Mechanism of articulation/coordination between sectorial and land planning in Trinidad and Tobago
Land planning in Trinidad and Tobago is regulated by the Town and Country Act (1960) and shaped by the National Spatial Development Strategy (2012)
The Town and Country Act has the purpose of regulating rural and urban land use and development. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government and the Ministry of Planning and Development are in charge of the coordination and articulation of physical, socioeconomic and environmental planning through a physical development plan which is formulated with the support of an Advisory Town Planning Panel.
The National Spatial Development Strategy changes the approach of physical development established by the mentioned Act and it formulates a more comprehensive perspective as it addresses economic, social and environmental issues trying to reach an optimal use for the national land. This Strategy proposes a horizontal articulation with the objectives and priorities of socioeconomic development, providing a spatial framework for sectoral development and a vertical articulation through spatial development policy guidelines to be implemented through regional and local planning. Regional planning, in turn, establishes the regional framework for land use that local plans should consider.
Environmental management also affects land planning through the conservation and preservation of natural resources regulation. In this matter, the Environmental Management Act (2000) establishes a National Sustainable Development Policy and Strategy, assigning responsibility for its formulation and implementation to the Environmental Management Authority. One of this authority’s functions is to guarantee the establishment of an integrated system of environmental management that facilitates the government entities’ coordination in order to harmonize environmental protection and conservation activities.
The Ministry of Planning and Development is in charge of the intersectoral coordination and it should promote the articulation of different policies, strategies and development plans. For this purpose, the Ministry has three organs: the Planning and Environmental Policy Division; The Planning and Socioeconomic Policies Division and the Urban and Rural Planning Division.
The Vision 2030- The National Development Strategy of Trinidad y Tobago, which was recently launched by the national government builds the pathway to the future that will transform Trinidad and Tobago into a developed country, sustaining growth and development and optimising the quality of life of all citizens. This Vision 2030 is intended to provide for an orderly long-term development process, inclusive of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Regional planning constitutes the intermediate level of government and has become more important because of the regional approach of the National Spatial Development Strategy. The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development is in charge of promoting the coordination and articulation between the regional the spatial development actions and the environmental and sectoral development planning.