Port of Spain
|City of Port of Spain|
"We Gather Strength As We Go Along"
|Jurisdiction||City of Port of Spain|
|• Mayor||Joel Martinez|
|• Governing body||City Corporation|
|• Capital City||12 km2 (5 sq mi)|
|Elevation||66 m (217 ft)|
|• Capital City||37,074|
|• Density||3,090/km2 (8,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-4 (AST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (not observed)|
|ISO 3166 code||TT-POS|
|Telephone Exchanges||619, 623, 624, 625, 627, 641, 661, 821, 622, 628, 822|
|HDI The HDI for Trinidad and Tobago is 0.814, which gives the country a rank of 19th out of 177 countries with data (2007/2008) – high|
Port of Spain, officially the City of Port of Spain (also stylized Port-of-Spain), is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's second-largest city after San Fernando and the third largest municipality after Chaguanas and San Fernando. The city has a municipal population of 37,074 (2011 census),an urban population of 81,142 (2011 estimate) and a transient daily population of 250,000. It is located on the Gulf of Paria, on the northwest coast of the island of Trinidad and is part of a larger conurbation stretching from Chaguaramas in the west to Arima in the east with an estimated population of 600,000.
Trinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country that is the southernmost nation of the West Indies in the Caribbean. It is situated 130 kilometres south of Grenada off the northern edge of the South American mainland, 11 kilometres off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. It shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.
San Fernando, officially the City of San Fernando, is the second most populous municipality in Trinidad and Tobago, after Chaguanas and the most populous city. It occupies 19 km² and is located in the southwestern part of the island of Trinidad. It is bounded to the north by the Guaracara River, the south by the Oropouche River, the east by the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, and the west by the Gulf of Paria. The former borough was elevated to the status of a city corporation on 18 November 1989. The motto of San Fernando is: "Sanitas Fortis" - In a Healthy Environment We Will Find Strength. Many local Trinidadians refer to the city with the shortened name "Sando." San Fernando is called Trinidad and Tobago's "industrial capital" because of its proximity to the Pointe-à-Pierre oil refinery and many other petrochemical, LNG, iron and steel and aluminium smelters in places such as Point Lisas in Couva, Point Fortin, and La Brea.
A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. It is to be distinguished (usually) from the county, which may encompass rural territory or numerous small communities such as towns, villages and hamlets.
The city serves primarily as a retail and administrative centre and it has been the capital of the island since 1757. It is also an important financial services centre for the Caribbeanand is home to two of the largest banks in the region.
Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, accountancy companies, consumer-finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds, individual managers and some government-sponsored enterprises. Financial services companies are present in all economically developed geographic locations and tend to cluster in local, national, regional and international financial centers such as London, New York City, and Tokyo.
The Caribbean is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts. The region is southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and the North American mainland, east of Central America, and north of South America.
Port of Spain was also the de facto capital of the short-lived West Indies Federation, which united the Caribbean. Caricom was established in Chaguaramas, west of Port of Spain.
In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even if not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law. Unofficial customs that are widely accepted are sometimes called de facto standards.
The West Indies Federation, also known as the West Indies, the Federation of the West Indies or the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived political union that existed from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962. Various islands in the Caribbean that were colonies of the United Kingdom, including Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and those on the Leeward and Windward Islands, came together to form the Federation, with its capital in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The expressed intention of the Federation was to create a political unit that would become independent from Britain as a single state—possibly similar to the Canadian Confederation, Australian Commonwealth, or Central African Federation; however, before that could happen, the Federation collapsed due to internal political conflicts over how the Federation itself would be governed or how it would viably function. The territories that would have become part of the Federation eventually became the nine contemporary sovereign states of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; with Anguilla, Montserrat, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands becoming British overseas territories. British Guiana (Guyana) and British Honduras (Belize) held observer status within the West Indies Federation.
The city is also home to the largest container port on the island and is one of several shipping hubs of the Caribbean, exporting both agricultural products and manufactured goods. Bauxite from Guyana is trans-shipped via facilities at Chaguaramas, about 8 kilometres (5 mi) west of the city. The pre-lenten Carnival is the city's main annual cultural festival and tourist attraction.
Bauxite is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. It is the world's main source of aluminium. Bauxite consists mostly of the aluminium minerals gibbsite (Al(OH)3), boehmite (γ-AlO(OH)) and diaspore (α-AlO(OH)), mixed with the two iron oxides goethite (FeO(OH)) and haematite (Fe2O3), the aluminium clay mineral kaolinite (Al2Si2O5(OH)) and small amounts of anatase (TiO2) and ilmenite (FeTiO3 or FeO.TiO2).
Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.
Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide. Carnival typically involves public celebrations, including events such as parades, public street parties and other entertainments, combining some elements of a circus. Elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter, milk, and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", rather, their stock was fully consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes, donuts, and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, and individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire.
Today, Port of Spain is a leading city in the Caribbean region. Trinidad and Tobago hosted the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009 whose guests included US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008.
The secretary of state is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a minister for foreign affairs.
Port of Spain is also home to the biggest and most successful stock exchange in the Caribbean, the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE). The iconic Nicholas Tower, as well as other skyscrapers, are well known throughout the region. These buildings dominate the city's skyline. Some of the tallest skyscrapers in the Caribbean are located in Port of Spain.
The Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE) is the main stock exchange in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the largest stock exchange in the Caribbean region by market capitalization. As a member-state of CARICOM several companies from Barbados, Jamaica, the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Securities Exchange (SVGEX) and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange also cross-list their stocks onto the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.
Nicholas Tower, situated on Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago is the fifth tallest building in Trinidad and Tobago. It has an elliptical floor plate and stands 21 floors tall and 88 Meters high. Construction was completed in 2003 and each floor, 8,000 square feet (700 m2) of space, was rented out at a cost of $96,000 a month. It is a blue glass tower.
The Port of Spain was founded near the site of the Amerindian fishing village of Cumucurapo ("place of the silk cotton trees"), located in the area today known as Mucurapo, west of the city centre. The name Conquerabia is also recorded for an Amerindian settlement in this area; this may have been a separate village, another name for Cumucurapo, or the result of miscomprehension by early Spanish settlers, who established a port here: "Puerto de los Españoles", later "Puerto de España". In 1560, a Spanish garrison was posted near the foot of the Laventille Hills, which today form the city's eastern boundary.
The part of today's downtown Port of Spain closest to the sea was once an area of tidal mudflats covered by mangroves. The first Spanish buildings here, in the 16th and 17th centuries, were open mud-plastered ajoupas, interspersed between large silk cotton trees and other trees. The fort was a mud-walled enclosure with a shack inside, a flagpole, two or three cannon, and few Spanish soldiers. This was captured during Walter Raleigh's expedition in April 1595. The Caribs were transient, travelling to the mainland (now Venezuela) and up the Orinoco River. The French naval commander Comte D'Estrées visited in 1680, and reported that there was no Port of Spain. But in 1690, Spanish governor Don Sebastien de Roteta reported in writing to the King of Spain: In 1699, the alcalde of Trinidad reported to the king that the natives "were in the habit of showering scorn and abuse upon the Holy Faith and ridiculed with jests the efforts of the Holy Fathers".
By 1757, the old capital, San José de Oruña (modern Saint Joseph), about 11 kilometres (7 mi) inland, had fallen into disrepair, and Governor Don Pedro de la Moneda transferred his seat to Port of Spain, which thus became Trinidad's de facto capital. The last Spanish Governor of Trinidad, Don José Maria Chacón, devoted much of his time to developing the new capital. He compelled the island's Cabildo (governing council) to move to Port of Spain, and he limited its powers to the municipality. The 1783 Cedula of Population, which encouraged the settlement of French Catholics in the island, led to a rapid increase in the town's population and its geographical extension westwards.
From the small cluster of buildings at the foot of the Laventille Hills, eleven streets were laid out west to the area bounded by the St. Ann's River, thus establishing the grid pattern which has survived in downtown Port of Spain to the present day. Along the sea shore was the Plaza de la Marina (Marine Square), a parade ground. By 1786, the town had a population of about 3,000.
Realising that the St. Ann's River, prone to flooding, was impeding the expansion of the town, Chacón had its course diverted in 1787 so that it ran to the east of the city, along the foot of the Laventille Hills. (During the rainy season the river still had a tendency to overflow its banks, flooding parts of the city; over the decades its channel would be widened and paved. During the dry season the water level drops to a trickle; hence its nickname, the East Dry River.) Port of Spain was now able to continue spreading northwards and westwards, encroaching on the surrounding sugar-cane plantations.
In 1797, Trinidad was invaded by a British force under General Sir Ralph Abercromby. The British landed west of Port of Spain, at what is still called Invaders Bay, and marched towards the town. Realising his military resources were inadequate to defend the colony and wishing to avoid unnecessary destruction, Governor Chacón capitulated and was able to negotiate generous terms with Abercromby. Port of Spain remained the capital; the new British colonial government renamed most of the streets after British royalty or military figures, but allowed Chacón Street (which followed the old course of the St. Ann's River) to retain its name, in tribute to the former governor.
In 1803, Port of Spain began growing southwards, with the reclamation of the foreshore mudflats, using fill from the Laventille Hills. This began with the area immediately east of the diverted St. Ann's River; the district is still called Sea Lots today. Gradually the landfill crept west and the area south of Plaza del Marina became solid land. Further major reclamation efforts took place in the 1840s, the 1870s, and in 1906. In 1935 the Deep Water Harbour Scheme dredged the offshore area along Port of Spain's western neighbourhoods, and the dredged material was used to fill in the area south of Woodbrook. Wrightson Road, linking downtown Port of Spain to its western suburbs, was constructed at the same time. These reclaimed lands were originally called Docksite, and were home to US forces during World War II; later a number of government buildings were constructed here.
Port of Spain continued to grow in size and importance during the 19th and early 20th centuries, peaking in size in the 1960s at about 100,000 people. Since then the population within the city limits has declined in size as the downtown area has become increasingly commercial and the suburbs in the valleys north, west, and north-east of the city have grown. Today Port of Spain is the western hub of a metropolitan area stretching from Carenage, 8 kilometres (5 mi) west of the city, to Arima, 24 kilometres (15 mi) east; this East–West Corridor runs along the southern edge of Trinidad's Northern Range.
