Environment Malta is investing more than € 300,000 to provide eleven local councils with funds to establish green recreation areas in the urban heart of their localities.
While it is important to invest in afforestation projects around the island in areas that have more open space to cater for such projects, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said the government must also ensure that every locality has its own green recreation area.
He wants families in every locality to be able to enjoy more greenery in their daily lives, in their own city centers where they live and work and do not have to travel to other localities such as Ta ‘Qali and Kennedy Grove. to enjoy the green spaces.
Farrugia said these projects are a practical approach to “take our country to the next level” in improving the quality of life.
“All Government entities, in particular the entities under this ministry – from Environment Malta to the Planning Authority, need to further embrace the concept of greening in every project and in the permits. as much as possible, from large buildings to local council projects, “said Farrugia.
“The authorities must insist and oblige greening and see that the projects they fund are indeed green projects, that have aesthetic value and that do good for our environment,” Farrugia added.
Għajnsielem, Ħamrun, San Ġiljan, Santa Luċija, Valletta, San Lawrenz, Birgu, Birżebbuġia, Qala, Munxar and Sliema are the eleven local councils that benefit from this scheme.
Torfa Square in Ghajnsielem
An update to the open space found in the ‘Tal-Kaxxa’ area called Pjazza Tolfa. The area will be enlarged by about 40% and will have a new look with green cannabis, 15 trees and more than 200 shrubs. New benches, a low-light pollution system and a sidewalk will also be incorporated as part of the project. The overall cost will be funded by the Development Planning Fund (DPF) and the Malta Urban Greening Scheme. The ultimate goal of this project is to give a new, greener look to the area while regenerating the square to nurture a stronger community.
Saver Zarb Garden in St. Julian’s
The BM-150 scheme will be co-financing part of the Saver Zarb garden project which the St. Julian’s local council will beautify through the Development Planning Fund (DPF). The project will include a general update of the paved areas, furniture, irrigation system, trees, and shrubs.
The main square in Saint Lucia
Begonja street and Ineż Soler street, behind the main square, will see more recreational space for residents with more trees, shrubs, benches and lights.
St. Paul and Parish Priest Muscat square places in Hamrun
These two town squares will see several pots installed to complement the area, with the intention of giving a greener and more pleasant appearance.
Belvedere Garden in Valletta
The Belvedere garden located just outside the Great Siege Bell will be cleaned and upgraded. The area, which offers one of the most beautiful views of the harbor, will see new trees and shrubs, benches and views.
St. Lawrence town square
A number of pots will be installed in the old streets while giving a greener element to the village center.
Belvedere in front of the Grand Harbor in Vittoriosa
The local council of Vittoriosa aims to provide a better and greener view to the two belvederes overlooking the harbor, while making it more accessible. The area will be rehabilitated following the structural upgrade of the lower garages, allowing the council to regenerate the area with new benches, lights, bins and pots.
St. George’s Square Preca and St. George’s shore in Birżebbuġa
A new irrigation system, as well as a rain and humidity sensor, will be installed in St. George’s Square. More trees will be planted while the paving area on St. George’s shore will be enlarged to accommodate new tamarisk trees, to provide more shade for the new benches.
Concision road in Qala
The Concision Road corner area with Cross Street will see better traffic management. Part of the road where the stone cross is located will be replaced by a green area in an effort to increase the pedestrian area while creating a better flow of traffic, especially to the popular Hondoq ir-Rummien beach.
As part of the regeneration of the Munxar Square project, the local council has applied to enhance the area with several pots that will include small trees and flowers to give a greener look to the new square.
Bisazza Street in Sliema
The Sliema local council will improve the area with new trees that are better suited to the surrounding urban area and increase the maintenance of existing pots and bushes.
The Minister said that such projects enhance the value of the community through aesthetic and environmental benefits, noting how these open green spaces will increase biodiversity by establishing a particular flora and fauna from an ecological perspective.
In addition, these projects will help combat the impacts of climate change, as they reduce the ambient temperature and thus reduce the island’s effect of urban heat, he said, “as the cover of trees and vegetation cools the area through the evaporating moisture.”