Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for the Cot­ton­era Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Strat­egy launched

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

Jus­tice, Cul­ture and Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter Owen Bon­nici, Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture and Cap­i­tal Projects Min­is­ter Ian Borg, Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Plan­ning and the Prop­erty Mar­ket Chris Agius and Ex­ec­u­tive Co­or­di­na­tor of the Cot­ton­era Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Com­mit­tee Glen Bed­ing­field have launched the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion for the Cot­ton­era Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Strat­egy.

In March, the govern­ment an­nounced that a strat­egy for Cot­ton­era is planned with the over­all ob­jec­tive be­ing to “seek to im­prove en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial stan­dards in the in­ner har­bour area, with both short and long-term re­gen­er­a­tion goals”. This strat­egy es­tab­lishes a frame­work that forms part of the wider pol­icy con­text cre­ated by var­i­ous na­tional and sec­toral poli­cies such as so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal, eco­nomic, trans­port, cul­tural, her­itage, tourism-re­lated and spa­tial plans and poli­cies.

Min­is­ter Bon­nici said yes­ter­day: “The re­gen­er­a­tion process in our coun­try is a del­i­cate but nec­es­sary one, keep­ing Malta in tune with Europe’s rhythm but also with other re­gen­er­a­tion pro­cesses in our re­gion. The re- gen­er­a­tion process in Cot­ton­era started years back, with em­pha­sis on the restora­tion of his­toric build­ings but also with the creation of qual­ity open spa­ces. This im­por­tant process changed Cot­ton­era. How­ever, in any process of re­gen­er­a­tion, the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the peo­ple is of the ut­most im­por­tance. This strat­egy is fo­cused on peo­ple and em­pha­sises the well-be­ing of all, with the aim of bet­ter­ing the qual­ity of life by means of sev­eral as­pects that tie re­gen­er­a­tion with a cul­tural em­pha­sis.”

The vi­sion of the strat­egy is based on three pil­lars: im­prov­ing so­cial cap­i­tal, up­grad­ing the ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment and in­creas­ing busi­ness at­trac­tive­ness.

Min­is­ter Borg spoke about the progress and eco­nomic pros­per­ity that the coun­try is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and stressed that these bring with them an in­flux of peo­ple, growth in sev­eral sec­tors and de­vel­op­ment.

He said: “It is es­sen­tial that, at times like these, con­ser­va­tion is also pri­ori­tised. Ini­tia­tives such as Ir­restawra Darek, the De­vel­op­ment Plan­ning Fund and the sched­ul­ing of sev­eral prop­er­ties around the coun­try all help to re­alise this ob­jec­tive. Through the Cot­ton­era Strat­egy, this govern­ment will fa­cil­i­tate the com­plete and wide­spread con­ser­va­tion of this zone which has played an es­sen­tial role in Mal­tese his­tory and in the coun­try’s ur­ban de­vel­op­ment.”

Sev­eral ini­tia­tives that have brought a breath of fresh air to this area were men­tioned, in­clud­ing the re­gen­er­a­tion of Dock 1 which has now be­come a wa­ter­front for Cospicua, and which has trans­formed an in­dus­trial zone into a one for tourists. Min­is­ter Borg ex­plained that it was of the ut­most im­por­tance that the projects in the strat­egy not only in­clude the em­bel­lish­ment of the area but also the im­prove­ment of so­cial in­fra­struc­ture, while ad­dress­ing chal­lenges which have been around for a long time.

To en­sure the suc­cess of the plan, an en­tity – Fon­daz­zjoni Kot­ton­era – has been es­tab­lished with the spe­cific aim of im­ple­ment­ing, mon­i­tor­ing and re­view­ing this strat­egy. This will serve as a one-stop-shop that will as­sume the iden­tity of the strat­egy and act as a fo­cal point for plan­ning, lead­ing, or­gan­is­ing and con­trol­ling all the im­ple­men­ta­tion phases of the strat­egy.

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