Sun | Aug 19, 2018

No response from government for innercity revival

Published:Monday | January 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM


On June 14, 2014 (seven months ago), I delivered a letter at Jamaica House for the attention of the prime minister in which I stated that I have a concept through which I believe we can commence the rebuilding of the city of Kingston by the injection of at least 20,000 apartment units for the middle- to upper-middle-income people at no cost to the Government.

I delineated the area from the foot of National Heroes Park and bordered by Rum Lane, Johns Lane and the waterfront as the commencement zone.

I thought that I would have at least received a response, even if my concept (not yet revealed) was presumed to be preposterous. But, to date, I have not even had an acknowledgement of my letter.

A city is not a group of derelict buildings, garbage and ugliness. It requires people from a wide cross section of the population to have a melting pot environment of people, attractive buildings, form, function, order, beauty, growth, commerce and discipline.

The question that comes to mind is: Is there a plan of any sort to create growth and development, not only for the city of Kingston but for the people of this country?

I cannot help but conclude that we are being led by people who are blind and deaf and void of any vision for the country and its people.

The Government has the capacity/power, backed by existing legislation, to acquire any property anywhere in Jamaica in the interest of the people. It has been 40 years since a new building has been built downtown, except for the recent Digicel building.

Party politics is the worst invention that man has ever developed in the name of the organisation of human society. This goes as well for the so-called first-world societies, including the mighty USA, as is visible in the current American Congress.

Party politics is nothing but hostile gangs fighting for power and scarce benefits at the detriment of the people.

As far back as November 6, 1992, I published in your newspapers a form of political organisation that eliminated party politics, that was fundamentally democratic, and where every member of parliament is an independent 'thinker' and vote according to their conscience and the precepts that they believe in.

The Government has a number of sound buildings locked up downtown and is paying rent for expensive offices in New Kingston and elsewhere. The Jamintel building has been sitting there for years rotting away with security in the millions of dollars while babies bawl for milk.

Downtown is the only area in Kingston that can accommodate thousands of people in a modern metropolis having a lot of underutilised infrastructure, instead of the people having to commute from as far away as Ocho Rios, Morant Bay and May Pen.

Perhaps my "venting" is a sort of catharsis for me since I feel hopeless at being incapable of doing anything to relieve the anger, frustration and hopelessness of the ordinary people, who jump and prance and swing their big hips from side to side, uttering stanzas of gibberish with the hope of getting a curry goat lunch or a Red Stripe beer or a school bag for the kids from their parliamentary representatives.

Al Richards

Registered Architect