Leaving existing trees in Paola square was not feasible, architect says

The architect said the trees were causing serious damage to paving, roads, large reservoirs and even a World War II shelter

The new Paola Square (Photo: Christopher Mintoff/ Facebook)
The new Paola Square (Photo: Christopher Mintoff/ Facebook)

Leaving the old trees in Paola’s town square would have been cheaper and nicer, the architect said, but it was not feasible.

Christopher Mintoff, the architect behind the new Paola town square posted a Facebook post regarding the hate the new design was receiving online.

Mintoff said that it was not feasible to keep the existing trees as they had been planted without containment and were damaging paving, roads, large reservoirs and even a World War II shelter.

The Paola square before (Photo: Christopher Mintoff/Facebook)
The Paola square before (Photo: Christopher Mintoff/Facebook)

“The trees were damaging underground infrastructure including water, waste and power,” Mintoff said. “They were slated to be removed for a long time.”

He said that even property owners in the area were reporting damages from the roots, and some even resorted to taking matters into their own hands.

“Ficus produce sappy spores which make the floor filthy - attracting insects and putting off pedestrians,” he said. “Pedestrians were also put off by the fact that the square was essentially a roundabout, getting polluted from all around, with dangerous access to and fro.”

The architect said that the redesign offered a clean state which meant that the round-about could be removed, doubling pedestrian area and substantially reducing the impact of traffic and pollution in the area.

All the old trees, except one which was surrounded by power cables, were relocated within Poala, resulting in a net increase of trees in the area.

The new trees within Paola now have large containers with root barriers, Mintoff said, which will mean they can grow without damaging the surrounding infrastructure.

Mintoff went on to say that the new road was built to be uncomfortable for drivers exceeding a 30km/hr speed limit, urging drivers to slow down.

The architect also said that with the road’s new layout, the long-lost WW2 shelter could be made accessible to the public.

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