Department of Public Works allocates €4 million toward renovation of open spaces

This year, the Department of Public Works allocated € 4 million to renovate open spaces where the public can enjoy their free time. The program of works ranges from interventions on embellishment of public gardens, more organized open spaces, refurbishment of swings and paving work.

Among the latest open space projects completed by the Department of Public Works within the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects is Għar Barka Garden, in Rabat. During a visit to this garden, the director of the department, Architect Nadia Curmi said that the Department was committed to giving back to the community more open, green and accessible spaces for all. The work in the Għar Barka garden cost almost € 300,000 and was carried out on three different levels which are reached by stairs and ramps and surrounded by trees and plants planted by Infrastructure Malta. The place, which is protected by a number of security cameras, gives the public free access to WiFi and there is an area for children to play.

Architect Curmi said that with each project a maintenance agreement is made, which in this case was made with the local council of Rabat.

“We will hand over all these maintenance to the council, and there will be an agreement for five years and then the council must continue to follow up to maintain such spaces.”

Also in Rabat, in an older part of the locality, Triq Doni was closed for the paving of Triq Għeriexen where a new staircase will be built leading to a square that will be embellished. This work will cost around half a million euros.

“Each project is linked to a permit from the Planning Authority. The Planning Authority carries out its consultations with the respective entities.”

Asked how to choose the open spaces for landscaping projects, Architect Curmi said that most of the time they are approached by the local council or a non-governmental organisation.

Local councils are not always involved, sometimes we have plots of land that are abandoned and are being ill-treated that the Government decides it should intervene to create safer spaces and spaces open to the community.

Another recently completed project is an open space near the Dingli football stadium, with 20% of the cost (€ 600,000) going toward the construction of a large water storage reservoir for irrigation of the trees in the locality. Among the areas identified for landscaping work are the area next to the clock in Mtarfa and a small public garden in Triq ir-Ramija, in Siġġiewi.