Infrastructure Malta has found itself in hot water once again, as recently-unveiled plans to build flyovers in Msida comes under heavy scrutiny by Chamber of Architects President Andre Pizzuto and environmental activists.
“It’s unsustainable and regressive,” Pizzuto told Lovin Malta of the new project.
Transport Minister Ian Borg announced a €13.5 million plan dubbed Msida Creek Project, which would see the central traffic lights in Msida valley replaced by two flyovers, a recreational area and pedestrian bridges.
Borg said the project would make travelling more sustainable and efficient.
Among the criticisms were that the project has already received seven tender bids before the planning application had even been processed or the Environmental Impact Assessment has even begun.
Pizzuto slammed the plans as going against good urban principles, tendered out before the application and environmental assessment were processed and conducted and ignoring the need for public consultation.
“The area is in dire need of fixing due to environmental degradation caused by the infrastructure,” he explained.
He added that one of the sore problems is through-traffic, which is traffic passing through a town without ever stopping in that town.
“This means you get all the environmental costs, without any of the economic and social benefits.”
“Upgrading the junction doesn’t solve the Msida problem, it only solves the car problem,” the architect continued, adding that this highlights the importance of careful thought from urban planners and urban designers.
Environmental activists joined the criticism.
“How can the construction of flyovers in the centre of urban Msida ever equate to an improved sustainable quality of life? We’ve really lost the plot,” independent councillor Steve Zammit Lupi wrote under Ian Borg’s post.
Environmental activist Miguel Azzopardi dubbed it as a “disaster project”.
Earlier this week, Infrastructure Malta’s secretive plans to rip through agricultural land in Qormi was met with a similar outcry.
What did you make of the Msida plans?