Blogs

24 Sep

Architects raising their game – Petra Caruana Dingli

The Ottoman Muslim cemetery in Marsa, better known as the ‘Turkish cemetery’ was completed in 1874. It is a rare example of Orientalist architecture built by a Maltese architect, in what was then a British colony. It resembles a traditional, quiet Mediterranean garden, providing trees and shade and protected by high walls from the hot and dusty world outside. We are...

20 May

Our health versus economic growth, by Stanley Farrugia Randon

One of the resolutions approved unanimously by members during the Annual General Meeting of Din l-Art Ħelwaheld last February stated that ‘while our islands are experiencing economic growth, this is accompanied by a marked reduction in the quality of life and general health of citizens. Din l-Art Ħelwa asks Health and Planning Authorities to acknowledge that, with an island that...

11 Apr

Where are the buffer zones?, by Joanna Spiteri Staines

The Irrestawra Darek funds scheme introduced by the Planning Authority is an excellent scheme to restore the façades of traditional old buildings. The scheme was met with approval at Din l-Art Ħelwa since it helps home owners financially to restore their façades. It improves streetscapes and  promotes the growing restoration industry. However, there is one overarching, positive outcome, that of conserving our...

26 Mar

A strong planning regulator, by Martin Galea

Prior to the 2013 election, the Labour Party had a framework manifesto it had committed to implement. In the section on environment, the document stated that by giving priority to the environment, the government would improve quality of life by implementing a number of deliverables. These included strengthening the protection of outside development zones, empowering citizens to protect public domain zones,...

12 Mar

Half a century later, by Petra Caruana Dingli

Professor Alex Torpiano is the new executive president of Din l-Art Ħelwa. Considering the environmental pressures in Malta today, this is a challenging role to step into. He has plenty of experience, and was the well-respected president of the Kamra tal-Periti until the end of last year. When Din l-Art Ħelwa was first founded by a small group led by Judge...

03 Jun

Mixed Views on Maltese Heritage, by Petra Caruana Dingli

The temperature is rising at the Planning Authority. This week activists protested against the government policy to allow what appears to be an endless stream of new, large petrol stations in the countryside. This policy was introduced in 2015 and its disastrous consequences are now becoming tangible. The public objected loudly at a planning board meeting, calling on the authority...

13 Mar

An incinerator comes to town, by Petra Caruana Dingli

Our ancestors in centuries gone by did not throw things away. They used and re-used whatever they could. An unintended consequence of rising living standards since the 1960s is the increased generation of waste. Affluence creates more rubbish than poverty. People buy and consume more products and packaging, and discard much more. Nowadays many items are even specifi­cally intended for single...

08 Oct

Memories of a forgotten village, by Petra Caruana Dingli

by Petra Caruana Dingli    ‘Gwardjani tar-rahal’ by Stephen C. Spiteri We can all think of imaginary places which we wish we could visit. Perhaps Tolkien’s Middle Earth, or the world of the Game of Thrones. These are fictional, magical landscapes which resonate in the imagination. Old European tales include forests, mountains and castles, picturesque towns and...

08 Oct

Protecting the Vernacular, by Maria Grazia Cassar

The discipline of archaeology teaches us that no copy or imitiation, no matter how cleverly done can substitute the original. There is an intrinsic importance in the original artifact, which links us with the time when this was created, in a way that a copy cannot. The same principle applies to buildings; whether they originate from an archaic age, such...