Temporary urban greenery as pop-up parks in Gzira parking spaces

March, 2023

Gzira’s pilot team was hard at work during Summer 2022 preparing the first Pop-Up Parks, which took over a corner of Rue D’Argens in Winter 2022.

Through these events, Gzira’s pilot team wanted to transform urban parking spaces into vibrant, green “parks” for the benefit of citizens. Native plant species such as olive trees, shrubs, succulents, and smaller flowering and climbing plants were used to decorate these reinvented public spaces. Custom-made wooden outdoor furniture was designed and constructed  by the architect Tom Van Malderen and donated to Gzira Primary School at the end of the events to be used for outdoor learning. The set-up, and running of the activities were done by VARCITIES’ team at the University of Malta.

The pop-up parks took place at three different locations in Rue D’Argens Street in Gzira over the winter. The first was the Pop-up Science Park, followed by the Pop-up Music Park, while the final event, the Pop-up Art Park, was held in January 2023.

Gzira’s pilot team worked with some fantastic collaborators for these events, including; JUSTNature (EU Project), ESA (Earth Systems Association), Walk & Talk, ACT – Malta, BirdLife Malta, Blooming Minds, Magna Żmien, catering by the Afro Deli and Migrant Women Association Malta, the music band JAM C and finally an audio-visual art installation by Late Interactive.

Gzira’s pilot team used these events to highlight pressing issues for locals in Gzira, such as:

  • How cities in Malta have changed over the last years
  • How science can help us achieve implementation of nature-based solutions
  • Artistic expression of both discontent and desire for change towards a more pleasant environment for life

Participants explored these questions through hands-on events for all age groups, cultural backgrounds and interests. Planting, decoration, painting, and science workshops, fun activities for kids, local community film projecting, and a group urban walk and discussion in the vicinity were carried out. The events had a real community spirit!

Gzira’s pilot team wasdelighted to talk to the many visitors who shared the same values and came to support the idea of urban greenery. What a joy to  see their excitement at the prospect of a greener future for Gzira. Overall, the Pop-up Parks have received positive feedback. The events were carried out with the support of Gzira Primary School and Gzira Local Council.

As part of VARCITIES’ values, we believe that every community deserves access to green space! The strong support and participation from the citizens in Gizra will demonstrate how much value and benefits green spaces can have on our health and well-being.

Learn more about Gzira’s pilot on their dedicated pilot page.