While in Poland for 2 months this summer, working on a school project on green-roofs, I decided to attend a conference organised by the European Green Party on Green Cities in Helsinki (25-26th September).
The topics brought up in the conference were both interesting and engaging. The programme was laid out in a very efficient way striking a balance between delivering the content and also getting the time to recharge with some good (mostly vegetarian) food and coffee/tea. Arriving in Helsinki, I was struck by the vastness of the place, the peculiar landscapes, the thin clean air and the calmness in the city albeit being quite an active one. The efficient trains and buses are not cheap by Maltese standards, but you get what you pay for I guess. Punctual arrival times with displays on most stops showing the expected arrival times of trams, trains and buses are helpful.
The conference kicked off with the usual registration process accompanied by a handbook and freebies. My choice of workshops reflected what I felt was most relevant for the Maltese Islands’ situation, such as transport; tourism and green public procurement. The combination of technology (such as through Skype conferences) with the positiveness of the audience made this experience truly worthwhile. The experience and knowledge shared by some politicians from German; French; and Dutch towns was very inspiring (not to mention the others) and I still feel that there is so much potential in Malta to become more self sustaining in several aspects.
The Finnish Greens are very helpful; showing us around the place, hosting guests (including myself) and also having parties with us! I would like to congratulate the EGP and Finnish Greens for the great work they managed to get done and to encourage more such events to held around Europe.
James Gabaretta – ADZ Green Youth Malta International Secretary