The Republic of Tivoli

Wednesday, January 08, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

Lately, I've been allowing my mind to wander into what Jamaica was like before I was born and even up until the early millennium. So far, I must say I am quite impressed and, at the same time, I am quite perturbed.

Travelling through the infamous Tivoli Gardens for the past couple of years has been rather exhilarating. Beyond the barricades, stripping paint, empty buildings, and criminal associations, Tivoli is perfect. In all my observations of the communities I've been to, above and below Cross Roads, none other expresses such symphonic brilliance in community planning and cohesion.

The initiative of strata developments pays off perfectly. It corrects the poor land management practices used by the National Housing Trust and private investors and is not lacking anything from the overpriced match boxes elsewhere, that are obviously a first step to debt.

With less juice boxes strewn across the area, space is available to build businesses. If you observe, there are mechanic shops, restaurants, boutiques, furniture stores, funeral parlours, bars. The diversity is staggering. The community also has multiple recreational spaces, churches, schools, a theatre, a cemetery, a police station, a health centre, a home for the aged, and a stadium. All these backed by a renowned dance troupe, marching band and multiple sports teams. No wonder they call it the republic!

Not even Portmore, in all its hype, is worthy to dust Tivoli's shoes in community development. No guilded residential area, with all their pompous occupants, cultured lawns, endearing security systems, and magic dust can trump such sustainable genius. I'm jealous.

Minus the criminality, splash a new coat of paint, get the schools up to par and watch and see this bewildered titan resurge beyond the stigma and heal its vilest lacerations. Then I tell you, it will be the platinum real estate no one will refuse.

Dave Richards

20-year-old hopeful citizen





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