Local councils are to be given the chance to nominate streets and squares they would like to temporarily pedestrianise, as part of an initiative to create open spaces in town and village cores. 

The project will turn selected squares and main roads car-free for a period of time on certain days, with cars and other vehicles diverted elsewhere. 

The initiative was announced by Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg, Local Government Minister Jose Herrera on Wednesday and Local Councils Association president Mario Fava. 
 

Local councils interested in taking part in the initiative can register their interest with the LCA, which is coordinating the project. 
 
Ian Borg said the idea was sparked by the sight of empty open spaces during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We saw empty squares and streets in our towns and villages, without cars, and we learned to appreciate the beauty of this too. So why shouldn’t we work for these zones to be car free at certain times and on certain days so that open spaces can be physically appreciated by people in an environment with improved air quality, while giving businesses the possibility of providing their services after a negative period because of Covid-19?” he said.
 
Borg’s ministry will be embellishing areas in local councils which sign up for the project, as an incentive. 
 
Herrera said the project would open up areas to locals while also cutting pollution in village and town centres. 

“This is a perfect example of how the central government and the local government can work together to deliver tangible results to the public,” he said. 

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