Monday, April 15, 2024

IDB launches Sustainable Cities Action Plan for Belize City


Belize City. August 8th, 2019. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Emerging and Sustainable Cities (ESC) Action Plan for Belize City – Rediscover, Reconnect, that offers a blueprint for how the city can prioritize its urban policies, projects and actions over the next 15-20 years in order to follow a more sustainable and resilient growth and development trajectory.

Left to right: Mrs. Sharon Ramclam-Young (Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance, Labour, Local
Government, Rural Development, Energy, Public Utilities, Public Service and Elections and
Boundaries), Cassandra T. Rogers (Country Representative-Belize, IDB) and His Worship Mr. Bernard
Wagner (Mayor of Belize City Council)

The result of a fruitful collaboration between the IDB and the Government of Belize through the Belize City Council, the Action Plan identifies key challenges faced by the city and recommends prioritized short-, medium- and long-term actions that are realistic, achievable and crosscutting in nature. The Action Plan is based on 10 technical studies on various urban and environmental challenges faced by the city, including an opinion and perceptions survey administered to 1,200 residents and an origin-destination survey conducted to assess transit patterns and behavior. According to this research, some of the most critical areas identified are vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change mitigation; sanitation, drainage and solid waste management; energy; land use planning, zoning and urban mobility; and employment, education and citizen security. As a result of an extensive participatory planning process involving consultations with community members, technical experts in the public and private sector and civil society groups, these priorities were translated into actions that are considered to be cost-effective and could have the greatest impact. The recommended actions that address these priority areas include the following projects: city branding and wayfinding; zoning ordinance development; community-led initiatives; building capacity of local government; reorientation and resilience to water; and plan making (comprehensive, land use, and small area and development plans). The ESC methodology was created in 2010 by the IDB as a technical assistance tool to respond to the rapid and largely unregulated urbanization occurring in Latin American and Caribbean cities. So far, it has been implemented in over 75 cities across the region. The Belize ESC Action Plan was prepared with the support of IDB grant financing in the amount of USD1.1 million.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region. The IDB is the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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