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oooh...Valletta Green Festival 2021 announced

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

The Valletta Green festival, the annual event synonymous with our local cultural calendar, will be held between the 7 and 11 of May this year!

The largest edition since the first edition was held, this year it will be taking place all across the city of Valletta, starting at City Gate and spanning towards St George’s Square, where the main activities will be taking place.

The 2021 edition’s infiorata was designed by talented local artist Zach Ritchie, on the theme of Zero Pollution, and features a cute and colourful turtle, inspired by this year’s European Green Week theme with the same name. The details of the festival were announced at the Valletta design cluster roof garden, which was officially opened today and is now in full bloom. Just what we like to see.

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

Tell us more about the roof garden

We’d love to. The roof garden at the design cluster is a key component of the urban regeneration project, which the Valletta Cultural Agency (VCA) has undertaken in the Baviera area of the capital city. The intervention introduces a brand new green lung in this part of the city, and also provides a public space, which is freely accessible to residents and visitors. The garden takes advantage of the low-lying nature of the Old Abattoir building, on which it’s located, and brings to fruition a long process of urban transformation, centred on the needs of residents and future residents of the Valletta Design Cluster.

The design of the garden itself originated from a long, fruitful relationship that the VCA (and the Valletta 2018 Foundation before that), had with Japan-based architect Tetsuo Kondo. Kondo concept is centred around the idea of a green sanctuary or oasis, providing a space for renewal for nature as well as for people, within a highly urbanised but historically rich context. In fact, the design of the garden features small shrubs and trees, mostly of local of Mediterranean origin, a small natural pool, seating areas and multi-functional spaces, which can be used by students, workshops or other group sessions.

A small, openable glass pavilion is also inserted into one of the roof areas, enabling the space to be used for small meetings, too. The designs were made possible by Doric Studio.

The roof garden is fully accessible via a lift, which links the space to the ground floor and central courtyard of the Valletta Design Cluster, and is open to the public everyday from 9am till 6pm.

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

In the meantime, if you’re visiting Valletta, you’ll be welcomed by a temporary garden, inspired by the formal gardens of the past at Freedom Square, in front of Parliament, from the 3 of May. Entrusted to the Garland company, the City Gate installation bears a classic layout, which blends beautifully with Valletta’s elegant architecture and serves as an invitation to reflect on the importance of urban greening. It was constructed using wood that has been salvaged; 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 and there will also be Cypress trees along Republic Street, Republic Square and St George’s Square, too.

As part of the festival the Environmental and Resources Authority will be producing 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.

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

Photo: Valletta Cultural Agency / Facebook

A ‘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.  

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 May 8 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  Guo Hongli will share his tips, tricks and kite-making techniques on how to build the perfect kite.  

Participants are invited to prepare the materials required beforehand (which may be found on the FB event page) to be able to follow along. Check out VCA’s Facebook page here.