Monday 2 October 2023

Townsquare - Sociologists request social impact assessment

With reference to the latest development proposals at the Townsquare site in Sliema, the Malta Sociological Association is requesting EIA Malta to commission an ongoing social impact assessment. Previous versions of this project, including the one that was approved by the Planning Authority in 2019, had corresponding social impact assessments, but the plans have changed yet again, as per application GF 00150/06 (ERA) and 01398/23 (PA), which refers to an 

"increase in number of apartments from 159 to 234; reconfiguration of parking levels to increase number of parking spaces from 600+ to 850+; introduction of a green parking area for alternative mode of transport including cycling, scooteris, and taxis; removal of vehicular access to the car park from Hughes Hallet street level; introduction of hotel (Class 3B) to also serve apartments (Class 1); addition of amenities level within double height level in tower; removal of the Pavilion building; introduction of office levels within double height areas in lower buildings; internal reconfiguration of office and retail areas; change of use of some Class 4C outlets to Class 4D.

As per Malta's national census (2021), Sliema is now Malta's most densely populated locality.  Various social characteristics of Sliema have changed since the approval of the previous version of the Townsquare project. These need to be analysed scientifically through social impact assessment in an ongoing process, and in conformity to guidelines such as those of the International Association for Impact Assessment. 

Image: MaltaToday