International Development Planning Review

Adopting integrated coastal planning and management: A case study of Trinidad

International Development Planning Review (2002), 24, (3), 227–248.

Abstract

Land reclamation and the building of coastal structures often take place in response to demands from tourism, industry and the upper-income housing market. The development strategy for islands is to capture the high amenity value of the coast and to provide 'solution space' for congested urban areas. However, in the absence of a strategic statutory planning framework or clear policy guidelines, ad hoc decisions are made that compromise feasible future development options, compromise the capture of higher land rents, undermine the provision of solution space and increase user conflicts. Once approvals are granted such development is, unfortunately, irreversible. From the perspective of private sector developers, policy guidelines for land reclamation and coastal structures are unclear, fragmented jurisdiction is scattered among a number of agencies, and inadequate administrative procedures compound uncertainties and delays. Private developers are also using these institutional deficiencies as loopholes to proceed with illegal land reclamation and coastal structures. Using Trinidad as a case study, this paper addresses the problems associated with the lack of integrated coastal planning and management (ICPM). It examines a model for ICPM, impediments to such an approach, steps taken towards ICPM in Trinidad, and conclusions that can be drawn from the experience, including prospects for future success.1

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Mycoo, Michelle