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SPEAKING NOTES – William Tavares- Finson – Third City

Madame Chairperson
Ms Suzanne Bailey, Board Director, Urban Development Corporation
Dr Damian Graham, General Manager, Urban Development Corporation
Members of the Third City Planning Committee
Mr Leonard Francis – Director Spatial Planning Division, National Environment and Planning Agency
Mr. Winston Blackwood, Manager –Smart Grid and Project Services and Ms. Simone Chisholm of Jamaica Public Service
Ms Michelle Edwards, Senior Director of the Mitigation, Planning & Research Department, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
Members of the UDC Executive Management Team, Heads of Departments and Staff
Members of The Media

Good morning

On July 14th, 2016, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister (PM) of Jamaica, mandated the newly installed Board of Directors of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to create Jamaica’s Third City. Currently, the focus of the island’s major economic activity is centred on the existing two cities of Kingston and Montego Bay; with Kingston being the centre of governance and the financial and commercial hub of our country.

The dominance of Kingston has to a great extent created an imbalance compared with other locations, based on its excessive demand for services and the provision of infrastructure. This imbalance has not gone unnoticed. The development of a third city is being envisaged as becoming a location from which planning can start afresh from the ground up. Resilience to climate change will be built-in to afford that location the requisite infrastructure to support the new world order of smart growth and innovation. The city will be built to accommodate a target population which is anticipated to relieve Kingston of its current urban overflow and reduce the burden on the capital city’s infrastructure. It will also provide support for the government’s objective of having two-thirds of the Jamaican population living within planned urban centres. Planning for this new location is also timely, given the several initiatives of government to develop Jamaica as a global logistics hub.

To initiate the work necessary to bring the mandate to fruition, the UDC has established a Third City Planning Committee (TPC) with the involvement of several key government agencies to oversee and manage the implementation of this project. These agencies include the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Ministry of Transport and Mining (MTM), Jamaica Institute of Planners (JIP), Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development (MLGCD).

Today as a further step in advancing the Third City planning process, we have organized this interactive workshop which will provide an update on the planning process. We will engage you in examining the multi-criteria site suitability model and horizon scanning and fore sighting necessary to determine the location of the third city. We will also examine the terms of reference for the engagement of consultancies as required.

Let us take pride in the fact that we are part of a select team shaping the future together throughout the course of this workshop. This futuristic living, can be applied as a general principle in life, as I believe we must live in the future in order to optimize the quality of life for tomorrow’s generation.

Your job here is a stepping stone in the shaping of history as we hand to the next generation a smart, secure, resilient city.

Thank you on behalf of the UDC Board of Directors for playing your part in making development happen.

September 26, 2017