Public Participation exercise for Street Categorization in 31 localities
A street categorisation exercise, intending to create a policy framework that promotes the overall enhancement, vitality and viability of Urban Conservation Areas (UCAs) was published by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) at the start of a 6-week public participation period.
The purpose of this Street Categorization Exercise is to establish a streetscape classification hierarchy within Urban Conservation Areas in the localities falling within the South Malta Local Plan, Marsaxlokk Bay Local Plan, Central Malta Local Plan and North West Local Plan. This exercise had already been carried out for the North Harbours and Gozo and Comino Local Plans.
Over the years, our towns and villages, that comprise the Urban Conservation Areas, have experienced various changes as a result of a number of interventions, effecting their identity and character. "For this purpose" MEPA Chairman Mr Austin Walker points out "this exercise, that strongly involves the active participation of local councils and NGOs, seeks to address a number of issues and aims to rationalize development interventions within these areas and to channel the more onerous conservation requirements towards the higher quality streetscapes whilst continuing to enhance the lower quality ones through sensitive and compatible interventions."
The categorization policy is proposing a hierarchy of 4 grades namely with Category A being assigned to the highest level of protection and Category C the lowest. The proposal suggests that development interventions in Category A streetscape are intended to be very limited whilst progressively more interventions would be contemplated till Category C. However, even in Category C, interventions need to be sensitive as these areas still lie within Urban Conservation Areas. The increased flexibility in Category C streetscapes is intended to upgrade the quality of the streetscapes in these areas.
MEPA Chairman Mr. Austin Walker said "We believe that the fruit and success for this street categorization exercise lies with engagement and participation of all residents, Local Councils and NGOs. We seek to do things differently from the past and find new ways to involve our key stakeholders at an early stage within formulation of policy-making. Prior to this consultation period the Authority already held meetings with the local councils and NGOs to discuss and ensure that this street classification exercise is far-reaching."
The Authority encourages residents, local councils and NGOs to submit any comments or suggestions through email address: email@example.com.
The Closing date of this public participation exercise is Monday 23rd March 2009.