Because Kingston is a primate city it
offers all three of the functions that geographers categorize cities with:
marketing functions and specialized
The Kingston Harbor ranks seventh among
the world's largest natural harbors.
The Port Bustamante, is situated in the
Kingston Harbor midway between North and South America it is the Caribbean’s
most modern transshipment port with more than twenty five years experience which
is more that any other port in the region. It is adjacent to the Kingston Free
The Port Authority Free Zones provides a
space for goods to be manufactured warehoused, packaged for Export free from
normal taxes and free from normal customs and requirements.
The Free Zone began in 1976. It is currently owned by the Port Authority of Jamaica and the
government, thus it is a public entity. The Kingston Free Zone Company Limited
manages this operation. There are
also "free zones" in Montego Bay. There are eight major marine ports in Jamaica.
Transportation island wide is relatively easy with over
14,483 km (9,000 miles) of primary and secondary roads. Out of this paved
highways makes a total of 12,600 km. The island also has 370 km of railroads
tracks, today only used for goods transportation. Years ago while passenger
service was still operating taking the train was like something out of a Kipling
movie (about India).
Because of the central corridor of mountains, the island's
roads were generally divided between north and south, winding along the various
ports on the coast. To the demands of the sugar and bauxite industries
north-south roads were constructed, passing through the scenic heights of the
Although north-south roads improved island-wide transportation
considerably, even in the 1980s a 198-kilometer drive from Montego Bay to
Kingston required about 4 hours, compared with an air passage of only 20
minutes. The roads in Kingston are mostly small and congested, and this proves
to be a problem for businesses in particular those that depend mainly on
transportation, such as mail service. The railway system, which has been shut
down since 1992, could alleviate some of the pressure, particularly on the
transport of goods only if governmental plans to privatize the system are
The Normal Manley International Airport services the Free
Zones in Kingston. The airport is within a 30 minute drive from the Free
Zone and is served by several international airlines offering scheduled direct
passenger and freight services to most cities in North America, the Caribbean,
Europe, South America and onwards to the Far East.
Jamaica also has an international domestic airline which
operates from the Tinson Pen Aerodrome in Kingston to Montego Bay and other
airstrips throughout the country. The Tinson Pen Aerodrome is situated 3
minutes from the Kinston Free Zone. Charted air services are also
Kingston is an urban center, due to the provision of
retail functions for the city and the surrounding areas. Kingston offers a variety of services such as retail,
wholesale administrative social and financial. The main retail sections of the city are found with in the downtown and
Half Way Tree areas. The financial
services are mainly provided in the New Kingston area, and administrative
functions can be found in the down town area, where most of the government
offices and buildings are located.
Throughout the city there are various social services such
as The Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL) and United Way,
which base their headquarters within the city.
Kingston as a number of specialized functions focused on
political and recreational activities.
Government offices and buildings are located in Kingston
such as the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology, The Inland revenue
Department, Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Jamaica Electoral Office The
House of Parliament, and The Minister of National Security and Justice to list a
It is also in Kingston that major political rallies are
held at times of election. This is
unfortunately accompanied with acts of what is termed political tribalism
where members of the different political parties (the main two being the Jamaica
Labor Party and the Peoples National Party) take aggressive measures to ensure
that the winner of the election is favorable.
Most of the recreational activity found in Kingston is
sports based, or is focused on green spaces. Sports such as cricket, football, golf and horse racing is facilitated in
places such as Sabina Park, The Constant Spring Golf Course and the National
stadium. The National Stadium is a
place where international games are held, along with national games that include
track and field, football and swimming.
The National Heroes Park, Devon House and the
Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo, are places where people can relax and enjoy
beautiful landscape gardens, an activity that is inherited from the British
is also a center for education being home to the University of the West
Indies, and other tertiary institutions such as the University of
Technology. There are numerous secondary level institutions also,
such as the St. Andrew High School for Girls, and Campion College.
These institutions offer advancement in the Arts the Sciences and in the
various technological fields.