The Environment Around us: A Disappearing Reality?

Looking around you, do you even recognise the Malta that you live in anymore?

We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful, culturally diverse, historic, and heritage-filled places in Europe, if not the world but if we are not careful, it will all go to ruin.

I am a person that believes in rejuvenation, modernisation, and progress, but when it comes to our nation and towns, villages, cities, and countryside- I feel that a delicate balance needs to be struck.

In the last four years, we have seen an endless amount of high rise offices and luxury apartment blocks, and with more plans in the pipeline like the controversial Manoel Island, I cannot help but think- who is this benefitting?

Your typical Maltese citizen cannot afford to pay millions for a state of the art apartment, nor can your budding entrepreneur pay hundreds of thousands a year in rent for office space- so who exactly is going to be using these facilities?

The answer is that it doesn’t matter to the people that have approved it- land owners make a huge profit and the developers are happy- who cares if they remain empty for decades?

Malta is a small country and we need to learn to make the best of the space that we have.

We need to explore more ways of utilising the land around us and solving current infrastructural issues. We must pay attention to the requirements for affordable housing, affordable office space for our start-ups and SMEs, and the rejuvenation of what is already there.

What is the point in having 7* hotels and multi-million pound penthouses if the minute you step outside, the road is full of holes, the pavements are cracked and worn, and half of the other houses in the street are in shell format or decaying?

The Government must focus on bringing the standard of the environment up to scratch across the whole island. There has been too much money spent on improving a few small areas, whilst other localities have been left to rot.

It is not just Sliema, St Julian’s and Valletta that make up this island, and we should have pride in all of our surroundings- not just where the tourists visit.

Every locality deserves to have the best infrastructure possible, and they deserve the right to a clean, tastefully designed, architecturally sympathetic community where they can afford to rent, purchase, build, or open an office.

Our island must function as one big unit- all of our towns, cities, and villages must be vibrant, connected, and modern, whilst still retaining their traditional Maltese charm.

We must look to serve the needs of the general public when it comes to housing and commercial space, not just foreign companies and the elite. We must listen to the needs, concerns, and requirements of the electorate and be responsive in our ideas and solutions.

Malta should be for the enjoyment of the Maltese and if we keep going the way that we are going, I fear that there is not going to be much left.

We must cherish the land around us and develop a way to support the growth of our economy, whilst ensuring the preservation of our home.