Viewpoints

13 May

Interview with Din l-Art Helwa president Alex Torpiano

In his first interview since his appointment as Din l-Art Ħelwa president, Prof. Alex Torpiano points his finger squarely at the Planning Authority and at politicians as the biggest culprits of the mess the country is in. Interview in the Sunday Times of Malta by Fiona Galea Debono on 28 April 2019 Malta’s heritage and environment are in an abysmal state and architects...

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...

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...

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...

13 Mar

An incinerator comes to town

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    ‘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 small, rural villages, just...

08 Oct

Protecting the Vernacular

The Demolition of Irreplaceable Buildings 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...

03 Sep

Creating order from chaos

by Petra Caruana Dingli One thing which has not let up in the summer heat is resident protests against development. In an unusual twist to the usual story, the Environment Minister himself has protested in the streets. One snag for him is that he will now be expected to support other protests too. I don’t know whether this has happened before. On...