Last month the Planning Authority released a super-slick video projecting a new vision for Paceville – Malta’s hedonistic haven. Their scheme reimagines Paceville as a more open and accessible place, making views and public spaces a priority over traffic and general human congestion.
Lovin Malta readers mostly loved the idea of it. So we’re highlighting the parts we think are most interesting to them:
1. It’s one massive makeover
Apart from the plethora of social vices that today’s Paceville engenders, it also faces serious problems of deteriorated infrastructure and massive congestion. If it were a candidate on a makeover show, it would hands down have the best case to make it through. But there are other episodes – Marsa, for example, will definitely show up at some point in the season. The new Paceville plan doesn’t mean regeneration won’t happen elsewhere.
2. It won’t ignore existing problems
The masterplanners who put together the proposal for a shiny new Paceville have looked at all the rotten bits that exist right now. The new proposal addresses these problems holistically. Without it, we’d just get blind development devoid of strategy. And we all know how that plays out.
3. Development is welcome
It needs to be part of a bigger picture. A scenario of no-growth for Paceville would be unrealistic and, frankly, super boring. The regenerated area will need to be economically viable – boosting business industries for Malta as a whole. This means that developments which are already in the pipeline today haven’t been cast aside. The masterplanners have worked on a feasibility review of independent developers’ proposals, and how they can work within the overview proposal.
4. But it prioritises pedestrians
The new masterplan presents three options for traffic management – all are pedestrian-centric. The preferred option is to have optimised car-management in roads, controlled parking areas including park and ride schemes, and added public transport – perhaps something more catered specifically to Paceville needs (like, you wouldn’t have to walk for more than 5 minutes to get to a bus stop). There’s also a tunnel which leads to the coast road. Moving traffic underground? #agree.
5. There’s a new parade (read people-watching platform)
The new plan includes the so-called St George’s Parade – a high-quality plaza which will be home to all kinds of social events, festivals and celebrations. It’ll have new eating areas, views towards Villa Rosa and the bay, and will be furnished with retail and food & drink outlets. Most importantly, it will provide a whole new platform for Malta’s national pastime – people-watching.
6. It will create access to the coastline
One of Paceville’s greatest assets is its location on the
waterfront. Its coastline is pretty amazing, with views across
St. Julian’s Bay to Sliema. But right now, you’d never know it. Access to the coastline is a major issue – most of it is fronted by private hotels and residential
accommodation with no obvious or formal access to the sea. The new masterplan suggests that light landscaping and pedestrian access along the coast would solve this problem. They’re bringing coastline back.
7. Green is the word
Apart from the addition of a number of green areas added to the area (sure to please all those young, new couples in need of first-date locations), the whole thing is being designed with a super sustainable approach. Transport, drainage and waste water, water supply, energy/power, and solid waste are all being organised through sustainable processes. The approach is not localised – it considers the carbon impact it will have on an island-wide basis.
8. Enhanced retail therapy
A percentage of the proposal has been marked out as ‘retail destination’. Meaning 1) the shopping stress on Sliema and Valletta can now be spread more widely 2) brand new shops could mean you won’t have to spend your days bound to your apartment waiting for your Asos parcel to arrive.
9. The proposed skyline will make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw
Great cities around the world are known for their fabulous skylines – Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, London, NYC – they all know how to work a horizon. Paceville’s existing skyline contains Malta’s tallest building, the
Portomaso Tower. It dominates the skyline for miles. But this ultimate-phallic symbol is soon to be in glamorous company.
With the quantum of development proposed for Paceville and the limited availability of land, tall buildings make a lot of sense for the area. The new proposal doesn’t shy away from them. Instead it gives an idea of how a well-thought out skyline could look. The Portomaso Tower ceases to remain the eye-sore some believe it to be. Instead it becomes part of a coherent plan which will give Paceville a new, forward-thinking identity.