Freeport-Lucaya, Bahamas, North America
Year1955latitude: 26° 31'
longitude: -78° 41'
Initiator(s)Wallace Groves
Planning organizationGrand Bahama Port Authority
Nationality initiator(s)American
Designer(s) / Architect(s)
Design organizationCornell University NY
Inhabitants26,910 (2000)
Target population400,000
Town website
Town related links ml
Literature- Barratt, P. ‘Grand Bahama’ 1972
- Koss, R. ‘The rough guide to Bahamas’ 2003

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
The area of Lucaya was bought by Wallace Groves (a Virginian entrepreneur) in 1955 with the intention of building a new town, Freeport. Groves had economic motives to build this town, he wanted it to make profit. Groves bought Lucaya under the name of Grand Bahama Port Authority Ltd., The town was a corporate undertaking that was to make profit through the development of port-industry. The chosen location of the new town was the direct result of this intention. According to Wallace Groves the proximity of Miami was a strategic factor that placed the town on an important trade route. That the area was a swamp was of lesser concern, since that was a technical problem that could be taken into account when the town was planned. Because the port was the motive of the plan and because the port was logistically important for the supply of materials to build the town, construction was started there. At this stage Silver City was also constructed, a temporal town for the construction workers and the first settlers. In 1960 the Port Authority that managed the plan, arranged that the port would not have to pay taxes to the government of the Bahamas until 2015 and that the company was also qualified to invest in tourism and in residential areas. Following these decisions, students of the City Planning Department of Cornell University, NY, studied the possible future developments of Freeport and their results formed the basis of the master plan. These entailed that the town was to be build inland from the harbor, so that the beachfront would be saved for tourism. Freeport was constructed as the industrial centre without residential areas and Lucaya was constructed as a resort area, made out of a strip of hotels, casinos and golf courses. Around and between the industrial centre and the touristic strip, an ample grid pattern was planned. The grid made room for suburbs with residential areas for the stream of settlers that was expected to be drawn to Freeport in search of jobs. Today, Freeport-Lucaya is the second most populated city on the islands of Bahamas.

source: Barratt, P. 'Grand Bahama', Harrisburg 1972

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