Malta Malta

Partner cities

Local Councils' Association

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 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, urban green, open urban spaces and smart cities.