Gentrification and creating green spaces for Valletta on Climathon agenda

Valletta local council hosts hackathon of sharing ideas on gentrification and climate gentrification, greening of open spaces and affordable social housing=

Valletta skyline. Photo by Stef Mizzi
Valletta skyline. Photo by Stef Mizzi

A random survey conducted recently amongst Valletta’s residents on what they feel are their most pressing concerns as city residents outlined several issues.

Traffic and the pollution, together with a general lack of cleanliness across the city, came out as the top concerns. These were closely followed by the seemingly lack of enforcement of outside catering establishments. Noise pollution, the lack of distinction between the needs of residents and that of business as well as parking also ranked high on the concern list.

As many of Valletta’s residents put it, “businesses’ needs seem to come first for the authorities and residents are slowly being pushed into feeling there’s no more space for them.”

Gentrification is in fact an issue which was mentioned by a good number of residents, even by those who are relatively newcomers into Valletta.

Gentrification, sustainability and the implementation of innovative and interactive socio-cultural hubs will in fact be amongst the main topics to be tackled during this year’s CLIMATHON, a global movement aimed at solving city climate challenges.

The annual Climathon event organised in Malta, by Paragon Europe (EIT Climate KIC Hub Malta) as part of the Climate KIC initiative with the theme ‘Bridging Liveability - Enhancing Valletta's Community Space’ will this year consist of a non-stop hackathon of sharing ideas and thinking of solutions across a number of different topics such as gentrification and climate gentrification, greening of open spaces, increasing sustainability, implementation of innovative and interactive socio-cultural hubs and sustainable and affordable social housing.

The public is being invited to participate in this hackathon to discuss, share ideas and propose solutions to mitigate Valletta’s socio-environmental challenges. Participants will be taking part in teams and every team will pitch its idea to a panel of mentors and experts.

“Unless you live in Valletta, you cannot really appreciate the unique problems that residents have to face in a small contained city like Valletta, which happens to also be the administrative city of Malta. Residents in fact need to share the locality with government ministries, administrative offices, shops, private offices, tourist attractions and sites, restaurants and other entertainment venues,” said Robert Busuttil and Gonca Demir from Paragon Europe which represent Climathon in Malta.

“The concentration of all this inside Valletta is like no other in Malta therefore we are inviting the public especially Valletta’s residents to participate in this event by lending their first-hand experience and propose tangible solutions,” they added.

CLIMATHON will take place on Friday 26th October between 8.00am and 6.00pm at the Valletta Local Council premises. All those who would like to participate may register by visiting the event’s website

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