The Environment Protection Act (2001) re-enforced efforts to protect and conserve, inter alia, landscapes (including historic centres) through the establishment of an Authority for the Environment and Planning, to advise the Ministry for the Environment as well as the Ministry responsible for Culture.
In June 2006, the government issued a draft document for consultation called Operational Programme 1: Cohesion Policy 2007-2013. Priority Axis 7, contained in the Document, refers to urban regeneration and improving the quality of life and lists the following objectives:
- to upgrade the physical environment and visual appeal of urban cores, including the restoration of fortifications;
- to encourage local development and village enhancement measures; and
- to enhance environmental monitoring capability and awareness of environmental issues.
The focus areas of intervention, as expressed in the draft document, refer to urban regeneration (including the social context), in view of the need to prepare for Malta’s European Capital of Culture in 2018, revitalise town centres, as well as protect, rehabilitate, regenerate and enhance local character.
From 2008, 0.25% of the expenditure in projects of a capital or infrastructural nature must be spent on works of art, infrastructure connected with the creative spheres or on other creative projects.