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Managing development in the hillsides of Trinidad and Tobago using geoinformatics

Author

Listed:
  • Serwan M. J. Baban

    (The Centre for Geoinformatics Research and Environmental Assessment Technology (GREAT), School of Environmental Science and Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia)

  • Deborah Thomas

    (East of Port of Spain Development Company Limited, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies)

  • Francis Canisius

    (The Centre for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal Research (CLEAR), The Office of Research, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, West Indies)

  • Kamal J. Sant

    (The Centre for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal Research (CLEAR), The Office of Research, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, West Indies)

Abstract

An increase in the unmanaged development of hillsides is causing environmental, social and economic problems in Trinidad and Tobago. Improved environmental awareness and deepening environmental concerns in recent years have focused attention on the need to move towards a more sustainable pattern of development. Scientific criteria for managing hillside development do not seem to exist and attempts in this regard are seriously compromised amongst other things by the lack of effective and reliable information base for decision making, i.e. information poverty. This paper advances a geoinformatics based methodology for determining suitability for built development on hillsides and to develop and implement a simple scientific criterion strategy for managing hillside development in Trinidad and Tobago whilst enduring information poverty. Additionally, a case study is presented to highlight the applicability of the concept to Tobago. The results showed all potential areas suitable for hillside development in Tobago and also identified areas not suitable and the reason(s) for disqualifying these areas. The proposed approach is adaptable, scientifically justifiable and open to scrutiny, and will lend itself to public acceptance. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Serwan M. J. Baban & Deborah Thomas & Francis Canisius & Kamal J. Sant, 2008. "Managing development in the hillsides of Trinidad and Tobago using geoinformatics," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 314-328.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:5:p:314-328
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. Carrara & F. Guzzetti & M. Cardinali & P. Reichenbach, 1999. "Use of GIS Technology in the Prediction and Monitoring of Landslide Hazard," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 20(2), pages 117-135, November.
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