Siġġiewi & Roseto strategy. Indirect but strong relationship between social integration and health & safety.

Roseto is a small city in the USA (PA) that surprised scientists in the 20th century. The mortality rate of its inhabitants, Italian migrants, was approximately 1/3 lower than the average. They got sick much less often, and alcoholism or drug addiction were almost non-existent. Almost no crimes were committed. Nobody was poor enough to receive benefits. This phenomenon could not be explained for a long time. Studies of the residents’ diet have shown that they eat unhealthily. Others have shown that they are not particularly physically active. Moreover, it turned out that they smoke a lot and many are overweight. Nothing special was found in their genes either. The climate of the area did not turn out to be any healthier either. The cause was discovered only by J. Bruhn and S. Wolf. It turned out that the longevity of Roseto residents is due to their strong social and family ties. They were created by, among others: multi-generational families, joint work and trade, cooking and meals together, joint celebrations of holidays and religious rituals, joint cultivation of traditions, frequent visits, street conversations, the activity of NGOs, and even the common “cooling down” of people who exaggerate their successes and supporting those who fail. Although times are different today, this lesson is worth taking into account when building local development strategies. Our health, safety and general well-being do not depend only on those who save them when we lose them, i.e. health services, law enforcement services, etc.

I was recently invited to his office by the mayor of the Maltese town of Siġġiewi, Mr. Dominic Grech – a wonderful, brilliant leader with an impressive vision of its development and completely devoted to its residents. When he told me about how much they focus on building a local community, I remembered Roseto. When he added how skillfully they use their history, traditions, monuments and nature to develop sustainable tourism, and how many investments in modern infrastructure they implement and plan, it all came together into a coherent whole. “Community + Tourism + Infrastructure = quite an accurate development strategy”! Congratulations and thank you for an inspiring meeting!

Is it worth visiting Siġġiewi? Well… Let the answer be the fact that although it only has c.a. 8,000 inhabitants, the Prime Minister and the President of Malta have their official residences there. And the icing on the cake is the fact that nearby there are the famous Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra temples, which are 4-5 thousand years old. I recommend!

An inspiring meeting with the Mayor of Siġġiewi, Dominic Grech
This is Siġġiewi
The annual, 10-day celebration of the patron of Siġġiewi, St. Nicholas
One of the streets of Siġġiewi