The Malta Independent 21 September 2021, Tuesday

Multi-storey car parks at locality peripheries being considered - LCA

Janet Fenech Sunday, 12 September 2021, 09:00 Last update: about 8 days ago

Multi-storey park-and-ride car parks at the periphery of localities around Malta is one of several sustainable urban projects being researched by the Local Council’s Association (LCA), president Mario Fava told The Malta Independent on Sunday.

These projects form part of the councils ‘Resident First’ vision for 2020 to 2024, which aims for the LCA to take a proactive approach to sustainable locality planning around Malta, in the interest of improving the quality of life of residents.

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Fava believes that for this vision to be enabled, the local plans must be amended.

Malta’s local plans which regulate building development across the island were introduced by the Nationalist Party in 2006.

Malta ranks as one of the top ten most densely populated countries in the world and one of the highest in Europe, with approximately 1,300 persons per square kilometre.

Fava argued that though both the LCA and the government have already started encouraging a shift away from car ownership, as with the ‘Slow Street’ scheme − set to split several dual carriage ways into one for cars and one for cyclists, electric scooter riders and walkers – most people will likely still retain ownership over their cars, albeit a shift to using other modes of transport, and thus Malta’s parking problem remains.

Thus, seeing as Malta already has inadequate parking space, the LCA is putting forward proposals to the government so as not to take up pavement space and on street parking for EV charging stations, but rather make use of already developed car parks like those of supermarkets or hotels, as well as petrol stations to house these charging stations.

All the project plans included in the LCA’s ‘Resident First’ vision are based on the following four pillars: Sustainable Mobility, Urban Green, Open Urban Spaces, Smart Cities.

For example, the ‘Slow Street’ scheme currently in process −which could see approximately 240km of continuous bicycle and electric scooter lanes − as well as the above mentioned EV infrastructure proposals, form part of the Sustainable Mobility pillar.

Other project plans in the works such as the implementation of more open markets (Monti), as well as establishing new garbage sites in every locality − wherein residents could be given an access card to drop of their garbage at a nearby site with the amount and type of garbage disposed of to be monitored − form part of the Open Urban Spaces pillar.

Fava expressed how it is common amongst Maltese people to return from abroad and say something like “how pleasant it was to have been able to walk around most parts of the city” and so, the LCA has been proactively researching sustainable urban models already established in other cities in order to adapt them and then implement in Malta. 

Thus, Fava hopes that through the LCA’s initiatives, town and village centres around Malta and Gozo will not continue to be engulfed by traffic, pollution and building developments but rather return at least partly to how they were when children played in the street. 

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