The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Paola Square architect defends decision to remove trees

Wednesday, 20 June 2018, 13:41 Last update: about 5 years ago

Paola Square architect Christopher Mintoff said that it would have been cheaper to leave the Paola Square trees in their place but it was not feasible to do so.

He was replying, on Facebook, to criticism in the social media regarding the removal of the trees that characterised the main square in the locality.

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“It would have been the nicer and cheaper option to leave the existing trees but unfortunately it was not feasible,” he wrote.

The existing trees were slated to be removed for a long time, before the idea of the new design began. The trees were planted without containment and were damaging paving, the road, a large underground reservoir, and a WW2 shelter, he said.

The trees were damaging underground infrastructure including water, waste water, power etc. Major regional connections pass from the pjazza.

Property owners in the area were reporting damages from the roots too, and some even resorted to taking matters into their own hands. Ficus produce sappy spores which make the floor filthy - attracting insects and putting off pedestrians, he added.

Pedestrians were also put off by the fact that the pjazza was essentially a roundabout, getting polluted from all around, with dangerous access to and fro.

The redesign of the square meant that we “could remove the round-about, and substantially reduce the impact of traffic in the area. 

This meant a doubling of pedestrian space with much less idle pollution. 

All trees but one which roots had surrounded power cables were relocated within Paola his results in a net increase of trees in Paola.

The new trees within Paola have large containers with root barriers which will mean they can grow without damaging the infrastructure, he said.

 

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