Caribbean Urban Forum 2019 – June 12- 14, 2019
Disaster & Climate change resilient
planning in the Caribbean
The Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners (TTSP) will host the 9th Annual Caribbean Urban Forum (CUF), 12th-14th June, 2019 in conjunction with the Town and Country Planning Division, Ministry of Planning and Development (TCPD). Co-hosts include the Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management (CNULM) based at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, and other regional and international organizations. The Forum brings together land use practitioners, municipal managers, policy makers, academics and allied professionals in an effort to address urban issues in the region.
This year, the theme is Urban Resilience: Disaster and Climate Change Resilient Planning in the Caribbean. In the 2017 Hurricane season, one of the worst in memory, the exposure of most of the Caribbean to natural disasters and the impacts of Climate Change was evident. Much analysis of the vulnerability of our societies to these phenomena has been undertaken, and remedial post-disaster actions and planning initiated. It is now useful to critically examine where we are, and possible new directions. This year’s theme thus aims to bring to the fore the annual problems experienced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as it relates to hazards and its relationship with Climate Change. Response mechanisms prior, during and after disasters will be discussed, with a common theme on how we can strengthen current systems.
A clear understanding of Disaster and Climate Change Resilience Planning is essential to evolving policies to counter treats. Gathering of data, analysis, modeling and forecasting are all integral to management of these interactive processes.
On its ninth year, the Caribbean Urban Forum will further enhance the common learning ground for Disaster and Climate Change Resilience Planning among and between a diverse body of disciplines, backgrounds and expertise. The Forum is a continuing opportunity to proactively engage subject matter experts who provide current scientific data and research findings on Disaster and Climate Change Resilient Planning, which can then be used by the various stakeholders for decision-making processes and management practices.
Additionally, 2019 will be the 50th Anniversary of Statutory Town and Country Planning in Trinidad and Tobago, and provides a good opportunity to see how institutional planning is evolving, not just in this country, but the rest of the Caribbean, especially with respect to these most serious challenges.
Analysis of susceptibility and resilience of the existing context
The existing urban and settlement patterns, forms and land use trends generally contribute to their susceptibility and resilience to natural events and climate change. Analysis and methodologies for mapping and analyzing existing settlements and land use patterns would be one area in which papers are invited. These would include information from remote sensing data and how this can be captured to inform community-based methods and complementary infrastructure such as an NSDI. Are current tools adequate for supporting decisions at different levels?
Existing planning methodologies and processes
There are existing and evolving land use planning and urban management methodologies and processes that either address, or do not address, the issues of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). Some were in place prior to the 2017 Hurricane season, and some have been introduced or amended subsequent to that period. Papers analyzing such methodologies, their evolution and their usefulness are invited. Comparative international experiences are also welcomed. What is the role of education? What tools are available to access useful and credible climate data, information and knowledge on climate vulnerability and risk?
Capacity building and outreach activities
Greater awareness and capacity of institutions and professionals involved in planning and urban management at all levels is important to addressing Climate Change and DRR. Have our training institutions and programmes adequately addressed these issues? What are other strategies for in-service upgrading of technical staff in government, and improving awareness and adherence to new practices in the private sector and communities? What has been working in the Caribbean or comparative contexts? Papers addressing these issues are invited.
National, Regional and International Initiatives
Because of the limitations of size, capacity and resources in most Caribbean countries, improvements in dealing with Climate Change and natural events cannot be fully developed at the national levels. There have been various regional and international initiatives and networks, which support national governments in national activities. What are some of the examples and possibilities of such capacity available to the region and what are some areas in which action and capacity is needed? What are the best practices for the implementation of adaptation and risk reduction measures within SIDS? What good examples exist on the implementation of integrated approaches in dealing with climate-induced hazards and disasters? What can we learn from the implementation of specific adaptation case-studies? Papers addressing these issues are invited.
Statutory, policy and standards reform
2019 will be the 50th Anniversary of Statutory Planning in Trinidad and Tobago, and substantial statutory and institutional reform is being undertaken. For many countries in the English-speaking Caribbean, their planning systems were modeled on post-World War II British models. Similar statutory and institutional reforms are thus taking place in many parts of the Caribbean. To what extent do these reforms include the requirements of the agendas of Climate Change and DRR, SDG II, the New Urban Agenda, and the imperatives of the Blue Economy and Blue Urbanism?
For further information on general conference as well as the events being held prior to CUF2019, please contact:
Mr. Stephen Boodhram
Chair, Local Organising Committee
Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners
Phone (868) 722-3165