The Valletta Green Festival – the annual event which is synonymous with the Maltese Cultural Calendar – will this year be held between Friday 7th and Tuesday 11th May. This is the largest edition since the festival started to be held.
The festival will this year be taking place across the city, starting at City Gate and spanning towards St George’s Square, where the main activities will be taking place.
This year’s infiorata is designed by local artist Zach Ritchie on the theme of ‘Zero Pollution’ and features a colourful turtle inspired by this year’s European Green Week theme, ‘Zero Pollution’.
Details were announced today at a press conference held at the Valletta Design Cluster Roof Garden which was officially opened today and is now in full bloom.
The roof garden at the Valletta Design Cluster is a key component of the urban regeneration project that the Valletta Cultural Agency has been undertaking in the Baviera area of Valletta. This intervention introduces a new green lung in this part of the city, providing a new public space, freely accessible to all residents and visitors. The garden takes advantage of the low-lying nature of the Old Abattoir building on which it is situated and brings to fruition a long process of urban transformation centred around the needs of residents and future users of the Valletta Design Cluster.
The design of the garden itself originated from a multi-year relationship that the Valletta Cultural Agency, and the Valletta 2018 Foundation before that, had with Japan-based architect Tetsuo Kondo, who was awarded the Japanese Young Architect of the year in 2018 by the Japan Institute of Architects. Architect Kondo’s concept is centred around the idea of a green sanctuary or oasis, providing a space for renewal for both nature and people, within a highly urbanised but historically rich context. In fact, the design of the garden features small shrubs and trees of mostly local or Mediterranean origin, a small natural pool, small seating areas, and a number of multi-functional spaces that can be used by students for workshops and other group sessions. A small, openable glass pavilion is also inserted in one of the roof areas, enabling the space to be used for small meetings and gatherings. These designs were brought to fruition by Doric Studio.
The roof garden is fully accessible via a lift linking the space to the ground floor and the central courtyard of the Valletta Design Cluster and is open to the public daily from 8am to 6pm.
Meanwhile, Valletta visitors will be welcomed by a temporary garden inspired by the formal gardens of the past at Freedom Square, in front of Parliament, from the 3rd May. Entrusted to the Garland Company, this City Gate Garden installation bears a classical layout that blends beautifully with Valletta’s elegant architecture and serves as an invitation to reflect on the importance of urban greening. It has been constructed using salvaged wood, a testament that abandoned materials may too be infused with a new life and purpose.
Indigenous trees including Pine, Myrtle and Bay Leaf will decorate De Valette Square. There will also be Cypress trees along Republic Street, Republic Square and St George’s Square and lemon and orange trees in Great Siege Square.
As part of the festival which will be held in collaboration with the Ministry for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Governement and the Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, the Environmental and Resources Authority will be reproducing a beehive made with a marine wood structure in St George’s Square. The aim of the installation is to stress the importance of pollination for biodiversity and how pollution impacts this process.
The ‘Water be the Change’ and PARKS information points in St George’s Square, will provide visitors with information while personnel will be able to answer any questions on protecting the environment and ways to reduce unnecessary water consumption and pollution. The Water Services Corporation will also be present in St George’s Square with a water truck making free drinking water available.
This year’s edition of the Kite Festival, a collaboration between the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, the China Cultural Centre and the Valletta Cultural Agency, will be held on the 8th of May at 10AM, via ZOOM. This year’s event will take place in the form of an online workshop, with people, in particularly children, being invited to participate as Kite Master Mr Guo Hongli will share his tips, tricks and kite-making techniques on how to build the perfect kite. H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, on behalf of the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, will be delivering a speech on the occasion. Participants are invited to prepare the materials required beforehand (which may be found on the FB event page) to be able to follow along.