At a time when Road Town is steadily rebuilding, the bustling farmers market held Saturday in the Sir Olva Georges Plaza showcased the capital city’s boundless potential.
The eveant, which drew a strong turnout of residents and tourists alike, saw farmers and others peddling everything from fresh arugula to handmade soap to composting ideas. It also recalled the storied history of the plaza, which used to serve as a regular marketplace and gathering spot.
The sense of community was palpable, and the attendance showed that residents are hungry for such activities.
The capital should be rebuilt to foster this sort of atmosphere. To that end, good ideas are already being floated. Market organisers, for example, suggested that the former police headquarters at the plaza could be transformed into an outdoor arcade to facilitate future markets and other events.
There is also much other work that could be done in the surrounding area, including revisiting previous plans to turn the former administration building into a museum showcasing the territory’s history.
Many complementary ideas for the rest of the capital have been aired before. For example, the 2007 Road Town Improvement Project — a well-conceived study that unfortunately has been largely ignored by policymakers — recommended a boardwalk from Wickhams Cay to the Queen Elizabeth II Park; public transportation systems; a pedestrian-only Main Street; and more green spaces, to name a few. All of these ideas should be revisited as Road Town rebuilds.
Of course, such measures won’t be easy to accomplish, particularly given the shortage of funds and the overwhelming damage wrought by Irma. Success will require sacrifice and collaboration on the part of government, businesses and the rest of the community. But a revitalised Road Town will be well worth it, as could be seen at the market on Saturday.
Moving forward, the capital should be rebuilt to facilitate such events and serve as a hub where residents and tourists alike gather to socialise, share ideas and foster a deeper sense of community.