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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • World Town Planning Day will focus on expanding access to, and encouraging more efficient use of potable water.
  • The day will be observed under the theme: ‘Water: Too much, too little, Unusable or in the wrong place’.
  • The highlight of activities marking this year’s observance of WTPD is the hosting of a public lecture.

On Friday, November 8, Jamaica will join the rest of the international community in observing World Town Planning Day (WTPD), which will focus on expanding access to, and encouraging more efficient use of potable water.

The day will be observed under the theme: ‘Water: Too much, too little, Unusable or in the wrong place’.

The aim of WTPD is to promote a better understanding and awareness of planning issues at all levels of government among the population and to encourage greater private/ public partnership.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on  October  31, Director of the Spatial Planning Division of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Leonard Francis, pointed out that World Town Planning Day facilitates a critical focus on water, its storage, use and availability, especially in light of the mitigating impact of Climate Change.

The highlight of activities marking this year’s observance of WTPD is the hosting of a public lecture.  Guest speaker will be Chairman of the National Housing Trust, Hon. Easton Douglas, who is also a Town Planner by profession.

“He’ll be addressing water and its impact on the Jamaican settlement pattern and the country as a whole in development.  He’ll also look at the planning process in Jamaica and will address development planning approval process,” he pointed out.

Several other activities are planned, including an exhibition and visits to schools to discuss career in Planning; examining climate change and the importance of water; and an awards ceremony honouring stalwarts in the planning profession.

Mr. Francis pointed out that NEPA has been promoting development that involve or integrate water recycling, water catchment and use. He stressed that greater effort will be made this year to find ways to address the availability and re-cycling of water.

“Sometimes we have too much water in one place, sometimes we have too little and sometimes the water cannot be used. [Perhaps] at the end of it all, people will understand the importance of planning in the entire development process and the growth of the country; that there will be a move toward the recycling of water from the kitchen which can be treated and used to water your lawn and a host of other things,” he said.

Four new Development Orders are currently being promulgated for the Negril/Green Island Area in Westmoreland and for the parishes of Portland, Trelawny and Manchester.

Mr. Francis noted that these Orders will facilitate and guide the sustainable development in the areas they cover by designating prescribed spaces for recreational use, parking for the general public and the disabled, commercial use and for residential purposes.

They will also address and make provisions for the preservation of environmentally sensitive and agricultural lands, proposed developments, the building of funeral homes and the location of cell towers.