The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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TMID Editorial: Malta’s future

Tuesday, 31 January 2023, 09:32 Last update: about 3 months ago

Walking down St Anne’s street in Floriana, one could envision children playing, a park filled with trees, birds chirping, perhaps a fountain or two. Benches on the side of a walking path. Maybe a space where cyclists can ride bicycles nearby where shrubs and greenery are seen all round.

It’s a lovely thought for the future. The government had pledged a number of major environmental projects for the years to come, and turning St Anne’s street in Floriana into a garden was one of them, with traffic flowing through a tunnel underground.


Seeing a more green Malta is a lovely thought. Imagine a Malta with a far more used public transport system, where there is less traffic. Imagine streets lined with trees, more people using bicycles safely on segregated lanes. Imagine buildings that look aesthetically pleasing which bring with them a sense of uniformity. Imagine more public parks in the heart of localities, where our children can play, meet friends and where families can spend time together, instead of having to travel by car to see some green.

Well that can be achieved… but it will require some serious long-term planning, sacrifices to be made, and a collective focus on achieving that dream.

An alternative future would see Gozo rapidly built up with hotchpotch apartment blocks. Streets could be packed with traffic as the government of the future continues to struggle to deal with the situation. Pavements would remain small and uneven. More agricultural land would be taken up for roads. There would be overcrowding in the little open spaces that there would be, which one would still need to drive to in order to reach. More aesthetically unsightly buildings would rise, as the uglification of Malta would continue.

The choice of the future we want is in all of our hands. But, here’s the thing, if we want to go for the greener future, then we have some very difficult choices to make. The government has pledged €700 million for environmental projects. But this will not be enough. We need a culture shift. Ask yourselves, are we, as a country, too focused on personal gain? too focused on just making as much money as possible without taking anything else into consideration? For instance, if building an apartment block, are we just trying to fit in as many boxes as possible, or are we trying to create real homes that people would enjoy living it, which, from the outside, would also provide an aesthetically pleasing view?

When it comes to transport, are we willing to use the bus if, for instance, on a particular day we know that we are only travelling from point A to point B? As for greenery in our localities, are we putting enough pressure on politicians to ensure that they see our vision for the future?


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