Could Floriana Get the Champs-Élysées Treatment?

 

Recently plans were announced for the Champs-Élysées to be turned into an extraordinary garden, giving the much-loved city of Paris a little bit of a breathing space, away from the heavy traffic which makes this tourist hotspot a challenge for bicycle users and pedestrians alike.

A similar plan was once proposed by Il-Periti for Floriana’s St Anne Street. Back in 2015 they had come up with a massive plan to turn this busy street into a garden, as in their own words, this was the original plan for Floriana, ‘which was meant to be a garden city.’

 

 

St Anne Street was envisaged by Ian Camilleri, Bernard Vella, Adam Brincat and Anna Gallo to be covered in gardens, walkways and a beautiful park for Floriana and Valletta residents, and anyone who wants to enjoy the fresh air. It is no secret that St Anne’s street is one of the most polluted streets in Malta, and what it really needs is fresh air, and a space which makes it liveable.

 

 

When the Knights were building Valletta, one of the planning regulations back then was that no residence could have its own garden, so the garden concept for all the noble Valletta residents was moved to the whole city of Floriana – which would make this project, should it become a reality, a step back in the time, however in the right direction.

 

 

In their original plans, Il-Periti had also proposed to move all traffic underground, thus not taking away the importance of St Anne’s Street being the main road to the Capital. The project also aims at giving life to the pretty-much unused Pope John Paul II square

 

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At the time of the proposal, Anna Gallo had said that ‘the green strip of St Anne Street, would be an opportunity to combine transport and traffic management with energy-efficient solutions.”

She had said that ‘in this way, the project will be economically feasible and able to generate enough revenue to cater for its maintenance and upkeep.’

 

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Ian Camilleri had shared his belief that, as what happened in Birgu and Valletta after the massive regeneration projects, the Floriana project will lead to investment, calling it a natural progression.

 

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Camilleri had said that few people realise or even care what Floriana looks like, or that it has so many gardens, adding that when they show this project to people ‘they are impressed not just by the idea but by the beauty of the street, and the surrounding gardens.’

The project had generated support from the local councils of Valletta and Floriana. Recently the project was also presented to Minister Aaron Farrugia who showed ‘great interest’ in the project, with the architects saying that they will continue to lobby for this project to be taken up by government, before Paris ‘beats us to it.’

What do you think of this?

 

 

Photos: Il-Periti

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