From 1958 to 1962, Port of Spain was the temporary capital of the short-lived West Indies Federation, though there were plans to build a new federal capital at Chaguaramas, on land occupied by the US military base established during World War II. Federation Park, a residential neighbourhood in western Port of Spain intended to house employees of the federal government, is a memorial to that time.
In July 1990, an extremist Muslim group held the prime minister and members of parliament hostage for 5 days while rioting and looting shook Port of Spain.The damage was a significant setback to the city's commercial district at a time of severe economic hardship, yet businesses returned. In 2005 there was an unprecedented series of small bombings in Port of Spain which caused injuries to bystanders. They ceased in October 2005 but the perpetrator has not been charged.
Port of Spain measures about 10.4 km2 (c. 4 sq. mi) in area and is located in the northwest section of the island of Trinidad, between the Gulf of Paria, Northern Range and the Caroni Swamp.
The Northern Range is the range of tall, biodiverse hills across the northern portion of Trinidad and is considered an extension of the Andes mountains of South America, although that is geologically incorrect. Over 465 species of birds, and 100 species of mammals can be found in these mountains, making it one of the most biodiverse mountain ranges in the Caribbean. The Northern Range runs from the Chaguaramas Peninsula in the west to Toco in the east and consists mainly of steeply dipping metasedimentary rocks and lush rainforest containing a wide variety of plants and animal species. Port of Spain lies at the western end and the city climbs into the hills and valleys which are settled and largely deforested. The two tallest peaks are El Cerro del Aripo and El Tucuche which top 900 m (3,000 ft).
The 3278 hectare protected Caroni Swamp has long formed a physical barrier to the city's expansion to the south, forcing urban growth relentlessly eastward at the expense of a traffic relieving ring road. This west coast mangrove area is the island's second largest wetland after the east coast Nariva Swamp which is almost twice as large. It has well over 160 species of birds, including the national bird, the scarlet ibis. It is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions with visitor facilities and regular guided boat tours.
Some of the city lies on land reclaimed from the Gulf of Paria, the calm sheltered bay separating Trinidad from Venezuela, while other parts climb into the hills above the city. Geographically, the Port of Port of Spain is ideal for maritime traffic, providing a natural harbour on Trinidad's north-western coasts where adverse weather conditions are extremely rare.Unlike Chaguanas and San Fernando, Port of Spain has a cool climate due to elevation and the surrounding Northern Range mountains. In the high, misty valleys and mountains that surround the northern outskirts of the city, temperature inversion is quite frequent and the mountains provide a cooling relief from the sweltering heat below. Blue Basin falls, a popular attraction, is located north in Diego Martin. This is the closest waterfall and is invigorating and refreshing.
Immediately north and northwest of Port of Spain lie the suburbs of Cascade, St. Ann's, Maraval and Diego Martin. The last two districts fall outside the municipal boundary, but are sometimes considered extensions of the city. St. Ann's is notable for being the location of the Prime Minister's official residence and diplomatic centre. Cascade, a mainly suburban area with treed lot type housing is located to the south-eastern area of St. Ann's. Cascade borders St. Ann's by a hill named Mount Hololo, a neighbourhood of both middle class and exclusive housing developments.
Maraval is home to the exclusive Trinidad Country Club and right next door to the popular Long Circular Mall. Further afield, west of Diego Martin, lies the suburb of Westmoorings, which is known for its expensive Miami style highrise apartments facing the seafront. One of Trinidad's poshest shopping centres, The Falls at West-Mall, lies at the centre of these developments. As you head west beyond Carenage settlement is sparse, however the peninsula known as Chaguaramas, which was once a large US Army Base, has become a mecca for hundreds of international cruisers and a world major yacht storage and repair hub.
To the east along the East–West Corridor, also falling outside city limits, lie the large towns of San Juan, Tunapuna and Arima. With congestion rendering downtown inaccessible during peak hours, major shopping centres like Valsayn Shopping Centre, Grand Bazaar and Trincity Mall have sprung up at highway intersections. The last two are noted for being among the largest shopping centres in the country and in the Caribbean, with 60,000 square metres (600,000 sq ft) of commercial space in each. Two large Universities have been established in the eastern section of the E-W corridor – the regional University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus and the multi campus local University of Trinidad and Tobago whose main campus is on the Arima outskirts.
The city has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw) climate characterized by warm to hot temperatures year-round, with little seasonal variation due to its proximity to the equator, though nighttime temperatures dip somewhat during the winter months from January to March. Temperatures typically range from 19 to 34 °C, rarely above 35 or below 17. The wet season lasts from June to November, and the dry season lasts from December to May of the following year. During December–February, it can get chilly during the night hours.
