COMMENTARY: The Identity of Places  

 

The quaint Southeastern village of San Sauveur

The comments in response to DNO’s featured photograph of San Sauveur came as no surprise. This is the environment that Dominicans cherish and yearn to preserve for future generations.

I predict that your grandchildren and great grandchildren will live to abhor the current spate of alien housing estates and apartment blocks that are disfiguring the landscape. I am all for housing, but housing in accord with Dominica rather than an alien concept of what our built environment and lifestyle should be like.

But the so called housing revolution continues unabated. Recently the Prime Minister announced that very soon he will be unveiling a massive housing complex for young professionals on land owned by Dominica Social Security at Warner.

This isn’t the first time that Warner has been considered ripe for development. In 2008 the Dominica Social Security Board invited Physical Planners and/or Environmental Planners to submit proposals for a Community Development Plan for its 209 acres of land at Warner. Importantly, the brief stated that the design must be in keeping with the existing Zoning and Land Use Policy developed by the Planning Division and should serve to enhance the Nature Island image of Dominica.

Fifteen years ago my mail was being forwarded to the Warner village Post Office and I got to know and love the locality. As the Pre-Planning Brief cited knowledge of terrain and experience in doing similar projects, I felt qualified to make a submission.

My development plan included residential, commercial and agricultural components together with conserved tracts of countryside to serve as a local amenity and visitor attraction. These four criteria can be headed:

  • Means of Livelihood
  • Community Fulfilment
  • Environmental Compatibility
  • Pride of Place

A means of livelihood is a fundamental requirement of life.  The plan must therefore investigate how this component can best serve the local community.  To have large numbers of workers living in outlying settlements and commuting back and forth to Roseau every day is not a viable option.  We now have the technology to stem this flow and the means to modify the way we work.

Community fulfilment cannot be prescribed.  The bricks and mortar of houses, community centres, clinics, churches and schools are assets, but they do not in themselves create a sense of community.  Community fulfilment comes about when people have a vested interest in where and how they live.  The greater the self-sufficiency of a community, the greater the fulfilment of that community.

The physical components of the plan must fit comfortably into the landscape. Dominica’s status as the Nature Island of the Caribbean is dependant not only on the natural environment, but equally on the sensitivity of the built environment.

Pride of place is the hallmark of a happy, healthy and thriving community.  It is closely linked to the identity of place.  This identity can take many forms: historical, cultural, industrial, architectural and environmental.

It comes as no surprise that my submission was not acknowledged or responded to. However, I hope that the young professionals that the Prime Minister has in mind will have a vision and a voice of their own. Perhaps they will understand that the identity of places reflects the identity of ourselves.

Scottshead Sea Scape by Roger Burnett

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • are abusive, profane or offensive
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-message

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

13 Comments

  1. Joseph John
    June 11, 2019

    I wonder what the recipient of these houses have to say about their new homes. These houses are a far cry from the one bedroom “boot sham, cie pie” of plantation workers with no lights, no toilet, no comfort of a home. These houses have water and all the comforts of home WITHOUT THE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS. Most important there is an urgent need, this is an emergency measure that could not wait.

    • peaceandlove
      June 12, 2019

      “Better” does not mean “best”.

  2. A. George
    June 11, 2019

    Back then no one heeded any plan… You pass in Warner the main road is narrow, no sidewalks, you can put your hand out your vehicle and pull someone’s clothes off their porch … that was a great opportunity lost. Hope the proper measures will be taken this time around. Communities need green space, sidewalks, persons need to include a garage or parking space in their plans… parking on the road should NOT be an option. And Planning needs to ENFORCE these measures…

  3. A. George
    June 11, 2019

    Back then no one headed any plan… You pass in Warner the main road is narrow, no sidewalks, you can put your hand out your vehicle and pull someone’s clothes off their porch … that was a great opportunity lost. Hope the proper measures will be taken this time around. Communities need green space, sidewalks, persons need to include a garage or parking space in their plans… parking on the road should NOT be an option. And Planning needs to ENFORCE these measures…

  4. Not A Herd Follower
    June 10, 2019

    The guys in power know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

  5. viewsexpressed
    June 10, 2019

    Skerrit lives in a “Fools Paradise” and is extremely limited, uninformed of the value and nature of our landscape. Skerrit physically is in Domininca but his mind and concepts of things relating to development and sustaining our landscape is ignoramous, limited knowledge of what Dominica is and lives in this fancy big European/USA life style and its physical structure. There is no consultation to readily discuss these silly unworthy landscape by Skerrit. His mentality is one of Skerrit and Skerrit only and believes in his eyes and ;limited thinking that these First World landscape is best for Domininca, an island that cherishes playing in the back yard, running the streets, close to where parents and surrounding neighbours and friends can keep an eye on our children. This so called inept PM Skerrit is loose in his thnking and that thinking is not about Dominica, its people & children, but all about Skerrit and his weird so called close friends. In 19 years he has destroyed our…

  6. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    June 9, 2019

    Very interesting and important point of view from Roger Burnett

  7. viewsexpressed
    June 9, 2019

    “I predict that your grandchildren and great grandchildren will live to abhor the current spate of alien housing estates and apartment blocks that are disfiguring the landscape. I am all for housing, but housing in accord with Dominica rather than an alien concept of what our built environment and lifestyle should be like.”

