The walled cities of the Cottonera regions is one of the most densely-rich area of the Maltese islands. Despite this immense cultural and historic heritage, following extensive wartime damage, the region experienced economic and social decline in the later half of the twentieth century, leading to many families moving further inland.
That has changed significantly with the advent of European Union funding, which has inspired a significant regeneration of the Three Cities, so much so that the area is now attracting new residents, including foreigners who choose to make Malta their home as well as a thriving commercial community.
In one of the most extensive Cohesion-funded projects, the ERDF allocated more than 7 million euro in favour of Urban Regeneration and Improving the Quality of Life in the region. This included the upgrading of inner urban areas, enhanced transport infrastructure, upgraded environment and more sustainable transit options. Together, such investments have strengthened the community of the three cities.
This transformational project included an extensive list of specific investments. Probably the most iconic investment featured the refurbishment of an old dock area in Cospicua, known as Dock 1, which has been out of service for over 25 years. Work in this area involved a full redesign of the waterfront and public spaces, the pedestrianisation or semi-pedestrianisation of some areas and the creation a footpath connecting Vittoriosa Waterfront to Senglea Point.
Other elements of the project included the upgrading of residential areas, the installation of new lighting systems, new paving and fixing of benches and the redesigning and modernisation of city squares, with due consideration of improving access to persons with mobility issues.
Taken together, these projects have strengthened neighbourhoods in the locality and instil sustainable regeneration through better accessibility and mobility. This has transformed the perception of Cottonera, which has, in the past few years, become more attractive for business, hence creating more career opportunities.
Improved social infrasructure, such as upgraded health, education and recreation facilities are encouraging inclusion, diversity and improved the quality of life in the area. While this process is ongoing, the investment that has poured into the area over the past few years, together with the area’s rich heritage, have stimulated the local property market. Older property was regenerated, attracting new residents and other families who had moved out of Cottonera.
The success of this project makes it a perfect testament to the way EU-funded investment results in tangible improvements in our quality of life.
This article is part of the OurEU.mt campaign, which is being managed by CiConsulta’s ComuniqEU, with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of CiConsulta and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union