Clearing up Europe’s air pollution hotspots

Modelled annual mean PM10 concentrations around Europe for the year 2030 under the current legislation scenario. Credit: Kiesewetter, et. al., 2015 Current air quality legislation in Europe will lead to significant improvements in particulate matter pollution, but without further emission control efforts, many areas of Europe... [...]


A cost too high

High-rise buildings can have a damaging impact on the environment and are too costly to maintain, says Astrid Vella, Coordinator of Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar. There is no doubt that the Malta Environment and Planning Authority’s revised high-rise regulations are a significant improvement on those of 2005, when an open-ended... [...]

M212 - LFA

Building in Malta’s rural areas

Although our islands are small and densely populated, we still have some scenic and beautiful rural landscapes. Besides their rich biodiversity, our rural areas also contain distinctive cultural features, including traditional rubble walls, corbelled huts and small wayside chapels. Agriculture lies at the heart of rural life... [...]


Plant a tree, save a life

Air pollution is a serious problem in the United States. As a young child growing up in suburban Los Angeles, I remember days in which we were not allowed to play outside because of the air quality. Kids in other states had snow days, or so I was led to believe, but we had smog days. LA is doing better now. We don’t have smog... [...]


Trees save lives, reduce respiratory problems

While trees’ pollution removal equated to an average air quality improvement of less than 1 percent, the impacts of that improvement are substantial. Researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year. Credit: © keller / Fotolia In the first broad-scale estimate... [...]

Jardin Atlantique, a park and garden located on the roof of the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris

The benefits of green roofs

Jardin Atlantique, a park and garden located on the roof of the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris   A University of Malta faculty is currently studying the feasibility of green roofs in the Mediterranean region. Assistant project director Vince Lloyd Morris outlines the various advantages of this technology, including... [...]


Building more, building higher

The publication of the planning authority’s new policy for high-rise building was strongly criticised by environment groups. The underlying suspicion is that the new policy is intended to placate the building lobby with the result that it appears to be half baked and lacking the necessary studies and safeguards. In reality,... [...]


Water harvesting culture

Our capital city Valletta will be celebrating the European Cultural Capital in 2018. Definitely, this will contribute to the economic and social fabric not only of Valletta but also of the country at large. It can, however, also contribute to ecological aspects as well. Valletta is what it is today because of good planning and... [...]


Safeguarding the rural areas

Planning for the sustainable management of our land and sea (8) The smallness of the islands, the high population density and the transition experienced in the last decades from a predominantly ag­rarian society to industrialised and urban communities have led to significant change in land use patterns. The expansion of urban... [...]