Three sites in Qormi, Ħamrun and Mosta have been earmarked for a €3 million urban greening project, with the winning designs to be selected following a public call.
The initiative is being piloted by the environment ministry in collaboration with the Kamra tal-Periti, while the funds are being allocated from the proceeds received from the sale of passports.
The sites selected for these projects are Triq il-Wied in Qormi, Vjal Indipendenza in Mosta and the Ħamrun housing estate.
Addressing a news conference in Qormi on Saturday, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia said the initiative followed the launch of 16 greening projects in 16 localities which are being entirely piloted by the respective local councils.
However, in this case the central government will be leading the project, due to the large-scale nature of the works, he said.
Public call for architects
A call will be launched in the coming weeks for architects interested in designing and building urban greening projects in these localities. Proposals will compete against each other. The winner will be also responsible for implementing the project.
Farrugia noted that in his first six months at the helm of the environment ministry, he had given priority for initiatives promoting green jobs and the circular economy. He added that the government was also working on the introduction of rangers in wooded areas like Mellieħa and Miżieb to beef up enforcement of environmental laws.
Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship and Communities Alex Muscat, who also addressed the event, said this project was further testament to the benefits of the Individual Investor Programme (passport scheme).
He noted that if this initiative would be a success, the government would be issuing another call for further urban greening projects around the country.
Muscat added this project would also contribute to improve the quality of life of residents in large localities who are longing to have green public open spaces.