The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) signed an MOU with Kingston Creative to form a strategic alliance that will advance the mandate of the JCC to develop an improved Central Business District, which includes a vibrant Arts District. This partnership leverages the UNESCO designation of Kingston as a Creative City of Music and will catalyse much needed economic and social benefits for residents, communities and businesses.
Downtown Kingston has a rich history, and while music, creativity and culture are deeply etched into its foundations, the city is suffering from crime and urban decay. With the recent investments by entities like Pan Jam in the ROK Hotel and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the City of Kingston’s steady investment in transforming Water Lane and its environs into a tourism hub, momentum is building to transform Downtown’s infrastructure, buildings, public art and green spaces, creating a ‘Block of Excellence’ in the heart of Jamaica’s capital city.
Many of the JCC’s members have been headquartered in Downtown Kingston for generations and are passionate about its redevelopment. The partners believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy a safe, livable, prosperous city. The objective of the partnership is to develop an exemplary area between Tower Street and Ocean Boulevard which will be a pilot project that shows how art, creative placemaking, infrastructure upgrades and urban regeneration can improve the space in which Jamaicans live, work and play. The vision puts people and their built environment first. The hope is that this will drive the regeneration of Downtown Kingston and accelerate innovation, monetization and the city’s overall global competitiveness.
“Our organisation is made up of businesses and professionals working together to ensure the most favourable environment for the effective and profitable operation of businesses, and to build and promote a healthy economy and improve the quality of life in Jamaica,” commented JCC President Ian Neita. “We see partnerships between the third sector and private sector as critical to success. Ultimately, our hope is that the Downtown Kingston area will become an inclusive and inspiring space to live and work, and a shining example of what civil society and corporate cooperation can achieve.”
“Our vision is that Kingston is the creative capital of the Caribbean” said Director and Art District lead Doris Gross. “As an NGO, our mission is to help creatives to succeed by providing the necessary training, resources, and environment, so that they can create economic and social value, gain access to global markets and have a positive impact on their local communities. This partnership with the JCC will start to visibly demonstrate what the City of Kingston can become, and hopefully everyone will be inspired to get involved in restoring the heart of Kingston.”
This partnership between the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Kingston Creative is in furtherance of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and Vision 2030 for Jamaica.