A Vision of T&T in 2033
By 2033 Trinidad and Tobago will be a place where people enjoy high quality of life within a safe and healthy environment.
The country will be a hub of innovation-driven economic prosperity focused on sustainable development and environmentally sensitive design standards. Both urban and rural areas will provide good employment opportunities, and city and town centres will cater equitably for residents’ and visitors’ needs through the provision of shopping, commercial, recreation and cultural facilities and education and health services, in peaceful secure, accessible and healthy environments.
Food and energy security will be achieved through innovation, diversification and targeted investment in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.
An efficient, integrated and sustainable transport system will link homes, jobs and key services while reducing dependence on private car use and making alternatives more viable and more attractive to use. Benefits of reduced congestion and pollution will be felt in improved productivity, better health and reduced stress, all supporting a stronger economy.
The benefits of an enhanced quality of life based on sustainable development will be shared across the nation, urban and rural areas alike, so that disadvantage, deprivation and poverty are eradicated.
People will be actively involved in the planning of their national and local environments and management of change will be based on transparent and consultative decision-making processes.
Objectives & Policies
The NSDS is structured around 12 objectives. These are closely aligned to the Vision, and also reflect aims and objectives set out in other national and sub-national policies that provide the wider context.
The objectives, grouped within 3 key themes, are set within an overarching goal of delivering sustainable development.
Objectives are an important element of any strategy because they provide the foundations upon which policies are built and pursued.
Aiming for Sustainability
Strong & Resilient Communities
Building a sustainable future lies at the heart of the vision for Trinidad and Tobago – aiming for people and communities to flourish, prosper and enjoy healthy lives, while also playing their part in maintaining natural resources locally and globally. Sustainable development is, therefore, the overarching aim of the Strategy, embracing all the objectives set out under the other themes.
Objective: To achieve sustainable development nationally, based on the concept of Harmonised Regional Development
Policy 1: Supporting Sustainable Development
Planning Authorities should work with other government and public agencies and partners in all sectors, local communities, developers and others to achieve sustainable development in respect of social, economic and environmental change within Trinidad and Tobago.
Building strong, diverse regions
Objective: To maintain and enhance regional diversity whilst establishing a mutually supportive hierarchy of thriving, resilient and attractive centres to provide accessible services for residents and visitors.
Policy 2: Sustainable Regional Development
Requires Planning Authorities to give effect to the Regional Planning Guidance set out in chapter 6 of the NSDS. It also places a duty on Planning Authorities to cooperate on spatial planning issues that cross administrative boundaries.
Policy 3: Promoting sustainable urban and rural development
Sets out spatial design principles for bringing about more efficient, more inclusive, more attractive and more sustainable places in both urban and rural locations.
Building Places for People
Objective: To ensure that all citizens are able to pursue their working and domestic lives in a peaceful and secure environment.
Policy 4: Designing and creating places for people
Sets out a framework, which puts urban, landscape, architectural and environmental design considerations at the core of the NSDS.
Policy 5: Planning for healthy communities
Places a requirement on Planning Authorities to consider the individual elements of the built environment that contribute to community life in an integrated and holistic manner.
Policy 6: Involving people in planning
Recognises that community involvement can help to achieve people-centred sustainable development and requires Planning Authorities to establish protocols to enable active participation in planning processes.
Delivering the homes we need
Objective: To meet the housing needs of all sections of the population.
Policy 7: Meeting housing needs
Establishes a framework for evidence based and up to date planning to meet the housing requirements of each region.
Policy 8: Planning to improve conditions for squatters
Requires Planning Authorities to plan positively for improvement of informal settlements where appropriate and prioritising urban / brownfield land when relocation is required.
Valuing our cultural heritage
Objective: To ensure that the social, economic, spiritual and environmental value of all aspects of Trinidad and Tobago’s diverse cultural heritage is recognised in decision-making and investment choices.
Policy 9: Priorities for culture, sport and recreation
Places a requirement on Planning Authorities to take a flexible and forward looking approach to planning for facilities and spaces to support participation in cultural, sporting and recreational activities at a range of levels.
Policy 10: Planning positively for our historic environment
Recognises the value of the historic environment and the importance of its protection and places a duty on Planning Authorities to consider these issues.
Building a competitive, innovation-driven economy
Objective: To diversify and strengthen the economic base and to create and support conditions that enable all to participate and benefit.
Policy 11A: Leaving no one behind and Policy 11B: Area-based economic priorities
Set out the economic considerations that should be taken into account when making plans and planning decisions. Policy 11A establishes broad principles and Policy 11B requires Planning Authorities to support the Government’s economic growth priorities, including the Growth Poles strategy.
Achieving food security
Objective: To foster the conditions for a more prosperous agricultural sector and reduce the national food import bill.
Policy 12: Planning for agriculture and fisheries
Restricts further loss of agricultural land and requires that the necessary buildings, infrastructure and facilities be considered positively in planning processes.
