On June 1st and 2nd, the MARE Summit 2023 took place at the MFCC.  Stakeholders from the building and construction industry, individuals from the real estate and the architecture and planning sectors took part in a diverse range of panel discussions and conferences that explored the present critical industry issues such as, contemporary approaches to sustainable habitation, changing vertical landscapes, and innovative urban planning strategies.

During the first day of the summit, Joseph Borg, President of the Gozo Business Chamber and INSULEUR participated in a panel discussion “The Island Way: Creative Approaches to Architecture in Sensitive and Limited Territories”. Appealing to architects, he highlighted how, while as a Chamber we are not against construction, we need development which services the quality of life of the community.

As regards the policy approach for islands, Joseph Borg highlighted that first we need to ask ourselves what we want. Citing the example of Gozo, he said that from a planning perspective there should be a specific plan for islands which considers their sensitivities. Highlighting best practices on other islands he commented that there should be an impetus to diversify the island economies.

On the second day, the Vice President and the CEO of the Gozo Business Chamber, Michael Galea and Daniel Borg participated in a panel during the MARE Summit ‘Smart Growth: Balancing Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Gozo’s Real Estate and Construction Sectors’. Michael Galea moderated the session, while Daniel Borg was one of the panellists.

In his opening remarks Michael Galea highlighted the need to balance economic growth and sustainable development and highlighted the shared concern the impact the construction sector is having on Gozo’s environment.

In his intervention Daniel Borg highlighted the need for a regional planning approach for Gozo, which is also one of the main proposals of the Għal Għawdex coalition which the Chamber is part of. Economic growth brings with it development but there is the need to identify the economic sectors we want to see in Gozo and the type of development. He also remarked that while the construction and the real estate sector are presently aligned in the short term, in the long term these will be moving apart, pointing to the need to earmark quality instead of quantity. Daniel Borg concluded that this requires a targeted policy approach.

Click here to view the agenda.