I wish to present in this article a summary of my main points on the proposed ‘revitalization’ of the Nelson Mandela Park (formerly King George V Park or, before that, Pompeii Savannah) in west POS.
Some spaces are of such significance that they should be altered only after the greatest care and consideration—no hustle, no bustle! Nelson Mandela Park is certainly such a space.
Privatisation and PPP can have the effect of limiting or ending access to public facilities for poorer citizens, so we would need to have solid guarantees of right to access, regardless of income. Of course, that kind of approach is contrary to a model which relies on paying customers or groups.
Let us now take a closer look at the actual proposal.
The recent heavy rainfall and the accompanying flooding prompted me to revisit some items from the past which I had not written on before. It always makes me flinch to hear the statements on flooding from the UNC, for whatever reason. This is all part of my Season of Reflection.
This article takes us back to May 2010 at the point when the PP won 29 seats to form the government. On the night of the celebrations there was heavy flooding in south Trinidad due to heavy rainfall earlier that day. The PM-elect, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the Minister of Works (in waiting) Jack Warner left the session at Crowne Plaza Hotel to tour the affected districts. The striking statement from Jack Warner was widely-reported – ‘Flooding would be a thing of the past under his watch.‘
The state of our capital city, POS, is a serious concern to any proud citizen or even our visitors. A real nation would treat its capital with pride, but in my view Port of Spain presents a painful paradox in several respects. Despite that, there are now some real opportunities for us to reconsider just how we manage our capital city. A new approach is needed to rescue our capital city in this time of reduced financial resources.
Some of the negatives include –
Our capital has been severely depopulated in the past 50 years – as shown in the graph and table, its 1960 population was 94,000, while the most recent census in 2011 showed a figure of only 37,000. Given that there has been no natural disaster, war or plague it is sobering to consider this steady population loss and its causes during that period of relative peace and prosperity. No doubt that loss has been due to the mismanagement of the city’s planning, traffic, parking, vending, crime, homelessness and sanitation issues. That series of mishandled and interlocking growing-pains produced an increasingly dirty, unsafe and crowded city which eventually lost its appeal. Continue reading “Property Matters – POS development prospects”→
The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian published part 2 of its interview with Afra Raymond in the 1 September 2014 edition of the newspaper.
Recent reports that the HDC housing waiting list has reached 200,000 have thrown up questions about strategies for land usage, housing design and urban planning in T&T. In our series on housing, JOSHUA SURTEES speaks to architects, planners and surveyors to find out if there is enough land available, whether everybody on the list can get a place to live and what kind of accommodation makes best use of space while providing comfortable, functional living that complements people’s lifestyles. Part four features AFRA RAYMOND, president of the Joint Consultative Council, MD of Raymond & Pierre Ltd chartered surveyors and an expert on land usage issues, procurement and housing.
How many ultra-rich, multiple homeowners are there?
How many, I don’t know. But as a practitioner I can tell you it’s a significant part of what takes place. It informs how, when parcels of land become available, what are the forces that compete for it, and this is where the boundaries between public and private become very elastic. If the forces on one side have the capacity to go after that piece of land and get it before the government, that has an effect on what options are available to the government to build affordable housing…