Brief History of the Urban Development Corporation
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) was created by the Jamaican Government in 1968 through a Special Act of Parliament to ensure that planned and orderly development takes place when and where it is needed in Jamaica, within the framework of national priorities.
Fifty one years later, the Corporation continues to facilitate development. The UDC’s remit is to hold, manage and develop real estate on behalf of the Government of Jamaica, with the overarching objective of spurring growth and improving the quality of life of Jamaicans.
Since 1968, the UDC has effectively transformed Jamaica's most viable urban centres and strategic rural towns, whilst preserving the natural environment, traditions and customs and spurring economic development. The organization, through its development programmes, has significantly improved the coverage and quality of public infrastructure, in addition to introducing alternative patterns of urban settlement, including creative shelter solutions and the development of new townships.
Major projects over the years have included those in the designated areas:
- Kingston Waterfront
- Ocho Rios
- Montego Bay
- Falmouth (special project area)
The Corporation has also completed numerous Agency projects including those under:
- The Comprehensive Rural Township Development Programme (CRTDP)
- San Jose Accord for Sports and Culture
- Health Services Rationalisation Programme (HSRP)
- Schools Building Programme
- Police Station Upgrading Programme
- The Inner City Renewal Programme
As the Corporation moves forward to another 50 years, it continues its catalytic role of facilitating transformative and sustainable developments to include –:
- The successful hosting of a two stage architectural design competition between May 2018 and March 2019, where Jamaicans vied for the honour of designing the country’s first ever purpose built Parliament. The winning design is being detailed to advance construction at the National Heroes Park. The Corporation is also leading the charge for the establishment of a Government Campus at National Heroes Circle
- Project management for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade building on the Kingston Waterfront
- Coordinating the Master Plan and Town Management Plan for Port Royal and the Palisadoes
- Pursuing sustainable development of Goat Islands as directed by its environmental sensitivity
- Fostering public private sector partnership through leasing for the development, management and operations of Fort Clarence Beach Hellshire
- Infrastructural improvements to the Main Street corridor and drainage system between Turtle Walk Road and Ocean Village Shopping Centre
- Completion of the Ocho Rios Promenade project, which has upgraded the pathway from the Marina to the Ocho Rios Bay Beach
- The ongoing upgrading and diversification as well as the repositioning of Dunn’s River Falls and Park to continue to provide a world famous experience for guests
- Ground broken in February 2019 to develop the 16 acres Closed Harbour Beach Park in Montego Bay. Amenities will include multi-purpose courts, kids play area, food kiosks, jogging trail and multi-event space
- The phased groyne rehabilitation to protect the Montego Bay coastline, with the first of three to be undertaken simultaneous with the Closed Harbour Beach project.
In addition, the UDC manages the Tax Incentive Programme (TIP) for Urban Renewal on behalf of the Ministry of Finance. The programme aims to stimulate urban renewal by revitalizing historic centres and providing opportunities for private capital stakeholders to participate in the re-development of blighted areas.
September 26, 2019