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Jamaica’s First “Smart City?”

Above: the audience at the Western Jamaica Economic Forum

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Could Montego Bay become Jamaica’s first “Smart City?”

That’s the possibility under the Inter-American Development Bank’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, which will be launched next year.

Jamaica’s Local and Community Development Minister Noel Arscott said the forecast was based on work so far undertaken by the St James Parish Council under the initiative, a two-year development programme funded by the IDB.

“I want to commend the St. James Parish Council for taking up an offer that I made, which is the Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative, which seeks to explore the potential of the city,” Arscott said. “We expect by February next year that we will be in a position where the programme will be launched.”

The purpose of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities initiative is to help growing cities in the region “identify, sort and prioritize long-term infrastructure and sustainability projects to improve the quality of life,” according to the IDB.

A number of Caribbean cities are already part of the plan, including Bridgetown, Port of Spain, Barranquilla and in northern Haiti.

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