A documentary by French TV station ARTE shines the spotlight on Malta’s increasingly concrete landscape.

Malta is the most concreted-over country in Europe with buildings covering more than a quarter of the surface area. Since 2017, a total of 11,000 building permits have been issued each year – one for every 45 inhabitants of this island nation of 500,000.

The documentary was referenced by Times of Malta columnist Claire Bonello in an opinion piece titled ‘Notes from a concrete island’ in which she lambasts Maltese institutions for clearly not working when it comes to the environment.

She wrote that when the ARTE TV crew came to Malta to film the documentary, they came knowing that “Malta was the country with the greatest amount of soil sealing and artificial paving.

“They were armed with statistics about the number of buildings. They knew all about the construction boom. But they weren’t prepared for the ugly reality of it all,” said Bonello.

“As they made their way around Malta and Gozo, they were engulfed in dust from construction sites, they made their way under cranes and heavy-duty vehicles and noted the ugliness of it all.”

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