Clean up the filthy downtown waterfront, UDC
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The fanfare regarding the development of downtown Kingston is welcome, and we wait with bated breath to experience the full transformation as promised by the current Government. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has been charged with the responsibility of managing and facilitating the stakeholders interested in this process, but their own investments in that geographic area reflect a management team that can only articulate big dreams and ignore one of the most basic necessities of any First-World concept – cleanliness.
The waterfront developments thus far attract numerous visitors and patrons; however, the surroundings are filthy, with garbage strewn along the walkways and seating areas, deteriorating concrete structures and seawalls along the pier with rotting steel exposed, and unmanicured trees and lawns.
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ)-kept area is within proximity and a close enough blueprint of how the area can be kept; however, the UDC continues to brag about development plans without the ability to lead by example.
Civic pride seems to be reserved for private-sector groups to foster, while the Government, through the UDC, embraces this concept only as a nine-day wonder.
If the UDC cannot contribute to something as basic as a cleaner Victoria Pier in its front yard, other than soliciting third-party infrastructures and investments, what can it really do effectively? This reflects poorly on the management, who obviously lack the kind of foresight that can really take downtown to the next level.
It doesn’t take rocket science to encourage and incentivise the wealthy to come and invest, but it takes civic pride, foresight and good leadership to recognise the positive impact something as basic as a clean and sustained public space can have on the people and the environment.