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Title: People, plants, paths, ……and WiFi : the changing face of green open spaces in Malta
Authors: Micallef Darmanin, Tania (2019)
Keywords: Open spaces -- Malta -- Rabat
Open spaces -- Malta -- Sliema
Open spaces -- Malta -- Qrendi
Gardens -- Malta
Urban beautification -- Malta
City planning -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Micallef Darmanin, T. (2019). People, plants, paths, ……and WiFi : the changing face of green open spaces in Malta (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: Green open spaces have become increasingly important in the last decade due to the substantial urban expansion of our towns and villages. It is vital for the citizens, to enjoy recreation in green open spaces close to where they live. The aim of this dissertation is to discuss the changes that took place in the green open spaces in Malta from the sixteenth century up to the present day. This study observed green open spaces in three locations, namely Rabat, Sliema and Qrendi, highlighting the relationship between the utilization and characteristics of green open spaces. Observation of the patrons in the green open spaces found in these localities, was carried out during two seasons, over twenty-seven dates, during different times of the day. It was observed that some green open spaces always had a large attendance whereas other had few or no visitors at all. It was noticed that green open spaces with well-maintained footpaths, seating, commercial facilities and WiFi connection were important characteristics that increased the use of the green open spaces. The green open spaces understandably attracted more people during the weekends than weekdays especially for family outings. The attendance during summer evenings was higher than in winter. However, in winter, the attendance increased from midmorning onwards while during the hot summer days a substantial reduction in the number of visitors was observed in the mornings. At times, the high number of patrons present did not materialise into significant human interaction one expects to see in a green open space. Some patrons seemed oblivious to their surroundings and others around them and were more interested in their smartphones. This individual isolation was somewhat mitigated by the inclusion of physical fitness equipment and child-oriented games. These helped to bring like-minded people together and create temporary relationships through the shared desire to play and ‘belong’. It is within this context that the green open space of the Maltese Islands should be viewed – as a response to a human need. Today the needs and expectations of people and their communities for green spaces are being affected by changes in society and it follows that the design of a public space needs to be original to its culture to ensure that it truly belongs to that neighbourhood. The availability of widespread public education in the twentieth century led to an increased awareness of personal health. With the rise of this awareness, green open spaces now took on a new role. Therefore, the identification and consideration of critical user needs, must be considered in the planning, design and management of outdoor spaces.
Description: M.MALTESE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMS - 2019

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