The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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Prince of Wales urges sustainable planning in sprawling urbanization

Rebecca Iversen Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 20:02 Last update: about 7 years ago

The Prince of Wales has urged local governments to plan sustainably, stating that there was still unplanned sprawling of urbanisation in our towns and cities.

The Prince spoke at this year's Commonwealth local government conference, which is being hosted in Malta for the first time.

Addressing the conference through a pre-recorded video, the Price of Wales spoke of local government being critical in enabling the catalysation of economic and urban development by taking into account ecological boundaries.


He went on to speak about urbanisation... of local governments needing to make "the pedestrian the heart of the process and not the car", when urbanising towns and cities.

The theme of the 2017 conference is: Fit for the future: capacity and resources for effective local government.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat also spoke at the conference, and stressed the importance of having personal contact with citizens.

Muscat, the current chairman of the commonwealth, spoke of close relations with citizens due to Malta's size, allowing voters opportunities to be closer to the policy making table. However the Prime Minster also added that such closeness can also make decisions harder for local councillors.

Muscat emphasised Malta's steps in using technology, mentioning Malta's progress in block chain which will affect how government works. Furthermore the Prime Minster mentioned technology being used to find parking in certain localities; the opening up of local councils to 16 year-olds to contest and vote; and the 9% financial allocation to local councils.

He concluded that keeping families at the centre of governance is the way to improving people's lives.

The Secretary General of the commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, addressed the opening by mentioning the importance of Local governments making massive contributions to sustainability and democracy. Adding that "Good and honest local governments knit societies together" and that when local administration is weak or fails, communities break down.

Justice Minister Owen Bonnici shared his delight at Malta hosting the conference, deeming it a "splendid opportunity not just for our country but for our local governments".

"The conference will focus on strategies for  boosting local government" he said.

Bonnici mentioned how the Maltese government is discussing reform on local governance not just in terms of law, but also in terms of regulation.

Joe Cordina, representative of the local association also spoke, enforcing the opportunities such a conference is giving by empowering local councils. Cordina said that the sharing of political, cultural and trade points will be beneficial for all local governments.





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