    I strongly share that view of yours. Skerrit must be a dunce and lacks credentials in undertaking matters that are prestigious to maintain and develop. The scenic beauty of our areas must have a comparative scope that corresponds with the current landscape. For Skerrit it is all about concrete jungle and no desired to be advised on such matters. It is all about big complex building not succinct to our environment. This is just illiterate and idiotic behaviour by this failed Skerrit. For crying out loud, why does PM, not take advice or consult with the expertise that he just does not have etc.19 years going and we are not getting anywhere. Skerrit Must Go. Out…

  8. viewsexpressed
    June 9, 2019

    “But the so called housing revolution continues unabated. Recently the Prime Minister announced that very soon he will be unveiling a massive housing complex for young professionals on land owned by Dominica Social Security at Warner.”
    Pease ignore Skerrit, he is a failure and has idiotic behaviour to have people attached to him and listen when he speaks. Well, I dont, I dump and ignore any such fanciful talk that says nothing nor make sense in taking our Domininca anywhere. If after 19 bloody wasteful years nothing substantive has been done what are we waiting on to kick this clown JA out of office and go read a book somewhere. But we will be investigating these Bobols and it has to be accounted for. Skerrit has too much loose talk and gets us nowhere. This man must not hold and never to be Prime Minister again. He has shown himself only as this Odd Minister. Skerrit must Go and sooner the better. Get Out , Get Lost. We await Hon Lennox Linton and his highly professional UWP Team.

  9. viewsexpressed
    June 9, 2019

    “It comes as no surprise that my submission was not acknowledged or responded to. However, I hope that the young professionals that the Prime Minister has in mind will have a vision and a voice of their own. Perhaps they will understand that the identity of places reflects the identity of ourselves.”
    This behaviour of Skerrit is no mistake. This is the nature of this guy. He sings, dreams of physical things but has no concept of what and how it should be built, constructed to take on board the landscape of the area, the long term developmental possibilities that me be attached to this scheme and location.
    This man Skerrit is dangerous, Why?. Because his tenure coming to end. You see, I will stop there and I said Skerrit is to loose and spontaneous but convert to sustainability that there will be growth, rising of affairs, tourism etc. All Skerrit’s sees is concrete jungle to share that people see and get aghast with a big physical structure that is going nowhere. Poor planning…

  10. viewsexpressed
    June 9, 2019

    Skerrit is a political Clown and is dangerous to our nature Isle, Dominica. We are in deep poverty and yet after 19 long years Skerrit and his failed corrupt Labour Party have not yet worked out, what developmental trends to take to begging plot the way forward for Dominic and our people. The UWP has beeenfocussed onn the develomenatl Theme of Social-Develoent approach, a theme and model that is required and a must to move forward in the developmental of our ailing poverty island created by Skerrit and his failed Hopeless, clueless Labour Government. This Prime Ministership is not for Skerrit, because he`s not sufficiently matured nor focus. He is too distracted with bully clowns advising, to do, or to do what, we dont know, other than spend useless states time in prolonging this passport sales robbery and our people unable to have decent homes, houses and a safe and build up community/Village/Town/City. Skerrit has failed us big time and he must go now. Skerrit Out, Go. We await UWP.

  11. viewsexpressed
    June 9, 2019

    Be advised Skerrit has no morale, is incompetent, not visionary, quick fix here to appease poor Dominicans in poverty to come sit on his lap and talk. From where I sit on top Floor of Financial Centre, I advise all Dominicans, civil servants that Skerrit is not intellectually/socio-economic savvy to plan any developmental programme for Dominica. Skerrit is spontaneously dangerous and has beside him a bunch of blind bed fellows who advise him not for quality development but fast food obsessed programmes & unhealthy food to buy our people. These so called high rise buildings are not convenient and neither safe for Dominica nor our people. I have received credible advice from Social Worker ………… on this matter. Cluster Phobia is real in UK, USA & big cities etc. I predict that your children will live to abhor this current spate of alien housing estates and apartment blocks that are disfiguring our landscape. Families should be given 3 bedrooms homes to live nice. This is best.

  12. Joseph John
    June 8, 2019

    So that is what a sea scape look like….alien. I have been to Scots Head several times But this abstract alien art does not represent it. This scape can only exist in a foreign country or an other planet . No wonder the government did not respond to your alien imagination.
    Oh I see, this is a reflection of the land you can see when you are diving without a mask. Kool.
    By the way my identity is human.
    Skerrit is building homes not museums.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available