Jamaica Observer / Dear Editor:
The idea of creating a third city, being pursued by the UDC, headed by Dr Damian Graham, if I understand what was stated in the Observer, dated February 10th, is folly:
This idea, of creating a city, has artificiality written all over it. It is the most ridiculous, most asinine, most idiotic decision in the history of Jamaica.
You don’t “create” a city. I city is one social entity that evolves naturally. Overtime, it stakes out its own space, importance, and ultimately, its survival. History will bear us well on this point. Granted, if Jamaica had oodles of cash, like Dubai, then it would be a possibility, we could create our own “New Dubai”. On that note, New Kingston, grew naturally, out of a need to relocate, because down-town Kingston, was dying rapidly.
And, why on earth do we want two-thirds of the population living in cities???
Is it just because some “first world”, so-called think-tank, has come up with this idea?
Have we not known that what is good for Paulette, might not be that good for Paul?
Why wi suh falla-fashin?
There are compelling reasons why Kingston and MoBay, are over-populated, traffic-congested, driven to dereliction, lacking in vital amenities, and a long list of other issues. Those reasons, are precisely due to the reality that Kingston and MoBay, have what it takes, naturally, for cities to survive. So, people keep gravitating to where they can earn, learn, and socialize.
These requisite features, to make a city survive, are not altogether, man-made. They cannot be put in place, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. For instance, Kingston grew into the city it became, because it had a natural harbour, a train terminal, and land that was easy to develop into a pattern of organized roads. Same thing for Mobay. So, they held their own over time.
I must add, that part of why Kingston, and MoBay, are now struggling, is because, one vital aspect – the rail system ( JRC ), was gutted. Many current ills facing both these cities can be traced back to the time the train stop running.
I could go on and on, as to why this idea of creating a city is mad. It is no consolation knowing that, in time, this fake city will fail, however “smart” you might make it. Some people, so caught up in what they think must be done, forget about consequences. Only when their efforts fall flat, do they concede.
Would it not make far, far more sense, to restore life as it were, down the middle of Jamaica – Cambridge, Maggotty, Siloah, Mile Gully, Porus, Williamsfield, Spanish Town, and all the other towns that once had active train stations, and so, has potential for rebirth, growth and all that is modern; and by so doing, take some of the pressure off of the existing cities, than to experiment with “creating” a city???
Furthermore, this age of high technology affords all that is required to be productive, without being in the same physical space. It’s the greatest offering of the internet, that we can communicate without being packed within shouting distance. This alone is reason to consider developing many small but distributed areas.
A third, “smart city” – a very, very, dumb idea.