Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Urban Transformation and Resilience for Inclusive Economic Growth

Context and Objectives

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) faces several challenges linked to the rapid future urbanization of cities that are currently already affected by the impacts of climate change. Its capital Kingstown has vital infrastructure that sits in low-lying narrow coastal zones which are vulnerable to adverse natural disasters. The expected growth of the urban areas will increase the strain on Kingstown, which already suffers from regular flooding, high levels of traffic congestion and degrading infrastructure. The Government of SVG therefore intends to develop urban resilience strategies, policies and plans to tackle these challenges. Furthermore, to facilitate investments in the tourism industry, the Government aims to create a modern city on the old airport in Arnos Vale.

The ACP-EU NDRR Program launched the Urban Transformation and Resilience for Inclusive Economic Growth project to support the Government in advancing its transformative urban resilience and economic growth agenda. The ACP-EU NDRR project provides technical and strategic inputs into the redevelopment of Kingstown and the development of the new Modern City in Arnos Vale.

Main Activities

Component 1: Strengthening the legal framework for urban resilience. Activities under this component mainstream disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into relevant policies, such as housing policy and urban policy. This is done by:

  • Conducting research and organizing stakeholder consultations;
  • Identifying key policy interventions to involve the private sector;
  • Conducting evaluations of policies;
  • Promoting resilient  housing;
  • Developing screening tools to assess risks of public and private investments;
  • Carrying out a Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment, in order to improve building regulatory efficiency and effectiveness.

Component 2: Conducting studies and analyses of Kingstown and Arnos Vale. These studies inform decision-making on the urban redevelopment of Kingstown and the development of the new Modern City in Arnos Vale.

Component 3: Communications and Knowledge Management. The activities under this component:

  • Capture and communicate data from the consultations and assessments, in order to better inform decision-making and ensure complementarity with other ongoing projects in SVG.
  • Support south-south knowledge exchange within the region to share findings and best practices on urban renewal and city development.


The following results have been achieved:

  • The project facilitated the participation of one SVG representative at the XXVII General Assembly of Ministers and High Level Authorities in Housing and Urban Development of Latin America and the Caribbean (MINURVI), where participants shared experiences and solutions. In addition, the World Bank Group’s Resilient Housing Strategy was shared during the event, and issues of key relevance for the Caribbean highlighted.
  • The development of a Resilient Urban Development Survey. The survey was shared with stakeholders in order to better understand urban conditions and challenges in SVG.
  • The Grant supported improved school safety through the drafting of the School Safety Policy incorporating inputs from other development partners as well as from educators and other stakeholders through consultations. The School Safety Policy was approved by Cabinet in December 2019. 
  • The Grant supported improved housing resilience through the drafting of the Housing Policy-White Paper, which provides the framework for the development of the Housing Policy.
  • The Grant supported better incorporation of risk considerations into infrastructure investments through the provision of technical inputs into or the review of critical infrastructure investments.

Partnership and Coordination

The project is implemented in close collaboration with different ministries of SVG, including: 

  • the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, and Information Technology;
  • the Ministry of Transport, Works, Urban Development, and Local Government;
  • the Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Land and Surveys, and Physical Planning;
  • the National Emergency Management Organization. 

Activities were also coordinated with UN-Habitat in the frame of the EU-funded Participatory Slum Upgrading Program.

  • Caribbean
Window of Action
  • Window 2
Amount approved
  • $840,000
  • 10/2018 - 01/2021