What is Planning Web?

Updated data: As promised, we’ve continued to add new data and features to Planning Web. Below is an easy-to-use dashboard that lets you explore permit data for each architect in Malta. You simply need to select an architect and the data on the dashboard will change to reflect that selection.

The dashboard presents information such as the distribution of localities in which a particular architect applied for permits, whether or not they were accepted by the Planning Authority, as well as the case category – whether or not it was within the development zone. The dashboard also provides the total number of applications submitted, as well as the number of applicants on whose behalf they were submitted.

The map has also been updated and now includes all permit applications decided between January 2017 and July 2021

As stated elsewhere, the data needs to be viewed for what it is. It does not tell the full story behind each application because each one might have it own circumstances. It does nonetheless allow for trends and patterns to emerge, as well as provide easier access to information to those who want it. The nature of the data and how it was obtained naturally means there could be inaccuracies. Feel free to reach out to us on [email protected] if this is the case.

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The data 

Lovin Malta has obtained publicly available permit data from the Planning Authority’s website which it is making available in an easy to explore format for anyone interested in doing so.

The data has been scraped from decisions posted on the authority’s website between 2017 and July 2021. The points on the map have been generated by running each permit location’s address through Google Maps in order to obtain GPS coordinates.

You can zoom in and manipulate the map the way you would any other map. The main difference is that there isn’t a home button to take you back to Malta if you happen to stray too far while scrolling. We’re working on fixing this for the website’s updated version.

Another important point to note is that for the time being, the map’s data is limited to decisions published between January 2020 and July 2021 but we will be updating it with all the data in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

The overall aim of the project is to increase transparency and awareness about Malta’s planning system and works which are going around us every day. All of the data is publicly available on the Planning Authority’s website, the main difference is that with Planning Web it is searchable, facilitating the search of patterns and trends that could hopefully contribute to a better planning system.

While we have tried our best to ensure that all of the data is accurate, the nature of how it was obtained means that it has its limitations.

One such limitation is that a proportion of the points on the map do not correspond to the address listed on the permit.

There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from spelling mistakes in the submitted address to alternate ways of spelling street or locality names, which result in the address not being found on Google Maps.

In quite a few cases, an incomplete address was submitted with the application making it impossible to precisely pinpoint the location.

Despite this, in the vast majority of cases, if the pin hasn’t been dropped on the exact location it is within the same street. A smaller subset will have fallen while an even smaller amount will have fallen on the completely wrong location.

Another limitation relates to the names of architects and applicants. Because the Planning Authority website does not publish any identifier like an Identity Card number or home address, identical names are considered to be one and the same.

We’ll be working to improve the data as we go along and are always open to feedback so feel free to get in touch on [email protected]

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