Changing perspectives

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Greenspace

Driving along Harbour Drive in George Town isn’t something I do every day so I was rather delighted to spot this mural in progress as I dropped my niece off for her summer internship.

I posted the photo on my Facebook page and the responses were rather interesting.

Some of my friends absolutely adored it. Others weighed in on the color scheme. Some decried the decline of civilization.  Recommendations for incorporating endemic flora and flauna were also in the mix.

I loved seeing something visually interesting and colorful coming to life in George Town which brings me to the recent town hall meeting to discuss the George Town Revitalization Initiative.

I ran into Department of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Deputy Chief Officer Tristan Hydes and Town Manager Colin Lumsden at Radio Cayman where they were talking with listeners about the initiative and the meeting on our Talk Today Program.

Revitalizing George Town

In the past few years, we’ve all seen companies move out of the downtown area to places like Camana Bay.  I’m not beating up on Camana Bay. It is lovely but it also saddens to me to see a once thriving hub with stores and shops becoming less and less attractive as the years roll on.

A once thriving hub with stores and shops has become less and less so as the years roll on.

On a busy cruise ship day, it is packed with people and traffic, but as the ships sail out and the night rolls in – the capital essentially shuts down for little more than noisy trucks hauling containers to and from the port.

Recently hired Town Manager for George Town, Colin Lumsden says the George Town Revitalization team has studied the history, challenges and opportunities in George Town.  There is a lot to do.  He says revitalization will require creative ideas and people who care about shaping the future of the capital.

The meeting at the newly renamed Constitution Hall brought a wide variety of people out and all of them were passionate about seeing positive change in this historic area.

Some of the ideas the public shared? Green spaces and pocket parks. More trees please. Mixed use development bringing apartments and bistro’s together. Fewer cars and more pedestrians.

I’m hoping to get a copy of the presentation from the Town Hall meeting and will link it here when I do, but the presentation was clearly well researched and provided a great deal of information about how we got here.  I haven’t had a chance to review all of the material yet but it feels good to see people coming together to make a better Cayman.

We may not all agree on how to get there, but that starts with dialogue.

What would you like to see? What would make George Town vibrant again in a healthy and sustainable way?

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