The National Spatial Development Strategy (NSDS) provides the framework for decisions about the ways in which the national space will be used and developed over the next decade and beyond. In this context, ‘space’ includes the land, water and air, for which the people and Government of Trinidad and Tobago are responsible. The NSDS is intended to cover the ten-year period from 2013 to 2023, working towards a vision of desired progress that could be achieved within twenty years - by 2033. The intention is to monitor progress towards that vision – the destination being aimed for - so that the Strategy can be regularly reviewed and amended, and updated as necessary.

While land-use planning has traditionally focused on the regulation and control of land, spatial planning takes a wider, more inclusive approach. By addressing economic, social and environmental matters in an integrated way, it aims to balance and mediate between competing demands, seeking to achieve optimum use of the national space as a crucial resource. Spatial planning considers all matters that influence, and are influenced by, the ways in which space is used. This includes, for example, transport and movement; health and health-care; education; employment; and, crime deterrence. By considering the interrelationships between such a wide range of factors, spatial planning can provide a key delivery mechanism for achieving sustainable development.

Consequently, the NSDS will give clear direction toward holistically resolving the following national issues in an integrated way:  

- Hillside development

- Housing provision

- Land Use conflicts

- The Growth Poles

- Disaster vulnerability