Although there is a lot of focus on developing the urban areas in Barbados, the real developmental and productive opportunities must occur in the rural areas.

This was the message from Minister of Housing, Denis Kellman, as he answered questions from members of the press, during the presentation of the Habitat III Report at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Wednesday.

The Housing Minister was pleased to note that according to the report, while other countries were shifting from rural to urban development, Barbados was operating in the reverse and shifting from urban to rural development.

He stressed: ???The report stated that the urban area is now recognised from Harrison Point in St. Lucy to Ragged Point in St. Philip. This would tell you that Barbados is more developed than other countries in the world???In some countries, those who live in the rural areas have to sometimes travel long distances to the urban areas to access certain facilities??? in Barbados we have been able to position those facilities so that they can be easily accessed by everyone.???

Minister Kellman also noted that another housing solution presented was the development of the road infrastructure within the rural areas. ???In many situations, there are some persons who own land but are not able to develop it because when filling out the planning application there needs to be certain amenities in place to develop a house??? The question is: ???Why are we building a road within a district that ends at the houses???? We need to stretch these roads beyond the houses to create additional lots and opportunities,??? he said.

The Habitat lll Report was presented by University of the West Indies??? Professor Andrew Downes. While delivering his findings, he spoke of possible housing solutions for Barbados which included the development of high rises to deal with the lack of housing filtering, plans to upgrade the road network systems to solve traffic congestion, improving the urban legislation and enhancing urban safety and security.

The Habitat lll Report will be presented at the United Nations Habitat III Global Summit on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which will be held in Quito, Ecuador, in mid-October 2016.

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