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© 2020, Urban Development Corporation


The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) celebrates 50 years of making development happen in Jamaica since March 21, 1968 through development planning, project implementation, real estate development and attractions management. An agency of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)), the UDC has played its role as the government’s main urban and rural development planning agency over the last 50 years. 

The Corporation will kick off celebrations with a staff event at the Festival Marketplace in Downtown Kingston tomorrow March 21 along with other celebratory activities at its different entities around the island inclusive of a Client Appreciation Function for customers of the St. Ann Development Company, Ocho Rios Commercial Centre and Runaway Bay Water Company respectively on March 22. Other commemorative activities, to include a church service on April 15, at the Kingston Parish Church, are earmarked.  Details will be released about the island wide and yearlong activities which will include the popular Fireworks on the Waterfront family event. 

Established in 1968, through a Special Act of Parliament, the UDC has played an integral role in developing Jamaica’s most viable urban centres and strategic rural towns, while preserving the country’s natural environment, traditions and customs, and, in the process, spurring economic development and growth. 

Fifty years later, the Corporation’s mandate is wrapped around a compelling story encompassing the redevelopment of the Kingston Waterfront, Ocho Rios Improvement Project, Rehabilitation of the Montego Bay Waterfront starting with the groynes and then development of the Closed Harbour Beach Park. Plans are also advanced for the establishment of Jamaica’s Third City.  

The agency’s formation coincided with the early years of Jamaica’s attainment of self-government. As a fledgling new nation, having secured political independence from Great Britain in 1962, Jamaica experienced its share of teething challenges, as it adjusted to the post-colonial era.
Widely regarded as one of the most exciting periods of development in Jamaica’s history, the first decade of the post-independence era saw significant capital investments in key sectors, such as mining, manufacturing and tourism.  Notable projects have been undertaken in Kingston, with development of the waterfront, as well as in Hellshire and Caymanas, St. Catherine; Ocho Rios, St. Ann; Montego Bay, St. James; and Negril, spanning the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland. 

The UDC has also been instrumental in executing a number of projects on behalf of or funded by several other agencies. These include: the Comprehensive Rural Township Development Programme (CRTDP); San Jose Accord for Sports and Culture; Health Services Rationalization Programme (HSRP); Schools Building Programme; Police Station Upgrading Programme; Lift up Jamaica Programme; and Inner City Renewal Programme (ICRP), North Western Schools Programme and Ocho Rios Improvement Project. 

Significant projects across the island include the Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Montego Bay Convention Centre, Mandeville Hospital, National Indoor Sports Centre, upgraded National Stadium, Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway, Howard Cooke Boulevard, Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre and the Jamaica Conference Centre. The self-sustaining statutory body also has in its portfolio attractions such as Dunn’s River Falls and Park, Green Grotto Caves and Attractions, Turtle River Park, Ocho Rios Bay Beach in St Ann, Fort Clarence Beach, St Catherine, Reach Falls in Portland and Long Bay Beach Park, Bluefields Beach in Westmoreland.  

For further information on these and the agency’s other activities, contact the Urban Development Corporation at the Office Centre Building, 12 Ocean Boulevard, downtown Kingston, telephone 656-8031. You can also visit their website at, or send them an e-mail at . 
Source: (JIS and UDC archives) 

For further information, please contact  
The Corporate Relations and Marketing Department 
Urban Development Corporation 
12 Ocean Boulevard 
Kingston, Jamaica 
Tel: (876) 656-8031 
March 20, 2018