Blogs

03 Sep

Political decisions and the environment, by Stanley Farrugia Randon

Political decisions indirectly affect our environment. We environmentalists are usually used to reacting to projects proposed by government or private entities which we think will negatively effect our environment. Such projects include building in Outside Development Zones, demolishing old and historical buildings to replace them with modern apartments, proposals to construct high-rise buildings, developing coastal areas to accommodate holiday resorts etc....

01 Jul

A nightmare in Swieqi, by Maria Grazia Cassar

It takes 20 minutes for a whole street of law-abiding citizens to have their lives turned upside down, and the same amount of time for an iconic viewof a major landmark to be stolen from the public gaze forever. This is what happens when an eight-storey hotel is given the green light in a ‘residential buffer zone’. This is what happens when...

18 Mar

Skyscrapers at the crossroads

by Maria Grazia Cassar We have heard the phrase that we did not ‘inherit’ our world but are taking care of it for future generations so often that the severity of this claim no longer has any impact on our sensitivity. We live, we use, we thrive and it is all in the moment, without any real consideration of the future. Contrary to...

03 Feb

Our green challenges

by Martin Galea Our environment, both natural and cultural, is under siege. There is a spiralling increase in construction in our outside development zones, demolition of our vernacular historical buildings, and as yet an unnoticed tacit approval of five floors in all our three-floor areas within development zones. We are told that we need high-rise to ensure that we do not create...

29 Jan

Protecting the skyline

by Petra Caruana Dingli In his thought-provoking ‘Midas Curse’ article on high-rise projects last year, Archbishop Charles Scicluna worried about the skyline with the impact of these “cement monstrosities on the soft rambling contours of our countryside and traditional townscapes”. Soon afterwards, government whip Godfrey Farrugia said the skyline is “a natural heritage domain” belonging to everyone and that no land owner...

29 Jan

Bus terminus revamp

by Petra Caruana Dingli The kiosks at the Valletta bus terminus have been given three weeks to shut down, making way for the upgrade of the area. This project has been in the pipeline for years. When architect Renzo Piano drew up his plans for the City Gate area, the bus terminus and ditch were an integral part of the overall design. Keeping...

15 Jan

The Paceville wish list

by Petra Caruana Dingli The call for a master plan for tall buildings in the Paceville area may have been well-intentioned but it has backfired. Essentially, this plan has gathered nine large proposals from property developers and laid them out in 3-D format. The outcome is that these mega-construction projects will now be pre-endorsed before they even reach the planning board...

08 Dec

High-Rise Buildings

by Stanley Farrugia Randon Definition Before discussing high-rise buildings, a definition has to be established on what we actually mean by high-rise. According to me a high-rise building is one which goes one or more stories higher than that allowed by the building practice, policies and aesthetics of the surrounding, including its visibility from the sea. In Malta, high-rise is anything above...

16 Nov

A metro for Malta & the Gozo tunnel

by Petra Caruana Dingli The idea of building a tunnel to Gozo is still doing the rounds. My personal view is that a road tunnel, enabling cars to drive directly to the supposed ‘eco-island’ of Gozo, is not a good idea. A professional study carried out last year calculated an increase of 1,500 cars per day in Gozo if a permanent...