Architect Colin Lumsden is Cayman’s George Town city planner, a new post created to make the capital’s revitalization project a reality.
He remembers George Town as it was 30 years ago.
“George Town was a place growing up where everyone met, walked, talked. Everyone would look forward to hanging out.”
He said this city wasn’t solely about business and it didn’t shut down at five o’clock.
“Things were loser, more organic in terms of its growth. You had shops next to each other. You had different types of housing. You had mixed use in terms of the buildings. You had a mix in terms of age and culture and people.”
However, times have changed.
“George town, as you know, for lack of a better word, has been dying in the last few years. In terms of business, it’s not that place of gathering anymore. It’s not that place of interest anymore.”
Mr. Lumsden, is the man, who hopes to oversee a reversal of this process. His appointment as manager of the George Town revitalization project is the latest step of a project that has been on going for the last four years.
The former architect at department of public works told us what is now on the table.
“That diversity, lends itself to a city being fully functioning in terms of its viability. That’s what’s missing from George Town. This initiative is seeking to reinvest in some of those old concepts.”
Mr. Lumsden said they plan to listen to all the city’s stakeholders.
From there, design and policy will be set based on what comes out of these consultations, which he said have already begun in limited fashion.
Mr. Lumsden said the revitalisation goes beyond simple beautification.
“Think of it as walkability, connectivity. Streets that are connected. Walkable streets. Lighting, gathering areas, landmarks, nodes, parks, public areas. Just injecting activities that feed and funnel life in terms of the city itself.”
Mister Lumsden says some of the short term measures to be taken in the revitalisation include the re-surfacing of roads, as well as a review of the city’s parking and transport policy.
The George Town city planner also said the public can expect sustainability to be a big part of the revitalisation and they can expect much more renovation and re-purposing of the building and land space as opposed to demolitions.