Four young Maltese architects have been pushing a proposal to change Floriana’s busy and congested St. Anne Street into a pedestrian garden strip with no traffic whatsoever. The project, which was proposed all the way back in 2015, aims to eliminate all traffic from the street and instead provide an underground tunnel for traffic to pass through. Now, the proposal seems to yet again be gaining some traction.
Nearly four years ago, architect Ian Camilleri Cassar had embarked on a project to reimagine Pope John Paul II Square. Together with the young team he had brought together – 36-year-old Anna Gallo, 32-year-old Bernard Vella, and 25-year-old, then junior-architect Adam Brincat – Cassar had proposed doing away with traffic altogether, and adding a whole lot of green to the main road leading to Malta’s capital.
In fact, the very scope of the description talks about giving “a new life as a whole” to Floriana, “contributing towards a once envisaged vision of transforming Floriana into a garden city.” This would of course go down perfectly with another plan to regenerate the Sa Maison Ferry Terminal area of Floriana, a proposition which would see the city getting another massive green area.
This sustainable approach could also be an inspiration for other villages around Malta and Gozo to take the step towards having a greener, prettier Malta. Apart from that, it will also give life again to the city of Floriana, boosting its economic growth and also making the environment better and healthier for the locals.
This amazing project proposes the introduction of lovely new landscapes which would provide an incredible recreational area for locals and tourists to enjoy along with their families — also a desperately needed green space in the Valletta area.
Although it might be greeted with scepticism at first (turns out people don’t take too lightly to the prospect of having one less main road to drive down to), one must keep in mind how amazing this idea is and how doable and great for the Floriana area it will be.
The unused Pope John Paul II Square will be regenerated and cars will go down into a tunnel by the Lion Fountain and they will reemerge right before the roundabout near the Valletta terminus.
Back in 2015, both the Floriana and Valletta mayors had welcomed the plan, saying a pedestrianised area could be a “huge boost” for the locality. “An estimated price breakdown of the major items of the project and the initial conceptual idea for the traffic management is already studied,” Anna Gallo told Lovin Malta. “We are currently preparing to go into more detail on the traffic logistics too.”
The Floriana Project has currently made it back into a lot of people’s conversations, getting loads of positive feedback from the neighbourhood’s community. As far as bigger and more concrete responses from bodies like the government go, however, it seems like the four young architects will have to wait a bit longer.