Gzira hosts its first co-creation workshop with local stakeholders in June 2021. The event was part of the first series of VARCITIES Co-creation workshops, taking place in June in all the eight Pilot Cities. The goal of the first series of workshops was to introduce the visionary solutions to the local stakeholders to validate and refine them collectively, before starting the co-design process.
The purpose of this round of multi-stakeholder workshops is to introduce the Visionary Solutions complementing the city’s actions towards the “Regeneration of a high traffic road”.
The multi-stakeholder workshop took place online with 14 participants and introduced 3 Visionary Solutions that will be implemented in Gzira. The pilot site is a high-traffic road called Rue D’Argens, flanked by residential and office buildings on both sides, the road sees constant traffic and has little to no greenery.
Key Themes from the workshop:
- Creating Synergies between Public and Private Stakeholders to Support Urban Regeneration and the Well-being of Citizens
- Re-appropriating existing spaces and unused buildings as public spaces for social and cultural interactions
- Ensuring the School Community Garden is visible and accessible to the public
- Ensure Digital Participation and Data Collection that is Meaningful to Citizens
- Addressing the challenges of air and noise pollution by improving mobility, greening and alternative modes of transport
The next step is to engage with the general public and develop participatory approaches to allow the project to be more bottom-up.
Gzira proposes the regeneration of a high traffic road with the objectives to:
1) Increase vegetation in the Gzira locality
2) Reduce air and noise pollution, improve walkability and general H&WB of the neighborhood
3) Increase in civic participation and environmental responsibility through education and arts & cultural activities
4) Boost community building and sense of belonging
5) Boost digital participation in research through a citizen science project
6) Enrich biodiversity in urban areas
In doing so, 3 Visionary Solutions on the proposal are presented:
VS1: Rue D’ Argens: Micro-greening Interventions through a Participatory Design Process
VS2: Citizen Science on Air/Noise quality to increase H&WB awareness
VS3: Urban Biodiversity, Education and Engagement through a Co-Created Community Garden Project & Art Playground
#PeopleOfVARCITIES: the reflections of workshop participants, citizens and local stakeholders
I was invited to participate in the launching discussion of a project called VARCITIES by the University of Malta which is aiming to green a main artery in a very built-up area of Gzira which has absolutely no greenery today. No natural greenery.
The workshop I think was a very positive one. I was impressed how many different people there were. The VARCITIES team was also very open to and receptive to our ideas.