The landfill termed Zone B is bounded by the Governador Nobre de Carvalho bridge. The eastern part will start near the Macau Science Centre, with the western part adjacent to the Nam Van and Sai Van Lakes area.
It is the second smallest of the zones (less than half a square kilometre) and the first to be ready.
So, everything O.K.
Well, not really . . .
Its proximity to the historic area of Macau – in particular to the buffer zone of the Guia Lighthouse, agreed with UNESCO – has caused some headaches for the Public Works Bureau.
Although there seems to be a clear definition of the buildings that will exist there, the last public declarations by the person in charge of the Public Works were sufficiently ambiguous: the government does not declare the height of the buildings in question, saying only that they will respect the requirements of UNESCO.
It is no coincidence that Zone B was the most mentioned in the third phase of public consultation, with a lot of concerns expressed about the need to set a maximum height in order to preserve the city’s landscape and heritage.
“We are in meetings with the users of this area and we hope this year to resume these projects,” said Raimundo do Rosário last June.
But who are the final users referred to?
Zone B is primarily intended to house administrative offices, with priority given to the judicial services.
But being able to become one of the toniest areas of Macau, by connection to the two lakes, what is now known as Zone B will not be limited to government services buildings, with a promenade area with gardens by the sea foreseen, and other parts of the zone reserved for housing (about 2,000 units) and shopping.
Still, for the many tours that can be given in the area, the truth is that if there was a landfill to be given a well-defined activity this would be it: there is an evident gap of buildings that house the political and institutional organs, and the government of the Region has decided to concentrate there everything that will be built over the next 20 years, the exception being the buildings for the security forces to be built in Zone E1.
In this context it is only surprising that with the landfill ready there is no plan of how many buildings there will be, who will occupy them and what features they will have – or, if there is one, the Public Works Bureau does not want to share it with us.
A 2012 document, conceived by the Working Group for the Urban Planning of New Landfills, proposes for that zone the construction of seven buildings housing the Courts of Last Instance, Second Instance and Base Judicial, as well as the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Commission against Corruption, Commission of Audit and Unitary Police Services.
Almost six years have passed since this document surfaced but little has evolved, much to the chagrin of some members of the Legislative Assembly who have periodically drawn attention to the issue.
The problem has spread to the Urban Planning Council, whose members complain of the lack of concrete information about the Master Plan of the new urban areas marooned in the study phase. At a meeting held last year, concerns were raised about green areas, environmental protection, the road network . . . and the lack of timing.
A tunnel between A and B
The government has already handed a Chinese company the preliminary design of a tunnel that will link Zone A to Zone B.
The inevitable CCCC Highway Consultants were granted a MOP77.42 million contract to develop the project.
There is no information on the shape, extent and characteristics of the tunnel, whose first version will have to be sent to Beijing for ‘reference’.
The way the fourth link will connect the Peninsula and Taipa may also be important for the evolution of this tunnel.