The Yabra in Belize City: APA’s First International CPAT

Sunday, May 7, 2017 | 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Explore planning approaches to an (international) resource-poor community and the challenges of finding workable, realistic solutions

  • Urban design ideas for a waterfront community that maximize its assets, achieve the city’s broader vision, and maintain local neighborhood values and goals

  • Learn about the iterative planning process and the strength of encouraging community-led initiatives 

  • Discover creative hazard-mitigation solutions to flood-prone communities with limited resources    

APA’s Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) program conducted its first international project in the Yarborough (Yabra) neighborhood of Belize City in the summer of 2016. Five team members with a mix of expertise and planning backgrounds volunteered their time to assist the Belize City Council with a revitalization plan for the waterfront community located just to the south of their downtown. The neighborhood experiences frequent flooding and rapid loss of natural mangroves and coastline; contains many dilapidated structures and vacant lots and lacks quality public space; and suffers from negative public perceptions and a lack of local employment opportunities. Despite the challenges, the Yabra is just steps away from downtown and possesses great historical resources known to all Belizeans, including the nation's oldest school and other assets. The team worked closely with many of the youth and residents from the neighborhood and across the city, and with city staff and other stakeholders to develop concepts and recommendations. Faced with limited resources, the team concentrated on finding low-cost, near-term solutions for the community. There’s also evidence that the project accomplished more than just the plan for Yabra. The process provided city officials and community members a new approach to planning that will hopefully benefit not only Yabra, but other planning initiatives for Belize City into the future.


Veronica Davis , Nspiregreen , Washington , DC (see bio)
Shannon Van Zandt , Texas A&M University , College Station , TX (see bio)
Adam Perkins , AICP , Downtown Denver Partnership , Denver , CO (see bio)
Antoine Bryant , Houston , TX
Justin Moore , AICP , NYC Public Design Commission , New York , NY