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The Cottonera Waterfront Project

The quality of life of the local community will be enhanced with the transformation of Cospicua's waterfront (Dock No. 1 area). So says part one of the brief for an extensive project initiative.

Without creating an alien area within Cottonera, it is intended to attract the more cultured visitor by transforming the dock area into a recreational zone for tourists "and locals" and extending the existing style of the marina into Cospicua.

This project will complete the redevelopment of "the last major assets" of the Cottonera Waterfront Project area, namely Dockyard Creek.

Who cares that, when all these attractive historic buildings were erected by the Knights, this creek was known by a more attractive name, Galleys' Creek?

Who cares if the eight specific objectives of part three of this project's specification fail to include "local recreation"? (The only access is to another length of promenade.)

Who cares that "recreation" appears only as a sub-subtitle in part four and has only four short sentences where only the last one makes any reference to traditional local activities? (Quote: "Various recreational activities are practised 'here' including the traditional regatta and boat-building.")

If "here" does refer to any part of the Cottonera Waterfront Project, that statement is, at best, misleading for the following reasons:

(a) if any boat-building exists, it is not "here" but in Kalkara;

(b) as a result of previous Dockyard Creek projects, the local recreation of rowing practice for both the March and September regattas is no longer possible "here", nor is it possible to have the very popular venue in the Dockyard Creek for the March Regatta;

(c) another local recreation of small boat line fishing has had to leave "here".

So what! Who cares?

On another level of Malta's cultural tourism promotion policies, this project is considered to be crucial to the Cottonera Waterfront Project and "must not" be designed as an alien area within Cottonera but act as its "hub" and agent to enhance and consolidate the waterfront project.

Who cares that cultural tourists are not only attracted to past cultures but also to living, distinctive cultures with quality lifestyles often expressed in their recreational activities?

Who cares that by extending the same style of marina (with the universal mass-produced little white plastic boats) right into Cospicua this project will not promote Malta's own culture of distinctive and colourful boats or help this so-called "hub"/agent to enhance anything?

Tourists would want to see Cottonera children playing in the water with their nation's historic buildings around them. Why else would Malta's professional tourism promoters use such an image so often in so many magazines and on Malta's stamps?

But who cares what tourists think when they see that these children have only the heavily polluted water of the Cottonera waterfront to swim in?

If nobody cares, then hard luck to the Cottonera project and Malta's future.

Please, tell us who cares?

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