International Development Planning Review

Urban sustainability in Caribbean Small Island Developing States: a conceptual framework for urban planning using a case study of Trinidad

International Development Planning Review (2018), 40, (2), 143–174.

Abstract

Urban planners in the Caribbean have long advocated for a resolution of conflicts between built development and the environment. They have grappled with challenges of small geographic size, an increasingly urbanised landscape and the need to facilitate urban centres as engines of economic development and as the loci of prosperity. This article investigates the urban planning community’s perspective with respect to the drivers of unsustainable urbanisation and provides a conceptual framework for urban planning to attain urban sustainability in a small island developing state context. Trinidad is used as a case study. The research found that urbanisation has been inadequately regulated despite a plethora of legislation, urban plans and policies, and that the political will to achieve urban sustainability is lacking. This has resulted in ecosystem damage, economic losses and the undermining of human well-being. The article concludes that urban planning needs a conceptual framework to move centre stage and a steadfast political will is paramount in achieving urban sustainability in the Caribbean.

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Mycoo, Michelle