Lion Fountain, Floriana, Source: Frank Vincentz, Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Floriana St Anne Street project rekindled

Floriana St Anne Street project rekindled

The major thoroughfare leading to Malta’s capital Valletta is set to be transformed into a public green area

Malta's car-centric Floriana, gateway city to Malta's capital Valletta, looks set to follow Paris' lead in making a major thoroughfare into a city garden. The move will bury vehicular traffic in a tunnel and free up the above space for pedestrian and cycling access through a much needed leafy grove against a backdrop of arched classical buildings, beckoning visitors and residents to Valletta’s impressive bastions.

Project hinges on outcome of geotechnical surveys

The greening of St Anne Street, the main artery leading to and from Valletta, will depend on the results of geotechnical surveys commissioned by the Environment Ministry to determine the stability and safety of excavation works.

As reported by the Times of Malta, Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia has expressed keen interest in the project which dates back to 2014, but has been given a fresh impetus after a similar proposal for the Paris’s Champs-Élysées got the green light.

The Floriana project is the brainchild of four architects from local architectural and structural engineering firm DHI Periti who propose the tunnel entry to be at the Lion Fountain with cars exiting just before the roundabout leading to Valletta. The Pope John Paul II Square would also get a makeover in the process.

Example for other localities to follow

Architect Ian Camilleri, partner at DHI Periti, is convinced that the transformation of the busy road into a public green area would not just halt the heavy congestion and pollution but will contribute to the economic growth and value of Floriana. The green conversion will enhance the town experience, prompt the reconstruction of the existing buildings and ultimately create another vibrant tourist centre. And further down the road, Floriana could become a trendsetter for other localities in Malta.

The article was prepared in collaboration with Jim Wightman.

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