In April 2021, the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet approved the updated version of the “Hierarchy of Settlements relating to Building Heights and other Development Standards and its Application to the City of Port of Spain” which had been proposed by the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

As has been articulated by Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, the updated ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ for Port of Spain and environs, ties into the Government’s larger plan with the “Port of Spain Revitalization” project which was announced by Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Keith Rowley in November 2020.


From left: Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez, Port of Spain South MP Keith Scotland, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell, and UDeCOTT’s Senior Architect Marlon Charles; at a public consultation for the Ariapita Avenue Revitalization project on April 26, 2021.

Spatial planning plays a critical role in Trinidad and Tobago’s social and economic development. Land use plans, policies and guidelines require continuous monitoring, review and updating, utilizing current best practices. These policies include the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ which has been revised to help ensure that site development standards are applied to development proposals uniformly and based on community’s ranking in the settlement hierarchy. It supports the creation of sustainable human settlements and provides a useful framework for continued updating of land use policies, with relevant site development standards for Trinidad and Tobago.

The TCPD continues to review and update the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ in order to respond to the development of goals of this country; one of which is of course the revitalization of Port of Spain as both a commercial and a residential hub, utilizing smart and green technologies.

The TCPD has completed the process of its current updating of the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ to address site development standards such as, but not limited to:

  • Building Coverage
  • Building Heights
  • Commercial Development
  • Residential Development
  • Site Coverage

 The updated site development standards in the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ will be applied initially to the Port of Spain Land use Plan of 1987 and will cover eleven (11) major sub-areas or communities within the capital city, incorporating the popular Ariapita Avenue, which is set to benefit from the ‘Ariapita Avenue Revitalization’ initiative; an initiative which seeks to promote Trinidad as a formidable tourist destination.

The eleven (11) major sub-areas or communities covered in the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ are as follows:

These are the eleven (11) major sub-areas or communities which were covered in the study area for TCPD’s updated ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ policy document.
  1. Cocorite
  2. Downtown
  3. Ellerslie Park – Rookery Nook
  4. Federation Park
  5. Long Circular
  6. Newtown
  7. St Clair
  8. St James
  9. Tranquility
  10. Uptown
  11. Woodbrook – Victoria (Ariapita Avenue and Tragarete Rd included)

The TCPD also proposes to apply the ‘Hierarchy of Settlements’ to other cities, boroughs and communities in Trinidad and Tobago, which would be facilitated by additional research and consultation with stakeholders.

Cabinet Approved; A Synopsis on the Updated Hierarchy of Settlements to Development Standards in POS & Environs