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Posted on: 07/07/2016

The Planning Authority in collaboration with MITA launched a mobile application which will facilitate access to various services such as viewing planning applications and enforcement.

The Planning MT Mobile App will allow the public to load dynamic data related to planning applications and enforcements, while displaying the relevant details and status in an intuitive manner from their location. This map-based application will also provide the user with the facility to report a development illegality and attach a photograph taken of the illegality with the same mobile phone.

Addressing the event, Minister Dr. Emanuel Mallia stated that “through innovation and experimental approaches, such as those carried out at the MITA Innovation Hub, startups like LLUMI are given the opportunity to develop their ideas into concrete projects, which then they can showcase and transform into business ventures of their own”. Minister Dr. Mallia also emphasised that government is giving all its support to initiatives that can help stimulate social innovation through technical entrepreneurship and technology.

Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Deborah Schembri said “this new mobile application complements the Government’s drive to make planning issues more accessible to the public. The new Planning Development Act and the legal notices which were published in the last few months, all point to better stakeholder participation in the planning process and decision making stage.” Dr. Schembri also noted that while it is the right of the public for information to be made easily available, it also ensures that transparency is not only spoken about but more importantly acted upon.      

Also addressing the press event, MITA Executive Chairman Mr. Tony Sultana, underlined the importance of encouraging students and startup founders to participate in these calls which MITA launches from time to time to help stimulate innovative thinking and solutions. Mr. Sultana added that currently the MITA Innovation Hub is working with four other startups which are developing their own product using geo-spatial data and each product will serve as an aid to various sectors of our society.

Planning Authority Executive Chairman, Johann Buttigieg remarked that “over the years, the Planning Authority has developed ICT systems that have dramatically improved public access to information and radically improved transparency of the regulatory processes. As an Authority we are constantly pushing the boundaries, determined to keep finding new ICT systems that can provide the public not only with a more efficient service but with a purpose that improves the quality of life of our citizens.”

Mr Buttigieg concluded that the Authority is currently leading an EU funded project which will see the birth of a National Geographic Information System (GIS). Such a national GIS system will bring together, on one platform, crucial data that is spread out in the various government entities and make this data easily available and accessible. This will not only be useful and helpful in the strategic planning processes and formulation of policies undertaken by the various Ministries but will also come into play in instances where safeguarding the quality of the environment, improving the quality of life and safeguarding human health are concerned.