Building is an act of culture

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The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry and AP Valletta have collaborated in a joint submission to the national consultation on the National Culture Policy 2021, as part of their extensive joint research project ‘Building Futures’. While broadly welcoming of the initiative, the submission calls for an overall governance shift of the architectural sector from ‘Works and Infrastructure’ towards ‘Culture’, while emphasizing the critical need to address the climate crisis through a cultural shift.

Addressing Malta’s planning shortcomings with revised policies alone merely addresses the superficial symptoms, rather than the underlying cultural causes. In line with Baukultur principles, The Malta Chamber & AP Valletta recognise that Building is an act of Culture and that therefore any policy aiming at supporting a cultural shift cannot restrict itself to the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage.

It should therefore be the remit of the National Cultural Policy 2021 not only to preserve our heritage, both intangible and tangible, but to chart a vision for a responsible, civic, and inspired culture for tomorrow, which would ultimately address the contradictions between economic development and the environment, society, and quality of life. The Malta Chamber & AP Valletta advocate an approach that:

(a) questions firstly the relationship between culture and architecture;

(b) aims at testing processes leading to the definition of new parameters which will define the environment of the future;

(c) fosters multidisciplinary and collaborations among different sectors; and

(d) conveys the urgency of the need for sustainable alternatives in a direct way.

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