Montego Bay is composed of 38 neighborhoods, with a combined population of 110,115. An absence of regulation and urban growth management has led to large, widespread, unplanned new developments in areas unfit for urbanization, such as areas exposed to natural hazards (e.g. flooding and landslides). Today, the historic city center of Montego Bay suffers from a housing shortage and high road congestion, mainly caused by vehicular traffic and an inefficient public transportation system. The downtown area has become a central business district with banks, services, a public library, markets, schools, hospitals, and clinics, fulfilling many important functions and uses. However, the commercialization of the downtown area has resulted in a decline of its importance as a hospitality center and residential area.
To achieve the general planning goals, strategic activities shall be undertaken that will be addressed in integrated projects. The three local projects are: (1) New Waterfront; (2) Integral Neighborhood Upgrading Strategy and Pilot Downtown Housing Project; and (3) Revitalization of the Charles Gordon Market. Other recommended actions as part of the urban strategy are (1) the Downtown Walkability Project, a pedestrian-friendly corridor between the most important spots in the city center; (2) the Rehabilitation Project of Historic Landmarks aims to preserve landmarks and proposes the revitalization of heritage sites in order to support the local identity and create new sources of income for the people of Montego Bay; (3) the Sustainable Mobility Program proposes a properly designed public transportation system and the introduction of bus routes to efficiently serve the communities—this will meaningfully improve the quality of life of residents by contributing to public order and reducing congestion in the city.
August to October, 2013
Authors: Roland Krebs, Sabrina Ehrenhöfer, Klaus Kodydek, Peter Scheibstock