Structure and development of Kingston, Jamaica

 

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Introduction

Sited on the leeward southeastern side of an island at coordinates 18 15 N, 77 30 W, Kingston is the primate city of Jamaica, with a tropical climate that is nestled between the Blue Mountain ranges and one of the world’s seven deep-sea natural harbors.  

Map of JamaicaKingston, Jamaica, has faced its share of disasters, natural and unnatural. The city was initiated thanks to a string of disasters in a nearby area. Kingston is still a disaster prone area, however Kingstonians continue to brave hurricanes earthquakes and floods.

After an earthquake that destroyed Port Royal, the capital was moved to Spanish Town, 13 miles from Kingston, Spanish Town remained the capital for over 300 years.

Map of Kingston, JamaicaAfter a fire destroyed the New Port Royal in 1703, Kingston took on the function of the leading commercial city.  In 1872, it became the capital, and since then has become Jamaica’s primate city.

Today Kingston is the largest English-speaking city in the Caribbean, with a population of approximately 566,2000.  It houses the seat of government, functions commercially, is a cultural hub of the country, and offers a wide variety of entertainment for visitors and the home population.  Entertainment includes activities ranging from great restaurants, which serve wonderful traditional food, to botanical gardens, "sessions" (outdoor mega-parties), clubs and various concerts.

Modern day New Kingston in Kingston, JamaicaKingston has undergone several urbanization projects since it was established.  One of the major projects of the 20th century, included the development of New Kingston.  It serves as a new financial and commercial center, taking over some of the functions of Down Town Kingston.  

As Kingston continues development, it faces problems such as residential segregation of the classes, environmental issues that include coastal pollution by industrial waste, natural hazards (hurricanes), and high crime rates. 

Overall Kingston is a progressive city with a diverse population.  It has braved hurricanes, earthquakes, and recessions and continues to tackle the various problems that comes with developing cites.