|Climate data for Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago|
|Record high °C (°F)||33.2|
|Average high °C (°F)||28.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||17.0|
|Record low °C (°F)||14.6|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||42.9|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||11||10||6||6||11||20||21||19||16||15||18||13||166|
|Average relative humidity (%)||81||80||77||77||79||84||84||84||84||85||86||84||82|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||241.3||231.3||248.3||237.5||233.2||183.7||205.9||212.5||197.1||207.4||197.7||214.5||2,610.4|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization|
|Source #2: NOAA (sun, extremes and humidity)|
Port of Spain's official population is relatively small, and reflects the narrow city boundaries including the central business district and a number of economically depressed and a few upscale adjoining suburbs. In addition to the official population, the adjacent East–West Corridor conurbation has a population close to 600,000 people 24 kilometres (15 mi) east to Arima. It includes the towns of Barataria, San Juan, St. Joseph, Curepe, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Tacarigua, Arouca, and Five Rivers, once distinct communities and now districts within a continuous urban area. For the most part it runs along the Eastern Main Road, between the Churchill–Roosevelt Highway and the foothills of the Northern Range.and the "big city" feel with its suburban car dominated commuting. The corridor is the built-up area of north Trinidad stretching from the capital, Port of Spain,
Port of Spain's largest open space—and the world's largest traffic roundabout—is the Queen's Park Savannah, known colloquially simply as "the Savannah". It occupies about 110 hectares (260 acres) of level land, and the distance around the perimeter is about 3.5 km (2.2 mi). Once sugar land, it was bought by the town council in 1817 from the Peschier family (except for a small parcel near its centre that served as the Peschier cemetery, which remains in private hands).
At first it was used as a vast cattle pasture in what was then the town's suburbs, but by the middle of the 19th century it had become established as a park. Until the early 1990s, horse racing was held frequently at the Savannah race track, and it also contains several cricket, football and rugby pitches. Apart from a ring of trees round its perimeter, the Savannah was never really landscaped, except for the small area in its northwest corner called the Hollows, a former reservoir now drained and planted with flowering shrubs.
Immediately north of the Savannah—also the northern limit of the city of Port of Spain—are the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Emperor Valley Zoo, President's House (recently abandoned after one end fell down), the official residence of the prime minister, and Queen's Hall, the city's major performing arts venue. Lady Chancellor Road, which ascends the hills overlooking the Savannah, is one of Port of Spain's most exclusive residential areas and is the current home of former West Indies cricketer and record breaking batsman, Brian Lara.
On the Savannah's southern side is the Grand Stand, formerly used for viewing horse races, now used for various cultural events, most notably Carnival, when a temporary North Stand and raised stage are constructed in front of the Grand Stand, creating the "Big Yard", Carnival's central location since the early 20th century (previously, the main viewing area for Carnival was in downtown Port of Spain). From this location the Parade of Bands is broadcast live to the nation on Carnival Monday and Tuesday; it is also the venue for the Calypso Monarch and Carnival King and Queen Competitions and the finals of the Panorama steelpan competition. The architecturally soothing arches and curves of the Port of Spain National Academy for the Performing Arts (see picture and caption) dominate the south boundary of the Savannah between the green trimmed landmarks of Memorial Park (in remembrance of fallen soldiers during World Wars I and II) and the gingerbread styled, limestone built, colourful splendour of the Knowsley Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building.
The western edge of the Savannah, along Maraval Road, is the location of the Magnificent Seven, a group of late Victorian and Edwardian buildings built in an eccentric and flamboyant variety of styles. These are the recently well restored Queen's Royal College; the residences of the Anglican bishop and the Roman Catholic archbishop; Whitehall, once a private residence, then the office of the prime minister from 1963 to 2010 ; Mille Fleurs, once a private residence, is undergoing full restoration as a public museum and headquarters for the National Heritage Trust and was sold to the Government in 1979; Roomor, an ornate black-and-white château-like building that remains a private residence; and Stollmeyer's Castle, a turreted house supposedly modelled on Balmoral Castle. The slow pace of building restorations over the years remains a concern.
Housing in Port of Spain ranges from luxurious waterfront apartments to board houses lacking indoor plumbing and motor vehicular access. Continued pressure for expansion of commercial development in Woodbrook and uptown POS (Port of Spain proper) has led to a rapid rate of decline in the city's population over the past 4 decades.The private development scheme at Damien street Woodbrook recently provided 350 luxury-apartments, but those are unaffordable to most, even though they were originally intended for the general population.
To address the problem, East Port of Spain Development Companywas formed in 2005 with a mandate to develop and redevelop a zone in east Port-of-Spain to improve the economic, social and physical environment of those areas. Large parts of Port of Spain's Eastern entrance have been cleared of old warehouses and substandard housing.
There are several new government housing projects in the city which are under construction or planned.
Port of Spain is administered by the Port of Spain City Corporation. There are 12 councillors and 4 aldermen. The mayor is elected from the membership of the council. The council is presided over by the mayor, who is effectively the chief custodian of the city. It formulates policy and gives direction for the running of the city through a number of standing committees which each meet at least once per month.
Decisions are then ratified at the statutory meeting of the council, which takes place on the last Wednesday of each month. The policies and directives of the council are executed by the administrative arm of the corporation, which is headed by the chief executive officer and has under her charge a number of senior officers and a workforce of about 3,000 daily-paid and 300 monthly-paid employees.
The Chief Executive Officer and her staff are public servants functioning under the regulations of the Statutory Authorities Service Commissions Ordinance.
Following an election in 1887, Michel Maxwell Philip became the mayor, a position that had previously been held by only whites. Bridget Brereton wrote in her 2002 book Race Relations in Colonial Trinidad 1870–1900 that "perhaps this marks the emergence of the coloured man as a political force in Trinidad".
