Suriname, 29 April 2016 – Participants at a recent workshop have highlighted the need for a mult-stakeholder, participatory approach to urban development. Leading up to the Caribbean Urban Forum 6 (CUF6) in Paramaribo, Suriname, UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Design Lab hosted the planning workshop on Sustainable Urban Development in Paramaribo, Suriname.

A total of 50 participants attended the session, including Suriname officials, urban specialists from the Caribbean Region, academics and students from Paramaribo. The Urban Planning and Design Lab is currently coordinating Urban Labs in Haiti and Belize, within the Region. This one day Rapid Planning Exercise in Paramaribo was based on the approach developed by the Lab in the Caribbean and in thirty other cities globally.

Coordination between different sectors and government bodies needed

During the workshop, participants engaged in collaborative dialogue and debate to identify and prioritize key planning challenges in Paramaribo. Key issues emanating from the dialogues included flood prevention, inner-city regeneration and public transport, coupled with cross cutting issues such as the urgency to develop a multi-stakeholder, participatory approach. The necessity for coordination between the different sectors and government bodies responsible for urban development in Paramaribo was also highlighted.

The planning workshop further outlined the challenges encountered in developing integrated urban projects that are viable for implementation. The outcomes of the workshop will feed into the 6th Caribbean Urban Forum which will offer the opportunity to further the discussion and consider best practices in the region. The event was jointly organized with the Caribbean Planners Association, Suriname Planners Association and CUF6 Secretariat.

Urban Lab calls for multi-stakeholder approach to urbanization in Caribbean