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Cariled hails success of urban planning forum
The Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (Cariled) has hailed the success of the three day conference CUF 2013: [R]Evolution, the third Annual Caribbean Urban Forum, hosted in Port-of-Spain last week.
The conference, designed to address specific policy issues within the Caribbean urban sector, was hosted by the Government under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, and organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, the T&T Society of Planners and the Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management (CNULM), with support from the European Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Programme.
Conference themes included Local Governance & Community Engagement, Heritage and Culture in Inner Cities, the Green Urban Economy Post Rio +20, the Evolving Caribbean Urban Agenda, and Professional Planning, Practice, Education and Training in the Caribbean.
Attended by representatives from 19 countries, of which 13 were from Caricom member states, the conference opened with a feature address from Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, who highlighted the role of local governments in urban planning, and drew reference to the Canadian model of governance where there is devolution of power to municipalities.
The minister also outlined policy changes underway in T&T, where there is a moving trend towards strengthening of local governance through co-ordination and integration at the local level. Cariled, as an advocate for local economic development projects in the Caribbean, supports local governance, community engagement and knowledge transfer in urban planning and overall growth of micro, small and medium enterprises.
The agency’s keynote presenter, Kadie Ward, drew reference to how heritage and culture create stories, and to the role that stories play in developing positive city brands and attracting investments of talent, business and other elements of growth for urban communities. The closing ceremony featured esteemed Caribbean author, Earl Lovelace, who reminded participants that “landscapes represent the experience, history, struggles and dreams of inhabitants”, and from it, inhabitants develop a sense of culture.
Lovelace reiterated the role of culture in any form of participatory planning, emphasizing that communities needed to fully understand the overall cultural, political and economic landscape before being able to plan for the future. The conference closed with presentation of the CUF 2013 Resolution by CNULM Director, Dr Asad Mohammed.
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