Joel Martinez is the current mayor of Port of Spain.
The electoral districts are:
Port of Spain became a "city" in 1914; the ordinance was passed on May 29 and was proclaimed by the Governor on June 25, 1914. The first city councillors were elected on November 2. Among them were oil pioneer Randolph Rust, lawyer and social activist Emmanuel Mzumbo Lazare and Dr. Enrique Prada, who was elected chairman by the council and became the first mayor of the City of Port of Spain.
Port of Spain is a shopping and business centre for much of the country. Most government offices are also located in the city and many important government services can only be accessed in the Ministry offices located downtown. Within recent years, local banks headquartered here have helped it become a financial centre for the Caribbean and Central America region. Two of the largest banks in the Caribbean, Republic Bank, Trinidad and Tobago Limited and Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (RBTT, reacquired by the Royal Bank in 2008) are headquartered here or base their Caribbean operations in the city.
Trinidad's economy is based on natural gas and oil. No heavy industrial sites are located in Port of Spain, but a major oil refinery and many petrochemical and iron and steel plants exist or are planned for sites south of it and closer to Trinidad's second city of San Fernando.However, the oil and gas majors and some service companies have located their headquarters in the city to be in close proximity to government services, infrastructure and the high quality of life many citizens of Port of Spain enjoy. Some of the oil and gas company headquarters located in Port of Spain (many others are found in San Fernando & Point Lisas)include BPTT, BGTT (British Gas), BHP Billiton, EOG Resources, Fluor, Repsol YPF, Atlantic LNG and Baker Hughes.
Trinidad and Tobago is considered one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean and some of this wealth is on display in Port of Spain. High-income proceeds from the international sale of natural gas has aided the country in the Port of Spain International Waterfront project constructed on former Port Authority Land. The Port of Port of Spain is the country's major port for containerized shipping followed by the Port of Point Lisas. Cruise ships also dock at the port which has:public international cargo-handling facilities for containerised, break-bulk, Roll-on/Roll-off and dry/liquid bulk cargo The Port also operates the ferry service between Trinidad & Tobago, as agents of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Tourism is targeted for expansion and is a growing sector in the city's economy, but it is not as important as in other Caribbean cities. Port of Spain has a large agricultural market, known as the "central market" where food produced in the surrounding hinterland is traded.
In 1999/2000 there were 40 Government/Assisted schools located in the Port of Spain Administrative Area. There were 17,957 students enrolled in primary schoolsand 15,641 enrolled in secondary school. In secondary schools, 7,567 were male and 8,074 were female.
Education is free and compulsory up to secondary school. Port of Spain school leavers, as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, do not pay tuition to study at local & regional public and private tertiary institutions except for graduate studies where they pay a heavily subsidised fee. There are several prominent tertiary institutions in Port of Spain and environs, in particular the St. Augustine campus of the three-campus, Caribbean-wide University of the West Indies, which had a local campus enrollment of 15,571 in academic year 2007/2008.The University of Trinidad and Tobago has several campuses and institutes in the greater Port of Spain area including the research based Natural Gas Institute of the Americas and the Chaguaramas Centre for Maritime Studies.
Port of Spain has a population of 18,008 males and 19,066 females, with 5,694 businesses and is home to 12,333 households with an average size of 2.9 according to the 2011 census. The city experienced an average annual growth rate of −2.3% between the censuses of 2000 and 2011
Port of Spain's diverse population reflects two centuries of immigration and this shows in the architecture of its buildings. The city features French colonial 'ginger bread' style houses, buildings with New Orleans reminiscent wrought-iron railings and wooden fretwork set beside modern high-rise towers and strip malls with a mish-mash of gothic-style cathedrals, mosques and Hindu temples testifying to the diversity of cultures.It is home to African, Indian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Venezuelan, Chinese and Syrian immigrants, most of them arriving since the Spanish Cedula of Population of 1783. Prominent Port of Spain citizens include Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize Literature 1992) and former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara.
|Port of Spain annexed St. James in 1938.|
|Port of Spain||37,074|
|Source: 2011 Census|
|Dougla (Indian and Black)||10.3%|
|East Asian (Chinese)||1%|
|Native American (Amerindian)||0.2%|
Trinidad has a rich tapestry of cultures which create occasions for celebrations beyond many's expectations for a small Caribbean island; thus there is much to see and do after work hours in Port of Spain, even long after the annual Carnival celebration. While the popularity of the major shopping area around Frederick Street as a nightspot centre has remained steady or declined, expansion of entertainment venues into the malls and outlying towns has occurred. St. James, 'uptown' Port of Spain (St. Clair and Woodbrook) have seen a boom in nightclubs, sports bars and fine dining restaurants as workers from government offices and large corporations disgorge on evenings from high-rise headquarters built in newly commercialized formerly upscale neighbourhoods.
