The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Three urban greening projects in Hamrun, Qormi, and Mosta; Santa Venera roofing project progressing

Saturday, 14 November 2020, 14:59 Last update: about 3 months ago

Three urban greening projects were announced for Hamrun, Qormi, and Mosta, while it has also been revealed that roofing project for Santa Venera is finally progressing.

“We are taking our country’s ecological and green transition to the next level, as government’s urban greening ambition is getting a pivotal push to offer a new concept of urban living based on green principles with green infrastructural projects for Maltese and Gozitan families”, said Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia.


The minister announced that three blueprint projects in Ħamrun, Qormi, and Mosta will be delivered in short timeframes in dense urban areas, acting as further urban lungs that will convert traffic thoroughfares into green heavens, and also announced the launching of GreenServ, an arm within WasteServ that is mandated to deliver the projects swiftly and to high standards. 

The minister explained that government is progressing with the Santa Venera tunnel roofing projects. The concept centres around safeguarding sensitive receptors from traffic pollution whilst also delivering a new concept garden overlying the existing road, one of the busiest in Malta. Key to the materialisation of the project are the required geotechnical studies that will confirm the exact nature of the intervention required on-site to erect the required structures.

“This is about giving back the people a green way of life that in some areas has been taken away from them in the name of progress. We are committed to improved environmental wellbeing, that through such innovative projects can still go hand in hand with Malta’s continuous economic advancements”, said the minister.

These geotechnical studies will be undertaken early next year following the conclusion of the required procurement processes.

GreenServ meanwhile is a new urban greening project implementation arm within WasteServ, conceived to deliver a new lease of life to Malta’s urban centres. Through this arm, WasteServ will continue to widen its environmental mission as part of a continuous commitment to deliver an environment to the next generation that is better than the one inherited from the current one.

GreenServ will focus on dense urban areas that require transformation, areas that over the years have developed into predominantly grey spaces characterised by traffic and other aspects that negatively impinge on people’s quality of life.  A new impetus will therefore be given with the main aim of every project brief being exclusively to improve in a drastic and innovative manner the urban environment. WasteServ has already a very strong project implementation arm and the latest additional duties have further increased the enthusiasm of its team, with this field of work being seen as an excellent opportunity to ameliorate the environment, even beyond the traditional confines of WasteServ’s operations.

Minister Aaron Farrugia explained how this will start transforming urban centres into green areas with a difference. “This will not be greening in a conventional way but will focus on the best available technologies tailored according to the diverse urban setups that will be targeted. Our aim is to give people green spaces close to their homes. We want our children to enjoy open spaces, cleaner air and a way of living that is not limited to the overdevelopment scenarios Malta’s urban centres have become associated with”, Minister Farrugia said.  

In a much shorter project delivery timeframe, through the GreenServ arm, the market will be consulted on three innovative urban greening projects that will be the blueprint for larger ones in years to come. These three projects, which are expected to approach the €4 million mark, will introduce a new concept of urban living in three selected urban centres in Mosta, Ħamrun, and Qormi.

“We strongly believe in the importance of green and blue infrastructure, whose main components are water management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, better air quality, sustainable energy production and healthy soils. For this reason, we have conducted an unprecedented investment in environmental projects under this concept within three urban areas, with an investment of more than €1 million per locality, to further provide better quality of life for our communities”, stated Parliamentary Secretary Alex Muscat.

“An area in Mosta which is not currently accessible to the public is being considered for this project. This same area will be regenerated so that it is open to the public and can be enjoyed by both residents and all those who come to visit”, he continued.

Funding for these three projects is being provided by the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF) through investment from the IIP.

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