City Manager’s Newsletter – 7th May, 2008

Road Town and You!



Turn Your Trash Into Treasure!


Get your recycling talents in gear for the BVI Tourist Board’s Trash-to-Treasure Contest.  Transform cans, bottles, plastic bags, old linen, and other trash into something wonderful and win a $500.00 cash prize and a trip for two to Maho Bay, St. John.  Entries in categories for children and adults will be judged on trash content, functionality, creativity, and visual appeal.  For more information call Jenel Lettsome or Noelene Clarke at 494-3134.  The deadline is 31st May.


Jazz in the Park!


The Jazz on Fridays series hosted by the BVI Musician’s Association in the Noel Lloyd/Positive Action Movement Park continues this Friday, 9th May!  The music begins at 5:30pm.  Jazz on Fridays is held every other Friday so come out and bring the family!  Don’t forget your lawn chairs! 



In this issue we’ll take another look at some of the topics discussed at The Urban Land Institute’s Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Transit Villages, and Main Streets Conference held last year in Toronto, Canada.  By way of a reminder, the Urban Land Institute  is a nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members.  Founded in 1936, the institute has more than 34,000 members worldwide representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines, including private developers and local government officials.

Featured speaker, Helle Soholt, author of Life Between Buildings and founding partner of Denmark’s GEHL Architects, is working with the City of London ( on making changes to its congestion charge.  The City is also planning to create 100 parks, playgrounds, and other public spaces in London by 2011. 

Ms. Soholt described as “abandoned” cities which are mostly composed of buildings with only parking lots between them and no public spaces.  She said that “the planning process must have people in mind and must begin by studying the life that people live in and around a particular space.”  When planning a major project or when trying to revitalize an area, planners must study the people and the uses they make of a particular area, then one can design the parks and promenades, and then finally the buildings that are to be put in that space.

Ms. Soholt said that an important thing planners must take into account when designing public space is how they can slow people down so that they can socialize with each other and take in their surroundings.  She pointed out that there is a close relation between social behaviour and how we plan the environment and that space should be seen as a precious resource.

Ms. Soholt went on to describe the transformation of Copenhagen from a car-oriented city into one that was people-friendly.  The transformation took forty years and started with removing between 2 – 3 % of parking every year.  Bicycle tracks were installed in much of that same space and thousands of city bikes were purchased by the energy company for the free use of the city’s residents and visitors.  Now, 36% of residents cycle to work, 33% use public transportation, and 26% drive. 

In addition to working on the City of London’s own attempt to reduce the number of cars in the City Center, Ms. Soholt’s company is working with the City of Melbourne to create and improve the city’s squares and parks, to plant more trees, to improve sidewalks, develop more residential housing, and to install more public art.


Did you know…

that the Flamboyant or Poinciana (Delonix regia) originated in Madagascar?  The tree can grow to a maximum height of fifty feet and can sometimes be wider than it is high.  While it is a great shade tree, it should not be planted close to cisterns or paved areas.


Best Practice!

In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags or 316 bags per person.  An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption of the bags by 90%.


 Donate your old eyeglasses to the Lions Club and give someone else the gift of sight.  Call Bennet Smith at 494-3701, ext 4535 for more information.  Go Green!


Eugenia O'Neal
City Manager, Road Town
"The Little City With the Big Heart!"
Virgin Islands