iRAL was appointed in 2014 to undertake a preliminary Master Plan for an 80 ha Brownfield site – the Mriehel Industrial Estate, close to Malta’s capital city of Valletta.
The Government of Malta and the private sector are engaged in a joint initiative aimed at re-creating the Mriehel area as an innovative business hub over the next 25 years. The intent is to attract high value added investment, benefiting both economic development and the community. To this end the Mriehel Enterprise Zone Foundation was formed and officially launched in March 2016 with the sole purpose of formulating short, medium and long-term visions for Mriehel. The area has officially been named as the Central Business District.
In the short to medium term, a planned approach to improve security and infrastructure as well as the present visual environment is being developed.
For the long term, the Master Plan vision developed by iRAL is underpinned by the following core principles:
• An urban development able to embrace both private and public investment in a common goal of economic and urban growth responsive to international business and investment potential
• A city grid structure that deals with the scale of industrial and commercial activity, the public realm, and allows diversity of micro-planning and design to enable a rich urban development
• Using the topography to locate taller buildings to avoid visual obstruction in heritage view corridors
• Using the topography to create an economical vehicular and servicing infrastructure
• An exemplary environmental vision that draws on traditional urban qualities – landscaped streets, landscaped public promenades and private gardens
• A focus on an integrated pedestrian, cycle and public transport system
• An environment that can be phased from strategic nodes of existing and ongoing investment
• Adaptable to investment demand yet capable of maintaining an excellent environmental quality at all stages of its realization
Emphasis is upon the qualities valued by international occupiers and which will help maintain a high asset value at the Central Business District, while creating an urban built environment appropriate to its setting, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally sustainable.