Viewpoints

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...

09 Aug

The Singapore Solution

by Petra Caruana Dingli Last week I was caught in traffic on my way to an evening event in Valletta. There were road closures for the Msida festa. Every morning, cars are stuck in roads around San Ġwann. At Paola, delays have worsened again. So, what’s new? Road congestion keeps growing and nobody seems able to tackle it. The Transport Minister is...

18 Jun

More on highrise

by Petra Caruana Dingli Believing that high-rise will take the pressure off the countryside is wishful thinking. Applications for construction in rural areas continue relentlessly, for petrol stations, schools, old people’s homes and more. Small and large permits are continually granted outside the development zone, eating the countryside away, piece by piece. At Żonqor, a chunk of rural land will soon make...

12 Jun

Wied Ghomor

by Joanna Spiteri Staines Hats off to a unanimous decision by the Planning Authority board, chaired by Vince Cassar, in refusing the so called “rehabilitation of a quarry in Wied Għomor” to be used as an old people’s home. It is indeed heartening to see an entire board of people from different bodies and representing different interests coming together to protect the...

15 May

Wied Ghomor & Zonqor

by Petra Caruana Dingli It is welcome news that the Planning Authority board has refused to grant a permit for a large development in Wied Għomor valley. It is especially positive that the board listened to many residents and NGOs. The environmental lobby can easily slip into feeling that it is talking to the wall. Many of its concerns are routinely...

06 May

Contrails or Chemtrails?

by Stanley Farrugia Randon Many people are wondering what the many aeroplane trails they are observing over our islands could be. Contrails are normal as they are caused by aeroplane engine exhaust and form due to condensation (hence the name contrails) of engine water vapour which meets the low ambient temperature at high altitudes. Contrails...

26 Apr

An Appeals Fiasco

When the Mepa demerger laws were launched, many concerns raised by NGOs and other prominent voices were shrugged off. One of the worries is linked to appeals. Government authorities can simply be ignored by the new Planning Authority if they do not give their expert opinion on planning applications within 30 days. In the new system, they can then lodge a...

13 Apr

National Parks for Malta

Malta is a beautiful country. it is a small country and it is also one of the most populous countries in the world. This makes what we have all the more precious. Our countryside is quite spectacular in its variety. From tilled fields and lush valleys to harsh plains or xagħri, the countryside changes and develops with surprising rapidity. It is...