- The green economy: a strategic approach to sustainable urban development in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS).   click here to open paper content460 kb
by    Arthur, Martha Jillyan | marthajarthur@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Adopting a green economy approach in the Caribbean could provide a
framework whereby decisions and strategies regarding cities and urban
centres can promote resource efficiency, effective environmental management
and a better standard of living for urban residents.
Abstract
Two major development issues facing the Caribbean are the challenges of
rapid urban growth and the impacts of climate change. Caribbean countries
are now facing an urban future, placing cities at the centre of the
sustainable urban development debate. It is estimated that the Caribbean is
now 75% urban with variations in urban growth patterns across countries
(Cohen 2003). Urban development challenges such as growing informal
settlements, peri-urbanism, increasing demands on services such as water
and sanitation and urban crime are becoming a common feature of Caribbean
cities.

Added to this the impacts of global climate change threaten the
environmental and economic stability of Caribbean SIDS. In 2007 the Inter-
governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that there was clear
warming of the climate and provided evidence on the anthropogenic
contributions to climate change. While the regionís contribution to global
climate change is negligible, rising sea levels and hydro-metrological
risks due to this warming is detrimental to Caribbean islands. The IPCC
projected that in the Caribbean there was ďa mean relative sea level rise
of 1mm/yr during the 20th centuryĒ. This presents a challenge for Caribbean
countries since much of the built development and critical infrastructure
is located along the coast and more than half the population live with in
1.5km of the shoreline (Mimura et al, 2007).

Although Caribbean governments have National Development Strategies most of
these do not have a clear urban focus addressing the specific challenges
faced in cities and urban areas. This paper therefore seeks to generate
discussion on the urban specificity of the green economy concept and to
highlight the potential advantages to Caribbean cities.

It discusses strategies and policy initiatives for greening the urban
sector in the Caribbean through efficient energy use and resource
consumption in the key areas of transportation, urban form, the built
environment and the cross cutting issues of water, waste management and
sanitation. The Paper also argues that implementing green economy
strategies can support more sustainable consumption practices, and can
encourage well designed compact urban spaces that promote more efficient
urban infrastructure and service delivery.

Ultimately the paper concludes that implementing the green economy in the
urban sector initiatives can address many urban development challenges,
while taking into account the regionís intrinsic vulnerabilities.
Keywords
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