Scenes of a City
On the evening of Thursday 16 th March 2017, Flimkien Ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) organized a talk entitled ‘Scenes of a City’ at the Orpheum Theatre, Gzira. The event was introduced by Tara Cassar (FAA architect). The main speaker was Prof. Maria Attard (Dept of Geography, Faculty of Arts, University of Malta, also Director and Vice-chair of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development), an expert on transport and urban planning, who spoke on what sustainable development in the 21 st century should really look like. Tara launched Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar’s ‘SCENES OF A CITY’ Photographic Competition, to raise awareness about holistic development in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 11 [SDG 11]. This Photographic Competition has been designed to focus on the importance of the sustainable development of Malta's cities and communities.
Photography enthusiasts are invited to take on the challenge of viewing Malta’s local urban environment by either observing the obstacles we face, or showing examples of good practices, in terms of how our streets, and surroundings are being developed, sustainably or not. This project was made possible through the sub-granting scheme E4C launched by SKOP. The project is funded by the European Union with the financial support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Malta. Prof. Maria Attard started by saying that what we have today has to be available for tomorrow. She made reference to the Brundtland Commission Report entitled ‘Our Common Future on Sustainable Development’, comprising three fundamental components; the environment, the economy and society. The report maps out a "global agenda for change" achievable within existing global institutions in dealing with issues in the areas of environment, energy and development, in the hope that those institutions may themselves change in the longer term to enable policies to be implemented.
With reference to Malta, Prof. Attard stated that it has lost 30% of its landscape in the past 50 years to development, and that traffic pollution has a direct impact on health through poor air quality in our urban areas causing an increase in respiratory illnesses. Prof. Attard listed some human activities and their environmental cost, saying that sustainability will require a change of attitudes. The Maltese transport system was also discussed and in conclusion Prof. Attard suggested there could be a safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport system for everyone.
A question and answer session ensued, after which refreshments were offered.