San-Juan Laventille: Trouble in paradise

San-Juan Laventille. Trinidad and Tobago.  At first you may be tempted to think of swaying palm trees, romantic walks along the beach and cocktails with paper umbrellas.

Think again.  Things were far from idyllic in this tropical paradise.

When BSC was engaged to provide consultation and develop a marketing plan for an urban market it became apparent this campaign was going to become more than just a simple re-branding exercise.  This was going to be a major revitalisation project and BSC was very excited to be part of something to do what we do best: create opportunities for prosperity, from poverty.

The municipal government wanted to grow the local economy by helping poverty stricken peddlers move their business off the streets and into the historic, central community marketplace. Problem was, the market itself needed revitalizing too.   Situated at the junction of the country’s East/West and North/South highways, approx. 200,000 Trinis pass through the area each day.

BSC worked with the municipal government to develop a business and marketing plan for a $52 million restoration of their historic market.  This was a major urban revitalization project!   A culturally significant yet long forgotten epicentre for trade was getting a new lease of life.

BSC brought together the planning, engineering, and parks departments, integrating their plans to create a district that would serve as a destination, rather than a thoroughfare.  A financial model was developed that would sustain marketing outreach, maintenance, and promote growth of the district.

A system giving peddlers access to clean, serviced vendor stalls was also introduced.  Since then over 400 vendor stalls have been filled.  The peddlers have a secure opportunity to earn and improve their standard of living.

Now the historical marketplace thrives as San Juan-Laventille’s central shopping market.

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