Using our natural resources sustainably
Objective: To recognise the value of natural resources (including land, air and sea) and to ensure that they are used in sustainable ways, differentiating appropriately between those that are renewable and those that are finite.
Policy 13: Sustainable use of natural resources
Is an overarching environmental policy that sets out principles to protect environmental resources and assets and mitigate any harmful impacts of development.
Policy 14: Landscape management
Places a requirement on Planning Authorities to consider, protect and preserve the distinctive landscape characteristics of defined Landscape Management Zones.
Policy 15: A coordinated approach to water resources and water quality
Sets out a series of requirements to ensure that water management issues and planning decisions are integrated.
Policy 16: Coastal and marine resource considerations
Sets out a series of requirements to ensure that development in the coastal zone does not adversely impact on coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
Policy 17: Air quality
Seeks to ensure that air quality issues and considerations are fully integrated into planning processes and decisions.
Policy 18: Sustainable mineral use
Requires Planning Authorities to plan positively to meet the demand for mineral resources by safeguarding sites in appropriate locations, whilst ensuring that social and environmental impacts are adequately assessed.
Policy 19: Sustainable energy extraction
Seeks to ensure that demand for energy and needs of energy-related industries are properly planned for.
Meeting the challenges of climate change
Objective: To adapt the ways in which we live, build, travel, and communicate so as to maximise resilience to the effects and impacts of climate change and to reduce contributions to factors that are adding to it.
Policy 20: Managing hazard risk
Establishes a sequential and risk-assessment-based approach to spatial planning responses to potential hazards including: flooding; landslides; wild fire; storms and tornadoes; tsunamis and coastal hazards; earthquakes; and hurricanes. This policy requires due account to be taken of climate change impacts.
Moving towards sustainable transport
Objective: To coordinate the use and development of land and the provision of transport infrastructure so as to reduce traffic congestion and promote more efficient, less wasteful and less polluting modes of travel.
Policy 21: Prioritising sustainable transport
Establishes a framework to ensure that planning decisions and processes contribute to the development of sustainable transport provision.
Making the most of Information and Communications Technologies
Objective: To support the expansion and efficient use of electronic communications networks, including telecommunications and high speed broadband.
Policy 22: Priorities for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
Seeks to ensure that the role of ICT and the requirements of associated infrastructure are integrated into planning decisions and processes.
Generating and using energy sustainably
Objective: To reduce social and economic reliance on non-renewable energy sources and to promote and facilitate the development of more sustainable and environment-friendly alternatives.
Policy 23: Energy efficiency
Requires Planning Authorities to apply the ‘energy hierarchy’ (energy reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean and efficient use of non-renewables) to decisions and plan-making processes.
Managing waste safely and efficiently
Objective: To manage the generation, treatment and disposal of both solid and liquid waste in ways that safeguard human health and protect the environment.
Policy 24: Waste management
Seeks to ensure that waste management issues are properly integrated into decisions and plan-making processes.
Harmonised Regional Development
Three broad spatial development options were considered and evaluated during the preparation of the NSDS: Concentrated Development, Dispersed Development and Harmonised Regional Development. Harmonised Regional Development emerged as the preferred option and provides the basis for the NSDS.
The Harmonised Regional Development approach, when allied with other national and sub-national policies and interventions, is designed to facilitate:
- sustainable and equitable levels of economic prosperity and employment;
- diversification of the economy away from dependence on hydrocarbon based sectors towards priority strategic sectors such as maritime, tourism, agriculture, and cultural and knowledge-based industries;
- overall improvement in quality of life for most citizens;
- reduced disparity between rich and poor and less social exclusion;
- improved accessibility to employment opportunities, service provision and cultural and recreational facilities;
- and, a sustainable relationship between economic and social activities and the natural environment.
Integrated Planning Regions
The NSDS process has provided the opportunity to reassess the direction the nation should take and the different circumstances, threats and opportunities that parts of the islands face. In doing so the need to support strong and stable communities through Harmonised Regional Development has been identified as the most appropriate approach to development.
Unplanned urbanisation and insufficient economic activity in rural areas have contributed to unsustainable development patterns. Four improvement opportunities were identified:
- Urban Renaissance – developing the major urban clusters in such a way that they can increasingly meet their own economic and social needs and enhance the identity of individual settlement centres;
- Rural Renaissance – addressing more effectively the major changes which are challenging the traditional roles of rural areas;
- Diversifying and modernising the economy – ensuring that opportunities for growth are linked to meeting needs and that they help reduce social deprivation; and
- Modernising the transport infrastructure – supporting the sustainable development of the whole country.
It will not be enough to tackle these challenges in isolation from each other. They must be addressed simultaneously and as different aspects of the same issues. In light of the issues and strategic solutions discussed above, nine Integrated Planning Regions (IPRs) have been identified as functional units for the purposes of rational planning and areaspecific strategy formulation
The following documents describe the process of preparing the NSDS, the methodologies used, alternatives strategies that were considered, etc. A large amount of factual information was gathered and analysed during the preparation of this Strategy, providing an evidence base to inform its Vision, Objectives and Policies.