Port of Spain hosts major sporting venues including the Queen's Park Oval, Hasely Crawford Stadium, the Jean Pierre Complex and various sporting fields on the Queen's Park Savannah. Port of Spain was among the host cities of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The city hosted the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship and the finals of the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Cup and 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
There are a number of well placed green spaces which have been preserved in Port of Spain. Many of them are referred to as squares or parks. Although some of the Squares have retained some of their "original framework" which consists of lengths of metal placed in concrete, which surround the exterior of the space, with each Square having at least four gates. These gates are positioned on the corners so as to allow the main paths of the Square to form an X. Some of the Squares have not retained nor do they give the appearance of having had the lengths of metal placed on its exterior points as lines of demarcation. By virtue of the gates to the Squares not being closed at any time and the lack of metal enclosures on others, there is the impression that these Squares and places are also open to the public at all hours. In some of the Squares, there are street lights to illuminate the interior of the square at nighttime.
Some of the more famous squares are as follows:
Lord Harris Square which is located between Pembroke, New and Abercromby Sts. was "established in the early 1900s, (and) is named as a tribute to Lord Harris, governor of Trinidad between 1846 and 1854".
Woodford Square is located between Frederick, Abercromby and Hart Sts. It is bounded by the Old National Library, The Red House and the Trinity Cathedral. Woodford Square is sometimes referred to as "University of Woodford Sq because of its occasional use by soapbox speakers and gospel preachers, this is the symbolic center of downtown. Dr Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago’s first prime minister, lectured to the masses here about the importance of sovereignty, which later led to the country’s independence from Britain".
"Woodford Square was formerly known as Brunswick Square.".However prior to 1808, "Woodford Square was first known as the Place of Souls by the native Indians who fought a bloody battle on this open space. ..... With the coming of the French settlers to the island, they called the Place of souls – Place Des Ames. Place Des Ames means Place of souls. Place Des Ames later became known as Brunswick Square. Brunswick Square was used as a parade ground for soldiers. Many of these soldiers were Germans. Brunswick is a German name, and so it is believed that this open space was named after the German soldiers who used it."
Marine Square, while not a designated green space serves as a meeting place for many visitors coming into Port of Spain. "Plaza De La Marina was the name given to the area extending from the Wharf in the west to the Roman Catholic Cathedral to the east.""When the British came in 1797 the name was changed to Marine Square.... In the 1880s a fountain was erected in the middle of the square." "1962: Marine Square becomes Independence Square." In the 1980s "this area was the site of the statue of Captain Arthur Andrew Cipriani (1875–1945), one of Trinidad and Tobago's celebrated political leaders and sportsmen......The area was then renamed the Brian Lara Promenade in honor of Trinidad and Tobago's most celebrated cricketer and record breaking batsman, Brian Charles Lara (1974–). The Promenade was completed in three phases and finally opened in August 1995".
A little more of the history on Marine Square is revealed in the following extract "the square was the early home of the Syrian/ Lebanese communities when they started to arrive in Trinidad during the early 20th century. They were fleeing from the harsh religious and political persecution of the Turks who had conquered their lands. The original number of these immigrants was small but it grew larger when a confrontation erupted between a Muslim religious sect and the Christian Maronites.
Annette Rahael, a third generation Syrian living in Trinidad explained, "when the early settlers arrived and saw the cathedral on Marine Square they immediately claimed it as the House of God and adopted Catholicism as their religious affiliation, since there were no churches in Trinidad celebrating the liturgy of the Antiochan Orthodox religion which they had practised in their country".
Tamarind Square – This square is located between Nelson and George Sts.It is located in close proximity to one of the local banks which was established in Trinidad and Tobago, "Workers Bank". This bank merged with the Trinidad Cooperative Bank and the National Commercial Bank to form First Citizens' Bank.
Victoria Square is located on Duke St. West, Park St, and has been categorised as a Park located in Woodbrookaccording to WOW City. However, because of its location on Duke St. West which starts on Wrightson Road and ends on Charlotte St, it is included here.
Kew Place is one of the smallest "squares" in Port of Spain. "Kew Place has a length of 0.12 kilometres"and is large enough to hold a statue of Gandhi. It is located just opposite the main entrance to Lapeyrouse Cemetery on Philip Street and is within walking distance of Victoria Square.
Port of Spain offers a range of nightclubs and entertainment complexes; a few of the best and most expensive ones arguably being Zen, 51 degrees, Coco Lounge, El Morocco and Shakers; however the list changes frequently as partygoers' tastes change. International and regional performers such as Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Sean Paul, Rihanna, Cascada, Akon, Usher, Maroon 5, Kumar Sanu and natively born Trinidadian International Super Star Nicki Minaj to name a very few, have visited Port of Spain.
A great variety of restaurants including Italian, Mexican, Lebanese, Thai, Venezuelan-Panyol, French, Japanese, Chinese, Creole, American and Indian can be found in Port of Spain with many concentrated on Ariapita Avenue,a popular entertainment strip, which also includes a Jazz Lounge and a Wine Tasting restaurant. MovieTowne's Fiesta Plaza, a tribute to Bourbon Street New Orleans, on the city's foreshore, features many new restaurants, open air dining and a bandstand with live entertainment. Port of Spain's award-winning restaurants provide a wide range of local and international cuisines, accompanied by the traditional fast food chains. Many of the city's restaurants can be sampled at the Taste T&T Food Festival hosted at the Jean Pierre Sports Complex annually in May.
Port of Spain is also a cultural hub for the country. Regular dance and theatre productions occur at:
Port of Spain is the centre of one of the largest Carnivals in the world, with tens of thousands participating in the pre-Lenten street party.
