Barbados Physical Development Plan Amendment: Toward a Green, Prosperous and Resilient Nation
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Urban Strategies Consultancy commissioned by the Barbados Ministry of Health and the Environment
The policies contained in the Physical Development Plan, 2003 were reviewed, refined and augmented during the PDP Amendment process. This process involved a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of the existing policies, an assessment of recent development and settlement patterns, and consideration of critical new factors, initiatives and commitments, including the Greening the Economy Scoping Strategy, Habitat III New Urban Agenda, COP 21 Paris Agreement on climate change, UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription for Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative. This analysis was detailed in the following background reports:
• Background Review Sectoral Reports (24)
• White Paper: Key Considerations for the PDP Amendment
• Recommended Priority Policies Memorandum
• Development Studies, including Major Development Applications, Vacant Lands, Plot Coverage and assessment of the IRDP policies
Definition of City
a) The Community Cores will continue to play a key role as the heart of communities with the highest levels of service, offering daily amenities, heritage assets and infrastructure. As a result, reinvestment will be the focus in historic cores and reurbanization and infill in emerging cores.
b) The Urban Corridor, refined to reflect 2016 settlement patterns, will be the focus for new development and growth, recognizing that this is where the greatest existing and planned concentration of population and jobs, infrastructure and development exists.
c) Stable Suburban Areas will be the focus for infill or completion of existing neighbourhoods and approved development with an emphasis on introducing more locally based amenity and mobility options.
d) The Rural Working Landscape will continue to function as a predominantly rural stable area dominated by food, agriculture, natural resources and pockets of rural settlements.
e) The Barbados National Park will continue to be conserved for its distinct characteristic of ecosystems, agriculture and rural settlements that exist within the protected landscape.
• The development and growth patterns over the last two decades are not sustainable over the long term
• Approved development has significantly impacted agricultural and water resources and health of natural ecosystems
• New growth at the fringe has happened at the expense of historic community cores and existing settlements
• There is a growing infrastructure deficit
• Climate change places a binding constraint on future development
Land Use and Built Form Policies
This section provides guidance on permitted uses, design strategies, and general and specific policies that apply within the 13 land use designations on the island.
Urban strategic objectives
1. The distinct role and identity of each Community Core within the wider community will be strengthened by directing intensification and mixed-use development to these places.
2. Community Cores are intended to function as centres with a higher level of service for their surrounding areas. As such, the Government will continue to provide a range of services in Community Cores.
3. A range of housing types, including seniors and affordable housing, are appropriate for Community Cores to build on existing community assets and services
4. Community Cores may be appropriate locations for multi-family, multi-storey buildings. Built Form Controls are found in Section 3 for Centres and mMixed Uses Corridors in the Settlement Area.
5. An enhanced mobility system will be focused in the Community Cores that will be the locations for transit terminals and park and ride facilities, as per Section 2.6.
6. Walkability and accessibility will be encouraged in the Community Cores to ensure Community Cores function as local service centres for residents of all ages and abilities.
7. An open space strategy for community cores will link together high quality parks, open spaces and a strong relationship to the waterfront, where applicable. Where possible, the open space strategy will address the Natural Heritage System and functions within the community.
8. Cultural heritage assets within community cores will be identified and enhanced as key to community character and incorporated into place making strategies.
9. Vacant and abandoned buildings will be considered prime locations for reinvestment and revitalization, in particular cultural heritage resources within Community Cores that may be in disrepair.
10. Design strategies will ensure adaptability of community cores to the impacts of climate change, in particular sea level rise and storm surge.
11. Employment and commercial uses will be encouraged in Community Core which are scaled appropriately to the community.
The Community Plans provide additional policy direction for the community core and is designed to be read in conjunction with the national Physical Development Plan policies. It provides a framework for continued investment and development in the different identified community cores.
Addressing the urgency of climate change: As a SIDS, Barbados is at significant risk of experiencing the negative effects associated with climate change. To respond to this reality, the PDP must introduce new policy directions that focus on resiliency and adaptation strategies.
Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) share the common foci of reducing national and community vulnerability and contributing to resilient and sustainable development in the face of climate variability and climate change.
The Government will utilise Information Management as a key tool to minimize natural hazard and climate change risk.
The Natural Heritage System will be valued as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change and the related risks of natural disasters. It contributes to climate change adaptation through the conservation of a range of ecosystem services (provisioning, protection, regulation, listed below) that will in turn confer reduced vulnerability to, and enhance resiliency of, human populations, infrastructure, and sectoral undertakings in the face of evolving natural hazard and climate change threats.
Food and agriculture: Risk mitigation measures including water storage, rainwater harvesting, improved drainage, storm water management and efficient irrigation.
Vision for Barbados over the next 10 years: "A nation which fosters a green economy focused on strategies to enhance resource efficiency and economic growth, in particular in the sectors of agriculture, fisheries, housing, transportation, renewable energy and tourism.; A nation which is resilient and prepared for the impacts of climate change."
The Plan includes 10 Community Plans, including measures on climate change resiliency, including adaptation and mitigation measures and disaster risk preparedness.
The main purposes of the Physical Development Plan are to:
• Foster the economic, environmental, physical and social well-being of the residents of Barbados;
• Address the critical impacts of climate change on Barbados as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) through policies and strategies that enable the people of Barbados to thrive and remain resilient under changing climatic conditions;
• Establish a vision to guide the future form of development with respect to land use, settlement patterns, food production, infrastructure, mobility and environmental management;
• Guide the future form of development on the island and inform the public, business and government sectors as to the nature, scope and location of both development and protection areas for core assets; and
• Provide a clear and accessible framework for private and public investment in the physical environment
The Physical Development Plan seeks to achieve a vision for Barbados over the next 10 years as:
• A nation of healthy, safe, distinct and age- and gender-responsive communities sharing a common economic base and community aspiration.
• A nation in which resilient, sustainable economic and physical growth are balanced with conservation and restoration of irreplaceable resources, rural working landscapes, cultural heritage and natural heritage.
• A nation which fosters a green economy focused on strategies to enhance resource efficiency and economic growth, in particular in the sectors of agriculture, fisheries, housing, transportation, renewable energy and tourism.
• A nation characterized by increasing social equity enabling meaningful participation in social and economic activities for all.
• A nation which is resilient and prepared for the impacts of climate change.
The following principles underlie the policies of this Plan:
• The efficient use of land, resources and finances of the nation.
• The adoption of adaptive planning approaches in all aspects of national and sectoral planning for the consideration of climate variability and climate change impacts.
• The promotion of social equity, health and safety for all residents.
• The conservation, protection and restoration of irreplaceable core assets and man-made resources.
• The development of safe, vibrant places for people to live, work and play.
• The management of growth so that it occurs in a safe, logical and orderly fashion ensuring protection of core assets, reduction of environmental risks and ecological scarcities, promotion of sustainable development and efficiency in delivery of infrastructure.
Promoting Sustainable Development
- Settlement structure
- Managing steady state growth
- Communities and housing
- Social and community facilities
Protecting Core Assets
- Food and Agriculture
- Natural Heritage System
- Natural Park
- Cultural Heritage
- Community Core
Greening the Economy
- Employment and economy
- Sustainable tourism
Advancing mobility and accessibility
- Active transportation
- Water transport
- Public Transit
- Parking Planning for National Infrastructure
- Renewable energy
- Solid waste management
- Air transport
- Bridgetown port
- Road network
- Water and sewage infrastructure
Although there is no specific gender goal, the Physical Development Plan seeks to achieve a vision for Barbados over the next 10 years, stating a commitment: "A nation of healthy, safe, distinct and age- and gender-responsive communities sharing a common economic base and community aspiration.
Point 2.4 on Advancing Mobility and Accessibility also states that "the Governments will promote access for all to safe, age and gender-responsive, affordable, accessible, and sustainable urban mobility and land and sea transport systems, in accordance with the objectives of the New Urban Agenda ratified during Habitat III."
Representative sample of Cities
Six cross roads
St. David’s to six cross roads