Leaders To Leaders Series (Speaking Notes)
Moderator Dr David McbeanMost Honourable Edward Seaga, Former Prime Minister of JamaicaMiss Olivia Grange, Member of ParliamentMr Patrick King …… DigicelMr Delroy Morgan, Organiser of these seriesDistinguished ladies and gentlemenGood afternoonIt is not often that the urban development corporation gets the opportunity to speak for 30 minutes in a setting like this, in what the organisers have branded a lecture series. We will treat this therefore as a golden opportunity to update you our valued stakeholders on our work in Downtown Kingston and Port Royal.Our topic today is an interesting one, transforming our downtown and urban core: why it is good for business, economic growth and social developmentAs you all know the urban development corporation has been entrusted with leading the redevelopment of Downtown Kingston for several decades with support from key government agencies and the private sector. We are the government’s principal urban and rural development agency, since March 1968 when an act of parliament created the context in which we operate, to make development happen, when and where it is needed, within the framework of national priorities. And here we acknowledge the role played by the then minister of development and welfare, with who I share the platform today.Indeed, the head office of the corporation is located on the Kingston Waterfront, in one of the buildings that was part of the initial attempt to foster the development process over 40 years ago. Since that time, both the corporation and other stakeholders, such as Kingston Restoration Company Limited and the Kingston city centre improvement company, have endeavoured to prepare and implement elements of development plans for sections of downtown Kingston. In addition, there has been a challenge with sustained commitment of the resources required to seed the development so as to create and sustain the kind of momentum that would bring about the transformation required. For those among us who are not so familiar with the area that we are going to speak about. The downtown Kingston and Port Royal development area, which the UDC for planning purposes has linked as one, is 18.4 square kilometres or 7.1 sq. Miles. It is composed of diverse natural features, resources and land use patterns. The area generally extends from Manley Meadows in the east to the Kingston container terminal in the west. The southern border is the Kingston harbour coastline, while the northern boundary in the west is along Spanish Town and Slipe pen roads up to, and including the cross roads and up park camp areas. It is bounded in the east by South Camp road to Windward road back to Manley Meadows.