Key Directions & Concepts

The PDP amendment creates a contemporary policy framework to guide land use, development and infrastructure decisions in a manner that promotes sustainability and resiliency across the island.

A focus on:

  • Planning for sustainable development and a resilient nation
  • Accommodating steady state growth that focuses on reinvestment in existing settlement areas and community cores
  • Addressing scarcity in food, water and land.
  • Creating healthy, walk-able and liveable communities for the population today and the diverse and ageing population of the future.
  • Protecting and investing in core and irreplaceable assets such as food and agricultural land, natural heritage systems and cultural heritage.
  • Shifting our modal split to reduce dependence on the car and congestion levels.
  • Enhancing natural heritage and the environmental systems that run "ridge to reef" linking the island's terrestrial and marine environments.
  • Promoting the Green Economy in Barbados through sustainable tourism, economic development and resilient infrastructure.

Protecting Core Assets

Barbados has a number of core assets that are integral to the long term prosperity of the island. These include prime agricultural lands, the natural heritage system, water resources, the National Park, cultural heritage assets and community cores where services and amenities that support Barbadians’ daily needs are focused. Identifying and protecting these core assets is at the heart of the PDP’s rationale for how to direct growth and new development. The PDP identifies some areas that should be off limits to new development to avoid negatively impacting sensitive core assets, and other areas where new development and investment should be focused to capitalize upon and enhance what is existing.

Some Core Assets

  • Food and Agriculture
  • Natural Heritage System
  • Water
  • National Park
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Communities

Growth Management

National infrastructure includes the full range of transportation, communication, water, sewer, renewable energy and waste management facilities that are essential to the health, safety, economic success and environmental health of Barbados. This section sets out policies to guide the future design, development, upgrading and location of these facilities.

Some Core Assets

  • All National Infrastructure shall be planned, built and maintained in a manner that optimizes integration with land use/development and efficiency in service provision.
  • The adoption of adaptive planning approaches in all aspects of national infrastructure planning for the consideration of climate variability and climate change impacts.
  • The Government shall create Emergency Preparedness Strategies related to National Infrastructure including the identification of critical areas of risk of national infrastructure failure and built in redundancies to increase resiliency against severe weather events.

Advancing Mobility

The provision of efficient transport service and infrastructure is fundamental to the promotion of inclusive growth and sustainable development within Barbados. Access to employment opportunities and education, health and other services, and obtaining benefits from those services, hinges on the availability of safe, affordable, comfortable and efficient transport systems.

Recently there has been a major shift in transportation thinking, going from a focus on the ease of movement for cars, to a focus on the ease of movement for people and goods. This concept, referred to as mobility, encompasses a full range of modes including walking, cycling, transit, water transport, motorized vehicle or air. The concept of accessibility refers to ease of travel between activities, or the overall difficulty in getting from an origin to a destination. Transportation planning today involves considering how a combination of modes can be used to improve accessibility for people and goods.

Promoting Sustainable Development

Barbados’ population growth over the next 20 years is projected to be just over 5,500 people, or 2% growth. After that population is expected to decline. Yet it is estimated that there are over 20,000 vacant residential lots in Barbados, and a rising level of vacancy in existing buildings, reaching 12% in 2012. In addition, approved applications for new subdivisions would create thousands more lots. There is an abundant supply of housing and land ready and approved to accommodate the steady state population growth forecast for Barbados over the next 20 years.

Planning for future population and settlement in Barbados will require an enhanced focus on sustainable and resilient development. Responding to key imperatives of the New Urban Agenda, climate change and resiliency, healthy communities, an aging community and recognizing Barbados as a Small Island Developing State requires a focus on optimizing existing settlement areas and efficient provision of infrastructure.

The policies in this section will guide development and investment decisions through the application of an island-wide growth management framework and a settlement structure that directs growth in a logical, efficient and compact manner. This framework defines the urban settlement area where growth and urban development are to be focused and rural areas within and outside of the National Park where food and agriculture, environmental restoration, natural resources and supporting rural settlements are prioritized. The growth management framework protects core assets and improves climate change resiliency while providing for healthy communities, a prosperous economy, efficient infrastructure and transportation services, and local food security.

Land Use


  • Centres and Mixed Use Corridors
  • Shopping Centres
  • Tourism
  • Predominantly Residential Areas
  • Major Institutional
  • Major Recreation
  • Employment Areas
  • Special Industry
  • Resource Extraction
  • Natural Resource Reserves
  • Golf Courses
  • Rural Settlements
  • Food & Agriculture