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Title: Community allotments on abandoned agricultural land in the Maltese islands
Authors: Pace Ricci, Jean Marc
Keywords: Agriculture -- Malta
Allotment of land -- Malta
Community gardens -- Malta
Land use, Rural -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Over recent years, the Maltese Islands have been experiencing increasing abandonment of agricultural land. This growing trend in the cessation of active management is not only exposing the land to the threat of development and degradation, but is also diminishing the benefits it could provide to society. Simultaneously, urban land cover has been expanding in a manner that is limiting public access to open green spaces, increasing the disconnect between urban inhabitants and the natural environment. In light of these issues, this study proposes siting community allotment gardens on abandoned agricultural land, engaging the public in an environmental initiative that not only benefits them, but also protects and maintains pockets of the Islands’ rural and agrarian character. The feasibility of siting community allotments on parcels of abandoned agricultural land was explored by investigating the availability of suitable abandoned agricultural land in the peri-urban regions of three case study areas: Mosta in Malta, Qala and Rabat/Victoria in Gozo. Multiple sites in these localities were evaluated with reference to established criteria and at least one site in each was found to be suitable for conversion to allotments. A stakeholder analysis was then conducted to evaluate the perception of the public, and of local government and relevant organizations. Surveys conducted amongst local residents showed significant support for, and moderate interest in community allotment projects. Interviews conducted with various other stakeholders highlighted the need for multilateral cooperation as the overarching prerequisite for successful implementation of such projects. The results of this study indicate that siting community allotments on abandoned agricultural land would only be feasible if local councils are empowered to take a more active role in initiating projects of this kind through collaboration with local organizations, and with the support of the public. Local land ownership laws and policy frameworks also consistently emerged as a limitation that warrants further study.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsES - 2017

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