One of Port of Spain's most prominent artisans is Peter Minshall, who creates 'mas' or masquerade costumes for Trinidad's annual carnival. Internationally, he helped design the opening awards ceremonies for the 1987 Pan American Games, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the 1994 Football World Cup and the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
The National Museum and Art Gallery is the country's most important museum. It displays depictions of national festivals, Carnival, life during World War II and artifacts from the country's earliest settlers, the Amerindians. There are also displays by leading local and international artists, with exhibitions being mounted at various times during the year. The museum was established in 1892 and was originally called the Royal Victoria Institute, as it was built as part of the preparation for Queen Victoria's jubilee.
The National Museum has two smaller branch museums:
Fort San Andres which is located on South Quay,opposite City Gate. According to Geoffrey MacLean, in the Trinidad Express Newspaper in December 2014, "the fort, which replaced a mound of mud and wood that served as the only defence of Port of Spain, was, when completed in 1787, located offshore and linked to the mainland by a wooden bridge."
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Museum which is located at the Old Police Headquarters on St. Vincent Street.This Museum is in close proximity to the Old Cabildo Building, called the Law Museum as of August 2012 by the Guardian TT when it was reopened, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, and the Colonial Life Insurance Co Ltd building, known as CLICO, and opposite to CLICO is the RED HOUSE.
Port of Spain and its immediate environs have a higher crime rate than any other part of Trinidad. Homicides countrywide rose from fewer than 50 in the 1980s, to 97 in 1998, then to 360 in 2006 (30 murders per 100,000 persons). It rose to approximately 500 in 2008 but decreased significantly in 2010 and 2011.For the year 2012, the rate reached 354 murders per 100,000 persons, but with a state of emergency being imposed by government for approximately three months. For the year 2013 the rate reached 407. Until July of the 2014, the number reaches 207 homicides.
Many murders are drug and gang related, especially in the depressed communities of East Port of Spain. The police administration has responded by improving the working conditions of officers, increasing the use of forensic evidence and surveillance technology (CCTV cameras) as well as hiring overseas experts.
Reports of kidnappings for ransom which were on the rise a few years ago have declined dramatically since 2006.However, theft and violent crimes remain prevalent to this date, while crime and the perception of crime continues to hamper the economic prospects of the city.
Five RHAs deliver public health care services to the population of Trinidad and Tobago. RHAs (Regional Health Authorities) are autonomous bodies that own and operate health facilities in their respective regions. The Port of Spain municipality is served by the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA). The NWRHA administers and manages the Port of Spain General Hospital, St Ann's Psychiatric Hospital, St. James Medical Complex and 16 health centres that serve a catchment area of 500,000 people.The Port of Spain General Hospital is one of the major trauma centres in the nation and in the Southern Caribbean.
The demand for speedy quality health service has led to the establishment of private hospitals. The major ones are:
In the greater Port of Spain area, the public and fully state-funded Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, run by the North Central RHA, is also a major provider of medical services. It includes the Wendy Fitzwilliam Children's Ward and the Mt. Hope Women's Hospital.
Port of Spain has one of the most dense and complex systems of roadways in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. Transportation in and out of Port of Spain is plagued by heavy traffic delays at morning and evening rush hour. Port of Spain Highways are equipped with CCTV cameras, road signage, lane markings, cat eyes, and other safety features.
City Gate serves as a transportation hub for public buses and private mini-buses (locally known as maxi-taxis). City Gate is located on South Quay just south of Independence Square. A ferry service links Port of Spain with Scarborough, Tobago and a water taxi service, restarted in December 2008(Trinidad's west coast towns were once served by steamship), links it with San Fernando.
Like the rest of the island of Trinidad, Port of Spain is served by the Piarco International Airport located in Piarco, approximately 10 km (6 mi) east of Port of Spain.
To ease the current traffic woes that result in two- to three-hour commutes during rush hours, a number of projects are in various stages of implementation. The upgrading of the Churchill–Roosevelt highway to a grade separated expresswayand the extension of water ferry services from Port of Spain to the major urban hubs along the west coast are particularly notable.
This section needs to be updated.July 2018)(
Electricity generation is handled by Powergen, a privately owned electricity producer, while electrical distribution is handled by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) a state owned enterprise. Powergen had one natural gas-fired generation plant located on Wrightson Road in Port of Spain however this plant was closed on January 14, 2016 ending 121 years of power generation in Port of Spain.Port of Spain is supplied by power from power generation facilities located in Point Lisas, Penal and La Brea.
Telecommunications are regulated by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT). It has successfully de-monopolised the industry, granting several new mobile licenses in 2005 for two private companies, Digicel and Laqtel to offer wireless service in competition with TSTT. Laqtel which would have offered Trinidad and Tobago's first CDMA (3G) network had its license revoked by the TATT in 2008. Fixed-line telephone service and broadband was also once a monopoly controlled by Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). Flow, the monopoly cable provider, also now offers these services to its wide customer base.Satellite, Wifi, EDGE, GPRS, DSL and Cable broadband services in excess of 6 Mbit/s are available throughout the city. There are Wifi hotspots at all major hotels and for free in coffee shops, malls and at the airport. broadband and mobile competition has resulted in lower rates and wider availability of services for consumers. Water and sewerage are under the purview of the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WaSA). Much of the city's water supply comes from the Caroni Arena Dam located in the Arena Forest Reserve near Brazil Village. The Caroni Arena Dam supplies the Caroni Water Treatment Plant located opposite the Piarco International Airport Southern Terminal. This Caroni Water Treatment Plant was upgraded in 2000 to a total daily production of 75 m.g.d.
