Enhancing the accessibility of Malta’s heritage through green modes of transport

The Planning Authority hosted the final Project Conference of the ThreeT Project, which is part-financed by the European Union under the Interreg Europe programme


The Planning Authority hosted the final Project Conference of the ThreeT Project, which is part-financed by the European Union under the Interreg Europe programme. The project aimed to identify cultural and natural thematic trails, improve their accessibility and visibility through innovative and eco-friendly mobility solutions and adopting a holistic approach to sustainable tourism.

The PA participated in this project together with a number of local stakeholders, in particular the Malta Tourism Authority.

The Minister for Public Works and Planning, Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said “We are working on and encouraging the adoption of new practices on green mobility, as well as channelling increased investments in the competence and skills of key stakeholders and personnel involved in planning and development. The Minister concluded “ We want to encourage Maltese and Gozitan families to spend more time in the countryside, relax, and be physically active. We promoted the creation of green networks close to and linked to our urban centres.”

This project included various partners and stakeholders from 8 different countries ranging from the northern most part of Europe – Finland - to the westernmost part. – Tenerife. Ms Suzanne Gauci, EU Affairs Unit Manager within the Planning Authority said; “Working with such a varied network has provided an extremely refreshing perspective to link heritage assets with green transport modes. It was also an opportunity to disseminate information on our case studies, all of which were positively received by the other partners. It is believed that having further exposure to similar EU Funded Projects would add value to both the Planning Authority’s work and that of related stakeholders. This enables us to show case our successes and learn from other European Countries to enhance our work.”

Each of the partners has identified a number Good Practices (GPs) consisting of existing heritage or natural trails and transport initiatives within their territory which are valid examples of improved access to the sites through sustainable modes of transport and increase tourism in the area.

Lead Partner, Irene Nicotra, from the Province of Livorno stated, ‘ThreeT represents one of the best examples of a pan-European project with a strong multiplier effect on the resources assigned, thanks to the development of the 8 Action Plans drawn up by the project partners.  This project is strategic not only in terms of replicability of good practices experienced through site visits in each territory during the first phase of the project, but also for having concretely practiced a true cohesion policy between partner areas, from which benefits will be reaped in the near future. This is a prime example of the valorisation of the European Green Economy.

Malta opted for Good Practices covering both its urban and rural environment, to showcase its approaches in different domains with their challenges. The first action consisted of the restoration intervention of the historic ‘Red Tower’ as the main node of the pilot national trail, located in the North-West of the Island. This was followed by the formulation of the online Pilot National Trail is set within a NATURA 2000 Site, whereby the Planning Authority cooperated with Din l-Art Helwa, the Bicycle Advisory Group and Sistemi Territoriali SRL, linking the Red Tower to Majjistral Park.

Finally, the actions will provide a legal framework for this work through the Initialisation of the Policy formulation process for National Trails together with the Malta Tourism Authority.

Taking forward the outcomes of the ThreeT project and all the knowledge gained from other best practises, the Authority will continue its work to enhance the accessibility of Malta’s heritage through green modes of transport.

Dr David Mallia, the Malta’s project leader said, “This Project has been very useful for the Planning Authority, particularly the ample transfer of knowledge. We have been exposed to various good practices in other European Counties, in how to make heritage sites accessible for the public using green modes of transport – information which will be used by the PA in its related work. He continued that, “this project also enabled the PA to work with various stakeholders and trigger the formulation of an online Pilot National Trail which would definitely be positive for access to locals and tourists alike.”

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