Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Port Royal project gets US$110,000 funding from IDB

Published:Monday | September 21, 2020 | 7:36 PM

The Government of Jamaica’s joint agency initiative, Port Royal 2020, has received support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to the tune of USD$110,000.

This funding will support the continued technical assessment and Master Urban Planning for the town. The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is the coordinating agency for Port Royal 2020.

Formally known as ‘Programa Patrimonio Vivo del BID’ (IDB Living Heritage Program),  the initiative is sponsored financially by the Spanish Government and seeks to strengthen the capacities of cities in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Region, to promote the conservation and enhancement of heritage as a means of achieving sustainable urban development and improve living conditions.

The Program is based on a new paradigm for intervention in heritage areas, which builds on the idea of heritage as a “valuable sustainable, equitable and resilient asset”, with the intention of contributing to the generation of compact cities, with mixed uses; social and economic diversity; and promoting the use of smart and energy-efficient technology.

The Living Heritage Program was identified as a seamless fit for Port Royal 2020 as the project seeks to transform the town into a SMART, safe and secure community with a vibrant local economy, preserved cultural heritage and protected natural environment for the sustainable use by citizens and visitors.

The regeneration and enhancement of Port Royal’s rich heritage present a unique opportunity for urban sustainability and allows for cultural preservation and the opportunity to renew and revitalise the town's infrastructure towards improving the overall environment and generating positive effects for local economic development, urban mobility, equity and social cohesion.

Gilberto Chona, Lead Specialist, Urban Development Economics at the IDB spoke to the organization’s partnership with the UDC on the Port Royal 2020, stating that “the IDB is honoured to be part of this important collaboration that has the potential of sustainably improve the lives of the residents of Port Royal and the Kingston (Harbour), by investing in the valuable tangible and intangible assets that Port Royal possesses.”

UDC’s Deputy General Manager for Planning Development & Project Management, Loy Malcolm shared that “The strides made with Port Royal 2020 have been significant and major milestones have been met since the project formally got underway in November 2019. While COVID-19 has slowed the pace with which the project is developing, we welcome the Living Heritage Program on board to provide this much-needed support. The Corporation is pleased to know that Jamaica has been selected to form part of this global heritage preservation initiative and that Port Royal will serve as the flagship.”

Port Royal, Jamaica is one of only two Caribbean localities on the Living Heritage Program thus far, with Speightstown, Barbados being the other.

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