Viewpoints

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...

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 Żonqor, the previous...

18 Mar

Are we ready for high-rise buildings?, by Maria Grazia Cassar

January 2017 In the wake of the approval of the Townsquare and the Mriehel Towers, Din l-Art Helwa launched the Skyscraper Campaign to raise the funds necessary to make appeal cases against these two permits. The first hearings took place in November, and the process will resume in January. The response from the public, was extremely encouraging, and goes to show that...

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...