News Releases

UWI Geomatics and Land Management Hosts Panel on Coastal City Sustainability for World Planning Day

For Release Upon Receipt - November 21, 2023

St. Augustine

Dr. Jan Petzold (second from left) with panelists Dr Julia Kotzebue, Programme Coordinator, MSc in Urban and Regional Planning programme (far left), Ms. Katherine Agong (far right), Transport Planner and Engineer, and Board Member of the National Planning Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and Dr. Charisse Griffith-Charles (second from right) Head - Cadastral Studies; Surveying & Land Administration, Department of Geomatics Engineering & Land Management at World planning day panel discussion

St. Augustine, November 20, 2023 – In a timely response to the escalating threat of coastal erosion and its impact on small island states, the Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management, Faculty of Engineering at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), marked its 40th Anniversary with a crucial panel discussion on Thursday, November 2nd, 2023. Titled “World Planning Day: Transformation and Adaptation of Coastal Cities in Small Island States,” this panel convened noted experts on urban planning and sustainability and spotlighted the urgent need for adaptive strategies in the face of environmental challenges. 

Keynote speaker Dr. Jan Petzold, a renowned researcher from the Department of Geography at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany, led the discussion and his presentation set the stage for a dynamic exchange of ideas with a panel of experts. issues but also about actively seeking innovative and sustainable solutions. The thought-provoking panel discussion focused on the urgent need for transformative and adaptive strategies in urban planning, crucial for the survival and sustainability of coastal cities in small island states. Furthermore, the panel also explored the intersections of environmental challenges, societal impacts, and the crucial role of innovative urban planning in addressing these issues. 

The panel included Grace Les Fouris, Immediate Past President of the Trinidad and Tobago Society of Planners (TTSP), Katherine Agon, Transport Planner and Engineer, and Board Member of the National Planning Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Asad Mohammed, Director of the Caribbean Network for Urban and Land Management, Trinidad and Tobago. For planners, ongoing conversations on urban planning, transformation, and adaptation, critical for the sustainability of coastal cities are much-needed. In fact, the mandate is clear - the way society plans and adapts urban environments today will dictate the resilience and prosperity of communities tomorrow. 

Open to all UWI students and staff, the panel discussion was not only a commemorative event but also a call to action, urging the community to engage in addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by the evolving urban landscapes in coastal regions.

About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University.

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