Downtown Cities Lab@KRC

To help regenerate the built environment of downtown core of cities for poverty alleviation and economic revitalisation across urban communities.

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The University of Technology, Jamaica  (UTech, Ja) through its Faculty of The Built Environment (FOBE) in partnership with the Kingston Restoration Company Limited (KRC) has established the FOBE Downtown Cities Lab@KRC as a faculty/private-sector initiative

logo downtown cities lab

Anchored in the notion of “Collaboratory” (William Wulf 1989), the FOBE defines this “coLAB” as a living environment where participants make use of new networks and shared access to create collaboration, communication, and cooperation over formal and informal notions in the built environment. The coLAB takes researchers into an interdisciplinary environment without walls, to span distance, support rich and recurring human interaction oriented at Downtown Cities as a common research area to transform lives, and present results to their communities and others

Doctoral students from the FOBE MPhil/PhD in The Built Environment use the port city of Kingston, Jamaica as one of their key laboratories for field research. On occasions, the programme encourages other students to collaborate through its FOBE Downtown Cities Lab@KRC to interface with Urban Issues, Community Stakeholders, and Public Conversations 

Jamaica, Downtown Kingston corner Water Lane & Duke Street

Vision 2030 Jamaica as a National Development Plan is the 'roadmap' for making "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. When applied to the city, this Vision allows for the inclusion of governmental, non-governmental, community-based organisations, and the private sector. Such considerations would include international stakeholders with objectives to satisfy the UN-HABITAT New Urban Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goal #1 ”No poverty”, significantly Goal #11 “Sustainable cities and communities”  

Urban Issues

Urban Issues

Identification of critical issues in the urban context for focused research (recognising that varying issues may evolve)

Some of these are already under investigation to include -climate change, crime, densities, food security, historic landscape, housing solutions, land titling, pandemic, risk, solid waste, transportation

Community Stakeholders 

Community Stakeholders

Participation of community as key stakeholders in the private/public/civil interface to realise development goals (recognising that targets may be local, regional, and global) 

Public Conversations

Public Conversations

Delivery of regular public solution-orientated conversations with debates and lectures on relevant and topical urban issues to enhance community engagement in the research process (recognising that these may be virtual, face-to-face, blended staging) 

The two square miles (5.18SqKm) grid-plan port city of Kingston, Jamaica with its (ca. 1692) historic urban landscape (HUL) is the base and one of the primary focus of this Downtown Cities Lab@KRC. Kingston, a UNESCO Creative City of Music, is being used to impact urban regeneration initiatives across cities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Situated on the Kingston Harbour distinguished as one of the seventh best natural harbours in the world, the city has an immediate environ of significant cultural and natural heritage significance. These include the Underwater City of Port Royal, and the strip of the Palisadoes-Port Royal, which is a wetland of international importance. This laboratory serves a rich research mandate for the course of study FOBE MPhil/PhD in The Built Environment at the University of Technology, Jamaica  

kingston city plan 1692 &1745


The 1702 "Plan of Kingston", Jamaica surveyed by Christian Lilly is based on the 1692 layout by John Goffe (source: National Library of Jamaica) superimposed on the 1745 Plan by Michael Hay (source: National Land Agency, Jamaica) 


KRC inauguration 2020jan23 MOU

January 23, 2020 Inauguration of the FOBE Downtown Cities Lab@KRC of the MPhil/PhD in The Built Environment Memorandum of Understanding (L-R) Dr Garfield Young Dean Faculty of The Built Environment, Mr Dayton Wood Kingston Restoration Company Limited/ PanJam, Dr Patricia Green FOBE MPhil/PhD Programme Director



KRC inauguration 2020jan23 Guest

Guest Speaker Mr Howard Mitchell President of the Private Sector Association of Jamaica (4thL) at the January 23, 2020 Inauguration of the FOBE Downtown Cities Lab@KRC of the MPhil/PhD in the Built Environment Others L-R Dr Elizabeth Piqou-Dennis Vice Dean Faculty of the Built Environment,  Mrs Jacqueline Douglas-Brown, Lecturer, Dr Garfield Young Dean Faculty of the Built Environment, Dr Patricia Green FOBE MPhil/PhD Programme Director, and Dr Jennifer Bailey Kingston Creative


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