move2Gozo has a firm and resolute position on the development of Gozo and how we believe it should be achieved in the long term.
Our vision is one where Gozo continues to develop in a sustainable and eco-sensitive manner, taking into consideration environmental and socio-economic issues, and against the recent trend of large-scale development applications which are clearly controversial, not sustainable and will not benefit the Island and its inhabitants in the long term, and especially the constant and increasing threat to the ODZ (Outside Development Zone).
There are many other ways to develop Gozo which will enhance it both in terms of the environment but also in terms of the social fabric of the island and it’s economy. Preserving the unique characteristics of our villages, restoring old and abandoned buildings in the heart of our villages and towns, revitalising the old centres, and building new properties in a sustainable way and which enhances the environment, contributes positively to the locality, and blends well through sympathetic and good aesthetic design. We call on ALL architects to take on this shared responsibility and lead the way, so we can develop an Island that makes us proud and leaves our descendants with a positive legacy.
Gozo is inimitable and unique
Its special, uniquely charming qualities draw people from all over the world. Many have come here and made Gozo their home – even when they could have lived anywhere else on the planet.
Thousands of Gozitans who emigrate overseas eventually return to Gozo. Main island Maltese residents also appreciate Gozo’s distinct character. They feel it as soon as they get off the ferry. Many have also made it their second home, and many aspire to make it their first. Because it is different to Malta. Because it embodies many social and aesthetic values that have been lost in Malta. We support those people by helping them settle on Gozo and find their dream home.
Gozo is still an island of villages surrounded by countryside, where the church is still the tallest, most visible building on the landscape. Churches and landscape have largely vanished in Malta – drowned out by new developments.
Gozo has been fortunate in that it has so far avoided most of the ravages that today plague Malta:
Gozo has been doubly fortunate in there being enlightened policymakers who have recognised, just in time, Gozo’s unique, predominantly rural qualities and have sought to preserve them through multiple policy documents, specifically:
We commend the eco GOZO document issued by the Ministry for Gozo which, in its Introduction, references the Government’s declared objectives for the island and states on its cover page:
“Our vision Gozo will become an eco island by 2020, supported by a keen and committed sustainable community. We want to see quality of life in Gozo improving further though education, economic development and social progress. Gozo will strive to reduce its carbon and water footprints. We want to protect Gozitan lifestyles, the island’s environment, resources, culture and identity, and see that all these play a significant part in attracting more visitors and investors to the island”
We applaud this enlightened approach, and we trust that the recently formed Gozo Regional Development Authority (GRDA) also shares our vision to make Gozo a better and more desirable and attractive place to live. Their recent survey (Feb 2022), conducted among Gozitans, shows that a clear majority also share our vision.
Just as we applaud all those striving hard to give life to the vision of a Gozo where quality of life is paramount: the Ministry for Gozo, the Gozo Regional Development Authority, the Gozo Tourism Association, Gozo’s Local Councils, Heritage and Environmental NGO’s, the thousands of individual Gozitans working quietly, daily, to build a rewarding, attractive and environment where quality-of-life, health and respect for our island are paramount. We applaud the many small business entrepreneurs who have taken a risk on Gozo to give life to its special vision.
We appreciate our visitors and those from overseas who make or wish to make Gozo their home.
Gozo should be on a profitable and sustainable economic and social trajectory that balances quality of life with the inevitability of economic growth and development. This has been spelt out very clearly and skilfully in the eco-Gozo vision and in the documents cited above. The vision is uniquely Gozitan and is distinct from Malta’s trajectory, which is already suffering from over-development and the problems (traffic, air-quality and diminished quality-of-life) that result.
This vision is now threatened by a significant rise in unsustainable and controversial development that risks making Gozo a little-Malta. It is threatened by policy interpretation made in Malta.
“We do not want our vision for Gozo to be usurped by those not able to feel, see or sense Gozo’s unique qualities and its distinct growth trajectory”
“We will support Gozo’s local government and village councils, NGO’s, enlightened businesses and individuals in protecting and enhancing the identity and distinctiveness of Gozo’s towns, villages and rural areas through well-designed initiatives and developments aligned with Gozo’s Vision”
As part of our commitment towards a better Gozo move2Gozo has, since it’s inception in 2008, actively supported and sponsored several Gozo based Environmental and Health NGO’s who care about Gozo and it’s inhabitants and their quality of life, including Wirt Ghawdex and the Friends of the Sick and the Elderly in Gozo (FSEG). It supports the broad objectives of Din L-Art Helwa Ghawdex and other like-minded NGOs.
“move2Gozo will support those developments and initiatives that aim to further enhance what Gozo can offer in terms of a better quality of life, better quality of design, construction and restoration, improvement of the environment (including tree-planting and clean-ups), and the positive enhancement of village cores and their associated communities”
“move2Gozo will not support, nor market, those developments, decisions and activities that are not aligned with our, and our many clients, friends and colleagues, vision for Gozo, and we trust that the relevant authorities respect and enforce Planning & Environmental policies and regulations to protect our residents and our island” i