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Artichoke: Pending confirmation

By Mellissa Hekkers

Working in the doom and gloom of news and media, it’s almost become second nature to dwell on the most depressing and negative stories of peoples, politicians and countries. The more morbid, the sadder, the more frustrating a story is, the more clicks and popularity it seems to have.

Yet there are weeks like this one which turn this theory on its head, and coincidentally provides us with stories reporting on the better side of things.

One such story is the Interior Ministry’s announcement that the old, abandoned GSP stadium in the heart of the capital will be converted into an underground parking, and – wait for it – a green area, a park. Giving priority to green areas has seldom been a priority.

Another example arises from the European Commission’s Environmental Committee warning Cyprus that it will not give the green light for the controversial Limni development project in the Paphos area if its eco concerns were not addressed. (Note to self: is the hard work of some dedicated individuals to obstruct mass developments in an unjustified and inappropriate way finally giving fruit?)

Meanwhile, a group called ‘No Cars in Eleftheria Square’ has collected over 1,400 signatures in an online petition to keep the soon-to-be newly revamped Eleftheria Square free of traffic.

Various initiatives have been taken over the past couple of weeks in order to raise attention and eventually abstention from the municipality pulling out of hosting adequate public spaces for the benefit of citizens. The municipality has answered to the noise around this, confirmed that no final decision has yet been taken. (Note to self: The voice of citizens rarely makes a difference when it comes to the development of the city; perhaps this is a first?)

Granted, none of these decisions have been finalised or materialised. The work of the individuals involved in bringing these matters to life, including our own as journalists, still needs effort. But the light is there. Amen.

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