Last Monday marked an important day in the history of planning and development in Malta. I am talking about the Planning Authority’s decision to refuse a development application in Mosta, which would have taken up a massive stretch of land. The development would have required over 38,000 square metres of land, which is a substantial amount, considering the limited land are we have in Malta.
It is vital that for all massive developments, such as the one turned down yesterday, a sustainable development approach is taken into consideration. This means taking into consideration all the social, economic and environmental impacts.
Currently we’ve already urbanised over a third of our country. Unless we plan and take decisions in a responsible way, that is sustainably, we will suffer substantial consequences in the near future. It seems sometimes that we forget about our limited land area we have in Malta. The Maltese Islands together only comprise some 316 square kilometres. For this reason it is of utmost importance that decisions are taken based on the common good and not entirely on an economic basis. Only then can we achieve a sustainable level of planning, which will also significantly contribute positively to our quality of life.
Pascal Aloisio – ADŻ Malta Green Youth Publications Officer
Following this week’s fall, there is a major lesson to be learnt. Nature’s decisions are final. No matter what we do, it will have and find its own way to come over.
Some people were suggesting along the way that the Azure window should have been supported. How this would have been possible is beyond me. I am not a geologist, so I have no idea what could have been done. Maybe iron or cement. A solution which might have eventually been overtaken by nature, to have iron or cement left over to erode at the bottom of the sea.
The way things happened, the personified Azure Window’s life cycle ended naturally. Nature gives and nature takes. At the end of the day, we glorified this piece of rock, owned it, and turned it into our own… not realising that we cannot control it.
In HG Well’s Time Machine, the protagonist travels ahead billions of years in the future, and in a restored world, he still finds traces of our old technology, being engulfed by the natural process. An initial process to this can be seen among the leftovers of Chernobyl, and other similar abandoned sites.
In other words, nature will have its own ways of destroying and gaining back what we took away. But it will take a long time to do it. We spend less than a century in this world. We should not destroy nature in favour of buildings and skyscrapers. The amount of work taken to gain back the land and nature destroyed is too long for our lifetimes to enjoy it. We should stop destroying the natural world in favour of pieces of rock.
We should be heartbroken over what is pristine and ours. We should learn to love what is left, and cry over it the same way we cried over the Azure Window
Anna Azzopardi – ADŻ General Secretary