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JIS News

The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the University of Technology (UTech), are collaborating to implement the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) in Jamaica.
This is according to Dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment at UTech, Dr. Carol Archer, who was speaking to JIS News yesterday (Aug. 11), following the opening of the regional training workshop on urban profiling at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston.
The project, which was officially launched in Jamaica three months ago, is now in the first stage of execution, and involves a Rapid Urban Profiling study on three urban areas in the country – May Pen, Clarendon; Montego Bay, St. James; Old Harbour Bay in St. Catherine. Analysis of the study will focus on the themes of governance, slums, gender and HIV/AIDS, and the environment.
“What we (UWI/UTech) intend to do, is to look at several variables as it relates to how these areas are developing. Crime certainly is one of the areas (in terms of) the relationship between the urbanisation of these areas and crime,” Dr. Archer explained.
“We will also be looking at disaster management/mitigation, because as a small island developing state, we are very vulnerable, and we want to see the relationship between urbanisation and the issues of land use, housing, infrastructure and transportation,” she informed.
Dr. Archer said that this collection of data is necessary, as over the years, the information has been gathered in a “piecemeal approach”, and as such, “some information resides in one agency and another set of information resides in another agency or within a private sector organisation and the information isn’t shared.”
“So part of this project is to bring the various data sets together, do analysis and give some recommendation as to how we approach the whole issue of urban land use and management, and how we can address effectively, urbanisation of these areas, so that some of the negative effects of urbanisation are dealt with adequately,” she told JIS News.
She said that parish council representatives in Clarendon, St. James and in St. Catherine will be assisting with the data collection. “It’s a participatory approach, so we will be going to the residents of these urban areas, and getting their input as to how the various issues impact their daily lives, and that will be part of the analysis as well,” she noted.
PSUP is being administered by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the European Commission, through its budget for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
Haiti, Antigua and Barbuda and Trinidad and Tobago are the other Caribbean countries selected for the programme, which is looking at issues relating to urban development and renewal in these islands.
UN-HABITAT has the mission to make provisions for human settlements, and is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities, with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

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