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This Saturday at 10am a march will be held in Valletta infront of the Court House (Quddiem il-Qorti) to demand changes in policy related to development and planning in Malta.
Supported by some 60 local organisations and led by local activists Moviment Graffiti, this protest is the latest in a series of reactions against the Planning Authority. Most people up in arms about the PA just want an end to developments that resemble matchboxes or needle-like towers, and we can’t blame them for it.
Stonatura oħra – din id-darba fl-Imsida. Send photos and complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will follow up and keep you anonymous.
Read on to find out what this protest is demanding.
1. Policies need to prioritise quality of life and natural environment
“Among others, a number of policies allowing construction of villas, fuel stations or hotels in ODZ should be revoked, as well as the high-rise policy which allows excessively tall buildings in various areas of the island, without any plan or consideration of the negative effects these developments will have on aesthetics, transport, and small local businesses.”
2. Authorities responsible for the environment and planning should be elected democratically
“A profound change is needed in the composition of these boards, the election of their members and the way they are run. First among these, the Planning Authority (PA) and the boards that fall under its remit (for example, the Planning Commission and Planning Board) as well as the Environmental Resources Authority (ERA) and the Building Regulations Office (BRO) which has now been turned into an MDA sub-office. The operations and decisions taken by these authorities should be free from commercial and political interests; we want democratic authorities that can truly decide in the best interests of our country.”
3. Local infrastructural plans need to come before large-scale projects
“A moratorium on these large-scale projects should be enacted until a comprehensive and serious plan for development in Malta is introduced. This plan should ensure that these types of projects respect the community and are sustainable.”
4. Road widening will not solve traffic, a shift to alternative means of transport will
“Government should be working on the creation and implementation of a strategy that truly addresses the traffic and pollution issues, and this strategy should include serious investment in alternative means of transport.”
5. Serious enforcement is required, without exception, of all the laws that regulate the construction industry
“In a few months we’ve seen buildings crumble and numerous workers dying in various construction sites. The response to all this has been completely inadequate. Residents are still carrying the responsibility, the psychological and financial burdens (as well as effects on their health) of losses they incurred due to damages by developers.”
6. Close to 600 people die every year due to air pollution; it’s time to prioritise open spaces and natural habitats
Read related stories:
- “Ma jistax ikun bniedem twaqqagħlu daru u qisu mhu xejn”
- Seven Reasons to Join the National Protest on 7th September
- Ghost applications: Planning Authority’s hot potatoes go off-radar
For more information about the protest, visit 7settembru.org.
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Our team at House Malta is always on the look-out for spaces, places, and things that are being built up, torn down, modernised, restored, or re-purposed – be it by a big team or a one-man(or woman)-army.
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