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Barbados needs news physical development plan

JOHN SEALY, [email protected]

Barbados needs news physical development plan

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BARBADOS MUST COME up with a physical development plan that would cater to changing social, cultural and economic dynamics of the country.

This is the message coming from Urban Strategy Inc. officials during the first town hall meeting put on by Government for the public to discuss an amendment to the current physical development plan. It was held at Princess Margaret School in St Philip yesterday.

The town hall meeting, one of many to be held throughout the country, was aimed at discussing the plan in relation to Six Roads’ community plan.

Members of the audience also took an opportunity to air concerns about matters that impacted them personally like land subdivisions, covenants, access to property and provision of roads without sidewalks.

Associate at Urban Strategy Anna Iannucei set the tone for the evening with an overview as to how they got to the stage of inviting contributions from the public to the draft review process. She said there were a number of stakeholder meetings that attracted both local and overseas specialists, which culminated in the draft plan over the last four months. 

She said, however, there would still be a formal legislative process after the consultancy exercise.

Iannucei also said Barbados had a number of core assets but there were increasing levels of vulnerabilities, such scarcity of land and water.

“Your pattern of growth has changed quite a bit and in a problematic way. You have a number of scarcities. You are a small island, you are water scarce island; you are a land-scarce island. And you are a food scarce island and you have significant issues with agricultural land and food security.”

She said the physical development plan should be seen as an opportunity for transformational change.

Iannucei however highlighted a number of changes that Barbados had experienced since the last amendment in 2003 namely the UNESCO Heritage Site designation, Government’s participation in Habitat 111 in Paris, the repositioning  of the economy to one based on the green economy, a national park plan and a commitment  to alternative energy to bring down the oil import bill.

She also said there was some concern about the rising rate of chronic non-communicable diseases; the population not growing, an ageing population and a number of vacant lots.

Iannucei said one of the imperatives was to come up with sustainable strategy in the new physical development plan. (JS)