Another important facility, the new Beetham Waste Water Treatment Plant, began to treat domestic waste to international standards in 2004. The plant serves customers within Greater Port-of Spain and environs from Pt. Cumana in the west to Mt. Hope in the east including Diego Martin and Maraval.
Most solid waste is disposed of in the Beetham Landfill, commonly known as La Basse.
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Port of Spain is twinned or is a sister city with the following cities:
The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) is the military organization responsible for the defence of the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard and the Defence Force Reserves.
The music of Trinidad and Tobago is best known for its calypso music, soca music and steelpan. Calypso's internationally noted performances in the 1950s from native artists such as Lord Melody, Lord Kitchener and Mighty Sparrow. The art form was most popularised at that time by Harry Belafonte. Along with folk songs and African- and Indian-based classical forms, cross-cultural interactions have produced other indigenous forms of music including soca, rapso, parang, chutney, and other derivative and fusion styles. There are also local communities which practice and experiment with international classical and pop music, often fusing them with local steelpan instruments.
Chaguaramas lies in the North West Peninsula of Trinidad west of Port of Spain; the name is often applied to the entire peninsula, but is sometimes used to refer to its most developed area. The developed area in Chaguaramas starts at ALCOA and ends at the Army and Coast Guard camps on the mainland. In the description or context of "developed area" one excludes the five islands which are in various stages of development or redevelopment as of 2016. However in the information below, some data is included on the Five Islands
The Northern Range is the range of tall hills across north Trinidad, the major island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The hills range from the Chaguaramas peninsula on the west coast to Toco in the east. The Northern Range covers approximately twenty-five percent of the land area of Trinidad.
Laventille is a ward of Trinidad and Tobago.
San Juan is a town in Trinidad and Tobago. Located in San Juan–Laventille region in Saint George County, it lies within the East-West Corridor Metropolitan Area, between Barataria and Saint Joseph.
Saint George is a county in Trinidad and Tobago. It occupies the northwestern portion of the island of Trinidad and is bounded by the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Gulf of Paria to the west, Caroni County to the south and Saint David County and Saint Andrew County to the east. It occupies an area of 912 km2 (352 sq mi). The county includes the Bocas Islands and the towns of Port of Spain and Arima. It also includes the small town of Blanchisseuse and its attractive beach, backed by a forest-fringed lagoon. County Saint George is divided into six Wards: Diego Martin, Saint Ann's, Blanchisseuse, Tacarigua, Arima and San Raphael.
The National Museum and Art Gallery is the national museum of Trinidad and Tobago, in Port of Spain on Trinidad island. It is located at the top of Frederick Street, opposite the Memorial Park, and just south of the Queen's Park Savannah.
Criminal activity in Trinidad and Tobago has been and still is a controversial topic on the two islands. Gang Murders and murders rose every year from 1999 to 2008. Approximately 529 people were murdered in 2008, the highest number ever. In January 2018 Trinidad recorded 40 killings in the month. Nearly 500 murders per year were recorded in 2017.
San Juan–Laventille is a region of Trinidad. It has a land area of 220.39 km². The San Juan–Laventille Regional Corporation is headquartered at MTS Plaza in Aranguez. Other urban areas include Barataria, Laventille, Morvant, St. Joseph and San Juan. It is the smallest region in Trinidad. The region is bordered by Port of Spain in the west to St. Joseph in the east.
Tunapuna–Piarco is one of the 9 regions of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the most populous region in the country by total population and the fifth-largest by total land area. Geographically located in Northern Trinidad, Tunapuna–Piarco shares its borders with the regions of San Juan–Laventille to the west, Couva–Tabaquite–Talparo to the south, the Borough of Chaguanas to the south-west, Sangre Grande to the east and the Caribbean Sea to the north. The region also completely surrounds the Royal Chartered Borough of Arima, which is located in the south-eastern corner of the region.
Saint James is a district of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The main road is the Western Main Road. It runs from Woodbrook to Cocorite. St. James is also known for its diverse mixture of cultural activities.
Queen's Park Savannah is a park in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Known locally as simply "the Savannah," it is Port of Spain's largest open space. It occupies about 260 acres (110 ha) of level land, and the distance around the perimeter is about 2.2 mi (3.5 km).
General elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 5 November 2007. Nomination day was 15 October.
Downtown Port of Spain is the central business district of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The largest of the city's 7 commercial districts. The Downtown district of Port of Spain is also the oldest district of the city, between South Quay, Oxford Street, the St. Ann's River, and Richmond Street.
The large Woodbrook district, west of Downtown, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, formerly a sugar estate owned by the Siegert family, was sold to the Town Board in 1911 and developed into a residential neighbourhood, with many of the north–south streets named for the Siegert siblings, some of whom were Carlos, Luis, Petra and Alfredo.
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