Date: December 6-9, 2016
Venue: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Montego Bay suffers from uncontrolled, low-density urban growth much of which faces natural hazard risk. Informal settlements across the city present safety and sanitation issues and limit the government’s financial capacity to make investments to benefit residents by reducing the property tax base. Several projects are planned to address these risks to promote resilience. The Integral Neighborhood Upgrading Program and Pilot Downtown Housing Project plans to implement physical improvements, like new or updated homes and improved or added infrastructure (paved streets, sidewalks, sewage connections, stormwater drainage, street lamps, etc.), but also through social improvements, for example, by connecting people with safety and sanitation programs or training and education programs for employment. Neighborhood upgrades will also include added outdoor recreation facilities like basketball courts and playgrounds, and open and green spaces. Sustainable transport plans to include a Railway Lane Community. This project plans to develop 7 blocks of this informal settlement for a total of 419 new housing units, plus upgrade the adjacent Charles Gordon Market. Community improvements also include landscaping, recreation and sports areas, bike lanes, eco-friendly design and design elements that may reduce the opportunity for crime.
With the objective of highlighting advancements in sustainable communities, the Organization of American States (OAS), with funding from US/OAS, in partnership with the Government of Jamaica has organized a Sustainable Cities course for a group of urban and social transformation professionals. The Sustainable Cities course provides an integral overview of the different aspects that contribute to building sustainable communities, targeting different topics emanating from the First Summit on Sustainable Development in the Americas held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in December 1996. In this context, section II.3 Sustainable Cities and Communities recognized:
To provide theoretical and practical knowledge of the different elements that contribute to the development of sustainable cities to government officials and members of civil society involved in planning processes and urban development
The course will include theoretical presentations that combine the professor’s input with student participation. Case studies will be presented and discussed in order to develop practical skills regarding the issues discussed. This website will provide background readings and material on each module so that students can prepare in order to enhance learning and assimilation of the program content. The course will combine theory with practical exercises in which the students will experience the content of each module applied to real life situations through lectures, readings, field trips group exercises and discussion. The course will close with a set of field trips in which students will be able to come in contact with the operations and functioning of green infrastructure, energy efficiency projects and sustainable transport.