The Environment: Holistic Vision
When it comes to the world around us there are so many things that are unlimited- technology, knowledge, learning, opportunities- the list goes on.
One of the things that is not unlimited is space and the quality of the environment around us and this holds especially true when we talk about our beloved yet small, island home.
When I look around me, at the new buildings, the roads, our towns and villages, I cannot help but think that our attitude towards development and planning is one where we are trying to run before we can walk.
We are building these monolithic skyscrapers, planning new hotels and marinas, and new apartment blocks seem to be springing up every day- but at what cost?
The reality of the matter is that the space around us is extremely precious and we need to usher in an era of diversifying our focus away from just building new things, and instead invest heavily in what is already there.
The present government is granting planning permission left, right, and centre, with no thought or consideration for the communities that will host these new projects.
What angers me the most is not only are these structures often ugly and intrusive, but that they are completely financially and socially inaccessible to the population of this country- bar a selected and elite few.
My vision for a modern yet accessible Malta comprises of several factors that I believe are integral to striking a balance between the past, the present, and the future.
Regeneration of Localities
If you drive from one part of Malta to the next, you will be struck by the vast differences in infrastructure and aesthetics of each different town, village, or city.
We must focus on regenerating areas that have been forgotten by the current government- places like Marsa, areas in the South, and Hamrun to name a few.
These areas have been left to rot whilst places like Valletta, St Julians, and the North have had millions of euros invested in them. We must seek to improve all areas and ensure that our citizens benefit from an equal level of enjoyment, regardless of where they live.
Improvement of Aesthetics
Malta is short on open space and instead of building on every, single, scrap of land, we should nurture our open spaces an ensure they are available to be enjoyed by all.
Let us regenerate our public gardens, create more, invest in keeping our countryside beautiful and clean, and introduce more sculptures and art installations from local artists so that their talent can be enjoyed by all.
Let us not build shopping malls and casinos on precious bits of land, and let us not sell our countryside to the highest bidder- let us take pride in the land around us and keep it intact for generations to come.
Harnessing of Technology for Enforcement
We must take the human element out of issues surrounding planning and regulation enforcement in development.
I believe we can use drones and other digital technology to monitor the building and development sites around the country and to ensure that plans and regulations are being stuck to.
By removing the human element, we can avoid any issues regarding human error, or 3rd party interference.
Utilising Malta and Gozo as a Test-bed
The small size of Malta and Gozo does not have to be a negative thing; in fact, it offers us a fantastic opportunity to develop city planning, urban regeneration, and other environmental solutions and use our country as a test-bed.
Once we have established the viability of such projects, these can then be exported and scaled up to help provide results for much bigger world countries.
Let us create a country that we are proud of, because after all, once all the land is sold and overdeveloped, what will be left for your children?
The only way to ensure that Malta is not sold off to the higher bidder is to vote for a party that cares more about the environment, rather than lining their own pockets.