Restructuring the Public Realm
The Gzira Gardens Marina masterplan comprises a holistic redesign of an existing marina and its environs, throughout a stretch of quay measuring around 330 metres, including the current access-only road and the adjacent public garden. The project consists of four key phases. The first phase comprised the introduction of a new floating pontoon and the upgrading of the existing quay in order to accommodate a new berthing layout with the possibility of larger berths. The second phase included the addition of two more floating pontoons, to consolidate the number of berths that may be accommodated within the area by having a better organisation onto pontoons, thus maximising such berth capacity within a formal and orderly layout. The third phase has to date centred on the introduction of a new pedestrian-only, paved promenade throughout the extents of the project and running alongside the newly constructed quay to connect the western Gzira promenade to the eastern promenade of Ta’ Xbiex. As part of this third phase, it is also envisaged to formalise and rationalize the on-street car parking that is currently unorganized, minimising the footprint taken up by the parked cars and transforming the entire stretch into a pedestrian-priority, low-speed area. The refined design of the promenade and its adjacent parking area shall provide ample space for pedestrians and ancillary landscaping, further guaranteeing and formalizing public access to the shore. The last phase envisages the introduction of an operator’s concession area and the upgrading of the public garden (Gnien il-Kunsill ta’ l-Ewropa) to ensure the relevance of the public space by providing an access-for-all, safe, green park, maximising the vegetation and designing around the existing mature trees within the public space.