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Infrastructure and Development

01 May 2024

Infrastructure and Development on May 1 provided LC’s Class of 2024 with an opportunity  to learn about the current state of planning, real estate development and water security, and balancing development and a growing population with the needs of protecting the integrity of the natural environment.

It began with a tour of the Water Authority, before the class relocated to the EY offices in Camana Bay for the dinner, seminar and breakout sessions.

Speakers for the evening included Haroon Pandohie, Director of Planning, Department of Planning, Dr Gelia Frederick-van Genderen, Director, Water Authority-Cayman Jessica Peacey, Planning Principal, Professional Planning and Development Services

Controversies arise when large-scale construction projects encroach upon natural habitats, affecting biodiversity and coastal landscapes. Debate centers on finding a harmonious path that allows for economic growth while safeguarding the unique natural beauty of the islands.

The Cayman Islands face an ongoing struggle to balance development with environmental preservation, and the rapid pace of development often clashes with the need to protect fragile ecosystems, pristine beaches, and marine life.

With limited landmass, the density of urban development becomes a critical factor in shaping the island's sustainability. High population density can strain water resources, exacerbating issues of scarcity and quality, while low-density developments might consume larger swaths of land, further diminishing available space for crucial infrastructural needs.

Discussions addressed the interplay between land scarcity and affordability and the need for judicious land-use planning and policy interventions aimed at promoting equitable access to land while safeguarding environmental integrity.

Key developments under discussion included the ReGen Project which aims to transform the Cayman Islands’ landfill site into a waste-to-energy recycling centre;  The expansion or relocation of Grand Cayman’s cargo port; the issues surrounding the East – West Arterial Expansion, and affordable housing initiatives.

There was a debrief at Karoo in Camana Bay.