Konrad Buhagiar, Partner at AP Valletta, believes Malta’s current state of overdevelopment is testament to the way the county has leapt, “in the space of merely 50 years, from a largely rural society to full-blown consumerism.”

Fixing planning policies, he says, can only do so much to address the situation: by their nature, they are guidelines open to interpretation by individuals. The only solution, therefore, is education.

“We need officials with more ideals and more vision, and activists who are more prepared and hands-on,” he says in the latest edition of Business Now.

“But from what I see around me, our education system is keen to eliminate the independent thinkers and the visionaries, and to encourage those who will toe the line and support the system. This is a very dismal state of affairs.”

The problem, Perit Buhagiar suggests, lies in the way we have designed an educational system “based on some form of unimaginative training” to fill particular professions and roles in society.

“The abandonment of the Humanities in favour of more technical skills is, in my opinion, a grave mistake. There is no recipe for a beautiful environment or even a bright future. It requires technical expertise, of course, but also keen observation, plenty of good will, vision and – although they cannot be avoided – plenty of mistakes along the way too.”

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