PM Gives New UDC Board Core Development Goals
The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica has mandated the newly installed Board of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to make the creation of Jamaica’s third city a priority and part of its three core goals. This charge was given at the first meeting of the Board held at the Corporation’s Head Office in Downtown, Kingston, on Thursday (July 14, 2016).
Prime Minister Holness said a new city would help to alleviate the urban overflow from Kingston and reduce the burden on the capital’s infrastructure. He noted that the establishment of a third city would support the Government’s objective of having two-thirds of the Jamaican population living in urban centres.
Mr. Holness urged the Board to move forward with the transformation of Kingston into a city commensurate with international standards, as well as to support the development of Montego Bay as a part of three core development goals.
While plans for the renewal of Kingston City are already in train, with particular focus on the Downtown, Waterfront and Port Royal areas, Mr. Holness expressed a desire for the Waterfront to be “the driving force for all of Kingston.” Noting that a policy decision had already been taken for Kingston to be restored as a port of call, he pressed home the importance of the city to thrive as a destination for lifestyle entertainment and as a centre for transhipment, investment, finance and welfare.
Giving consideration to elements, such as a national museum, parks and historical buildings, which would restore civic pride, the Prime Minister implored the Corporation to “build something that projects Jamaica – where we are coming from, who we are and where we are going.”
Mr. Holness also spoke to the construction of a bypass to mitigate traffic congestion in Montego Bay. He said the resolution of housing inadequacies would also be prioritised in tandem with advancing the implementation of the Montego Bay Redevelopment Plan.
The meeting was also used as a platform to outline a framework for development in other urban centres, including Spanish Town, May Pen, Portmore and Ocho Rios. Discussions gave consideration to the reduction of crime, collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT) to increase affordable housing, and balancing the comfort levels of residents and tourist in the island’s tourism centres.
The new UDC Board is chaired by Senator Ransford Braham, while Mr. Peter McConnell, Snr. serves as Deputy Chairman. The remaining members are Ms. Dahlia Kelly, Mr. William Tavares–Finson, Mr. Winston Dear, Ms. Susan Leslie Bailey, Mr. Michael Hicks, Mr. David Allen, Mrs. Marilyn Burrowes, Colonel David Cummings, Mr. Omar Azan, Mr. Vernon McLeod, Mr. Peter Pearson, Dr. Glenford Christian and Mrs. Daniella Gentles Silvera.