Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Malta Regional Market Center > Blog > The 15-minute city - infrastructural developments

The 15-minute city - infrastructural developments

Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants to completely redesign the city centre of Paris. In this way, the streets are to be made available only to pedestrians and cyclists and the inner city is to be made as car-free as possible. Not only would air pollution be significantly reduced, this would also considerably improve the quality of life of the people living there.

The few planned roads are intended for all road users and those who still use a car would not be allowed to overtake. Parking lots or streets could be transformed into parks, city gardens for urban gardening and playgrounds. Since a car needs quite a lot of space, even if it is only standing in a parking lot, there would be much more residential space available.

 Mriehel
- Through smart planning, new living space can be created where parking spaces once dominated the cityscape.

This reminds a bit of a village where everybody knows everybody, because everything is clearly arranged and within proximity. And yet the newly gained space must be used optimally if several such quarters are to be created. When there were no cars, urban planning was structured differently to meet the needs of the inhabitants.

And thus, a residential area which is intended to be largely car-free must probably adapt somewhat to the cities of the past. In plain language, this means that all facilities that are important to the citizen must also be accessible on foot within a short time.

Shopping facilities, doctors, kindergartens, schools and authorities should all be within a radius of 15 minutes. Workplaces, leisure facilities and opportunities for going out must also be in the immediate vicinity in order to meet this requirement. This would be possible above all if there were also a broad network of cycle paths.

Each neighbourhood can function as a small town in its own right and thus acquire a slightly rural character. The retail sector can also benefit from this restructuring.

Impact of the 15-minute city on the property market

If every neighbourhood is to be transformed into a world of its own with a well-developed infrastructure, there is also an urgent need for buildings that offer both business premises and housing. This represents a completely new challenge for the real estate market, but at the same time offers a wide range of opportunities to revitalise the property market.

This restructuring will certainly also affect future property prices.

With the help of smart conversion measures, existing buildings can offer more living space than before; new buildings must be suitable both for commercial use and as living space. Also conceivable would be smaller residential units, possibly already furnished, which might be tempting especially for young people or singles. But also multi-generation houses and gardeners or beekeepers on the rooftops of the city would certainly accommodate the idea of regional supply.

Since the real estate market is also affected by this planned conversion into smaller residential units and compact quarters, buildings or even condominiums could experience an increase in value. So if you are thinking of selling your property, you should seek sound advice from a professional real estate agent.

Other European countries are already demonstrating that a city that puts people and their quality of life first in order to create new housing and living space can function.

In Oslo, this concept is being implemented step by step since 2015. There, it was not only the environmental damage such as the increasing fine dust pollution that prompted the city government at the time to rethink. Social togetherness, which is to be promoted by such a living culture, also played a major role in the planning of a 15-minute city.

This much innovative pioneering spirit inspires other cities to follow suit. As a result, other Scandinavian cities are already planning the gradual transformation of their inner cities, as are London and Barcelona. It is only a matter of time before this trend of the 15-minute city also reaches Germany.

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Real Estate for Sale and To Let  with Engel & Völkers



Engel & Völkers Sara Grech is the luxury real estate agent that specialises in exclusive properties for sale and to let in Malta. With more than 30 years’ experience, we are one of Malta’s most successful real estate agencies


Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is a thriving cultural hub that has long been a popular destination amongst expatriates and tourists alike. Partnered with the real estate agency Engel & Völkers, finding a property for sale or rent in Malta is a breeze, and in no time at all, you'll have a spacious apartment with a view or a villa with numerous bedrooms to call your own.


Living and working in Malta


Home to more than 450,000 inhabitants, Malta is the smallest country to join the European Union in 2004. In 2008, it became part of the Eurozone. Though Malta is well-known as a popular tourist destination with plenty of recreational areas and historical monuments including nine UNESCO world heritage sites, it is not known for its luxury properties and real estate for sale and rent! Besides having first-class accommodation, Malta is home to numerous companies and industries ranging from banking and financing to construction, retail, and i-gaming. Working in Malta requires the proper permits, and those seeking employment are encouraged to find a suitable job before moving into their purchased or rented property.


A new residency scheme was launched in June 2013 which allows people to buy a high-value property and pay taxes in Malta to benefit from the residence permit. Under the new Global Residence Programme, the value of immovable property bought in Malta by foreigners has a minimum threshold of €275,000. However, when the property is in the South of Malta or on the sister island of Gozo, the minimum value is reduced to €220,000. This new scheme also allows persons eligible if they wished to rent a property and this has been lowered to €9,600 in Malta and €8750 in Gozo or the South of Malta. The minimum tax to be paid under this scheme is a minimum of €15,000 on income derived in Malta, further income arising in Malta shall be taxed at a flat rate of 35%.


Real estate and property for sale and rent in Malta


Malta has several Special Designated Areas that offer a wide variety of properties to buy or rent! Whether you are looking for a new luxury apartment with views of the Portomaso marina or an expansive villa situated in Santa Maria Estate, our team will help you find a property for rent or sale that suits your needs. From apartments with a view to villas with several, we have it all.


After you've purchased property


For such a small island, Malta is packed with amazing things to see and do. From visiting historic sites to relaxing on beautiful beaches. Visitors can take their pick of activities which will suit any mood or taste.


A selection below are the top destinations that any person should see when coming to Malta. These include Valletta; Mdina; Paceville; Blue Lagoon (Comino Island) and Gozo


Valletta recently voted the European Capital for Culture for 2018 is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Valletta is the hub of tourism in Malta and for good reason. It is full of historical significance, with the likes of St John’s Cathedral, forts, and museums and much more squeezed into a tiny area. As far as beautiful towns go with plenty to see, Valletta is up there with the best.


Mdina is known as the jewel in the crown of Malta and it is a fair assessment. The walled city is full of tiny alleys which you can wind your way through, stumbling across beautiful churches and museums along the way. Now effectively part of the town of Rabat, this definitely shouldn’t be left off your Maltese itinerary.


Malta has a reputation for being a destination for the older generation, but Paceville puts lie to that. This is where the youngsters come to drink and party and you can rely on having a good evening out here. It’s not just loud music for teenagers either; there are plenty of civilized bars and restaurants if you don’t want to rave into the early hours.


A beautiful area of clear blue water which is fantastic for swimming and is the perfect place for a day out at the beach. Arguably the best place for swimming in the whole Mediterranean, the Blue Lagoon is located on the island of Comino.


Just a 30-minute ferry trip away from Malta, Gozo is a beautiful, rural island which gives you a glimpse into what Malta looked like a few decades ago. Sleepy villages, rugged coastline, and beautiful countryside all make this a fantastic place to visit. But one of the main draws is the diving off the coast. Malta has been named as one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and Gozo is one of the best spots to do it.


No matter where your interests lie, Malta has you covered; with Engel & Völkers Sara Grech by your side, your home in this beautiful part of the world is also covered. Contact us today to find out more about our villas, apartments and other properties for sale and rent!


For more information on Malta and our Real Estate Services please click on the following: 

Malta the Perfect Location l Exclusive Properties l Buying a Property in Malta and Gozo l Expenses when Buying a Property l Energy Performance Certificate l First Time Buyers l The Malta Individual Investors Programme l Buy to Let l Special Designated Areas