week of activities, beginning November 2. These included: a symposium and exhibition, as well as career talks at secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Kingston and St. Catherine.

The activities culminate today (November 8) with a worship service at the Andrews Memorial Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St. Andrew.