Basseterre, St. Kitts – The Department of Urban Development, in collaboration with the Department of Environment, is set to propose an Urban Resilience Development Plan to the Cabinet on November 13.
One of the movers of this plan, Director for the Urban Development Unit, Rhon Boddie, explained that the plan entails several projects that are designed to enhance the Greater Basseterre area.
Mr. Boddie provided this information while appearing on InFocus on November 8, 2023.
He also said that the plan was created in 2022 when the Urban Development Unit hired a consultant to analyze the space of Greater Basseterre and make recommendations for the future.
Questions included: “How can we make Basseterre resilient and how should we look at the development of Basseterre and come up with a number of projects that would lead to making our beautiful Basseterre a resilient, sustainable space?”
Mr. Boddie also highlighted that the plan focuses on protection, access, mobility, partnership, and various key areas.
He also emphasized the issue in relation to abandoned properties.
“The difficulty has been getting ownership of these properties,” he said. “In the first instance, we are not looking for ownership, we are looking for partnership.”
For example, he stated that if the department observes that a property is abandoned, the department can pursue a lease agreement with the owner for a set amount of time for the property to be developed and then later returned.
“I know as well that the Attorney General’s Office is collaborating with urban development, and we are looking into legislation on how we deal with abandoned properties because we have found that there are a lot of properties, especially around Basseterre where there is difficulty getting to owners and they are health hazards and security hazards,” said Mr. Boddie.