Save Heroes Park - JIA
Would Government be guilty of denying Jamaicans a big chunk of their colonial legacy if it goes ahead with plans for National Heroes Park (the Oval Zone Project) for the development of downtown Kingston?
That is one of the issues the Jamaican Institute of Architects (JIA) wants to bring to public attention in its effort to win buy-ins for its proposal to get the State to reconsider its master plan, which it contends would convert the Corporate Area's largest remaining green space essentially into a 'concrete jungle'.
In its letter to Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the JIA points out that any action to implement the proposed master plan could be in breach of the King George VI Memorial Park 1956 Act, which bequeathed the area, formerly known as Race Course, to the people of Kingston for posterity some 235 years ago.
"The act also states that the vesting of the park in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation is for it to be used as a 'public garden, pleasure park and recreation area' for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Corporate Area. Where, Prime Minister, will the residents have for a green space and a respite from the dense living conditions many face, if this master plan is implemented?
"It is of paramount importance, especially as the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) through NEPA (National Environment and Planning Agency) has been promoting higher housing densities through the city, that the sole remaining large public open space in this area be protected as far as possible for use by citizens, particularly residents and other inhabitants of the adjoining Allman Town, Kingston Gardens, Cross Roads, Woodford Park, etc.," says the letter.