A renewed sense of community

The main square in Ta' Sannat, Gozo, has been completely revamped.

The village square is not just a central physical location; it is a place where stronger relationships between residents are built, a sense of community is created, and local identity is strengthened.

The main square in Ta’ Sannat, Gozo, has been completely revamped, bringing about a renewed sense of community. “People are very happy with this project, which will undoubtedly continue to improve the quality of life in the village,” explained Mayor Philip Vella. A substantial part of this satisfaction comes from the fact that the Council worked closely with residents, even going door to door to consult with elderly residents.

Philip Vella, Mayor of Ta’ Sannat, at the inauguration ceremony.

The main square of this Gozitan village had long needed a new lease on life. “We created a system where all the cables went underground. A culvert was built so that if there were any damages, they could go down and fix it from there. The materials used are natural,” said the mayor.

A pavement was built around the church, where people previously had to walk on the road. “We introduced more safety, creating a balance between pedestrians, those needing parking, and business owners,” Vella continued.

All materials used for the project are natural, particularly the red travertine used around the church. “Red is a prestigious colour, and the most important monument we have in the village is the church,” explained the mayor. Proper lighting was installed around the church, new benches were placed around the square, and new pedestals for statues were introduced. The entire churchyard was redone and a rainwater management system was installed.

The Council had been working on the project since 2014. “I had presented a proposal to the Council members and wanted broad consultation with the residents. We communicated the artistic impression of the project and submitted ourselves to feedback. However, we noticed that feedback from the elderly was missing, so we enlisted youth ambassadors at that time, and together with other groups of young people, they communicated with the elderly. We gave them a period of eight months, and they practically visited all the elderly,” said Philip Vella.

“After analysing all the feedback, we involved all stakeholders, including the feast decorations committee, the fireworks committee, the football club, and the band club. The professionals came up with the design, and after giving people the chance to express their opinions, we were able to apply to the Planning Authority. In 2018, the permit was issued, and we began discussions to secure the necessary funding,” explained the mayor. The project was entirely funded by the Ministry for Gozo and the Central Government at a cost of around €3.7 million.

The project progressed well despite the discovery of important archaeological remains. Vella explained how the Council managed to balance such difficulties, hand in hand with the concerned authorities. The Council also collaborated with the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) to make the square greener with more flowers, trees, and plants.

A charming particularity is that the project also allowed for the traditional cross to be placed back in the square after 70 years. “Decades ago, a taxi driver accidentally crashed into it and broke it. Although the original stone was not found, we made a replica of it and placed it in a safer spot in the square,” said the mayor.

This project is a clear example of how the square in this Gozitan village has regained all its traditional beauty using modern methods that also cater to today’s lifestyle. Such projects are transforming Maltese and Gozitan towns and villages for the better, making our communities beautiful spaces where we can live and enjoy life.

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