Petra Caruana Dingli

Petra's blog follows events and news on the rural and urban environment, and on cultural heritage - mostly in Malta

08 Nov

Plan for the Environment – Interview with Petra Caruana Dingli

Interview in the Malta Independent 3rd November 2011   Strategic plan for the environment and development ignored feedback – Petra Caruana Dingli Last week, Din L-Art Helwa wrote an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister stating that the government’s ‘Strategic Plan for the Environment and Development’ did not meet expectations. Speaking with Malta Independent journalist Kevin Schembri Orland, Council member Petra Caruana...

12 Sep

Sceptical reactions

by Petra Caruana Dingli The proposed appointment of Karmenu Vella as European Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, has elicited sceptical reactions from the European environmental lobby. They said that, “the Environment portfolio is being given to a Commissioner whose government is under intense international criticism for failing to implement EU bird conservation legislation, which the Commissioner will now...

30 Aug

The Dubaification of Malta

by Petra Caruana Dingli The name ‘Dubai’ is associated with more than just another city state. The word is linked in the collective imagination with shopping malls, ostentatious wealth, and the large-scale consumption of luxury goods and entertainment including extravaganzas like ski slopes of snow in the hot desert. People associate Dubai’s landscape with high-rise ‘iconic’ buildings, ambitious land reclamation projects,...

28 Jun

High-rise buildings and government offices

by Petra Caruana Dingli With all this talk of high rise, many people are confused about what to think. Is it better to build high as we have limited land? Will high rise change the character of the Maltese urban landscape? Do we need more apartments and offices? Surely the last thing that we need is a wave of tall buildings...

10 Jun

The old houses at Spinola Bay

by Petra Caruana Dingli The two old houses in the picture are among the oldest surviving 19th-century seaside villas in Spinola bay. They were already visible in 1898 survey sheets. An application to knock them down and build a block of apartments was turned down twice by MEPA. As reported in Maltatoday on Sunday, the Appeals tribunal has the final...

05 Jun

The environment is not a minority interest

by Petra Caruana Dingli I hope that the debate about the spring hunting referendum does not descend into a sideshow about the definition of minorities and the unassailable right to have a hobby, play bocci or tennis, go sailing or own a horse. Let’s not miss the wood for the trees. The referendum is about spring hunting, which is not just...

13 May

Fireworks and Quotas

by Petra Caruana Dingli Maltese fireworks are on a high. Yesterday a call was made in Parliament for UNESCO to recognise the Maltese village feast, fireworks and all, as world heritage. I have no idea whether the Minister for Culture will be taking up this idea or not, but the government has just drafted a policy for the construction...

04 May

The 100 Objects exhibition

by Petra Caruana Dingli Yesterday I visited Heritage Malta’s exhibition of 100 Objects at the Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. This is a walk through Malta’s history, with a collection of objects lined up as symbols of the events and people of the island’s past. Visitors are channelled through a wooden walkway, with the objects on one side and general...

30 Apr

The environment – the good, the bad and the ugly

by Petra Caruana Dingli Where would Malta be without the European Union’s vision and targets for the environment? I dread to think how Malta would be faring if it had not been obliged to focus on European environmental regulations over the last 10 years. As a result of membership, the government has had to pull up its socks on a wide...