Malta Malta

Partner cities

Local Councils' Association

The country of Malta is an archipelago formed by three main islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino situated at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, with a total area of 316 square kilometres. The population density of Malta is more than 1500 inhabitants per square kilometre – making it by far the most densely populated country in Europe. The population of the two main islands (Malta and Gozo) is estimated to be around 500,000 but the country receives around 2 million tourists a year, mainly originating from Europe. In the early 1990s a process to devolve some of the powers held by the central Government led to the creation of Local Councils. The duties and responsibilities of the 68 Local Councils were established through the Local Councils Act, which over the intervening decades has been variously amended. As Malta’s economy began to undergo rapid economic growth in the mid to late 2010s, localities across Malta began to face new challenges, particularly associated with traffic management and construction. This has resulted in Local Councils acquiring a new role as the voice of the citizen in various planning and policy making fora associated with these issues. In this new role, Local Councils have so far played a largely reactive role, responding to planned developments mostly with objections on behalf of those residents likely to be negatively impacted. While it remains important for Local Councils to defend the rights of residents from excessive development, traffic and noise pollution, the Assocjazzjoni Kunsilli Lokali has taken the initiative to develop a strategic framework to enable Local Councils to proactively enhance the quality of life of residents. The result of this was the publication of ‘Resident First – 2020 to 2024’ which focused on a number of key pillars on which Local Councils could focus and make the desired positive impact on their localities. These pillars are: Sustainable Mobility covering issues such as walking & accessibility, last mile transportation and shared transport. Urban Green to provide and retain biodiversity within the built environment and improve waste management and cleanliness Open Urban Spaces to provide areas that are freely accessible and encourage social activities and interaction between residents. Smart Cities to leverage new technologies to enhance quality of life including mobility, public safety, health and productivity.