Macau Opinion | Planning not

The only matter that can get more complicated than planning is not planning. Over the last few days, the Macau Government has engaged in a series of acts to present its latest efforts at planning concerning several areas of the city, including the new landfill named Zone A located east of the Macau Peninsula, the Historic Centre, and the shipyards in Coloane.

The plan for Zone A – perhaps it is time to get a proper name for what is to become a concrete extension of the Macau SAR territory – has been presented as a variegated type of urban space, with projects available for all people and pockets, as long as they are Macau residents. For the time being.

In addition to social housing and green areas – not often mulled as an element that should integrate the landscape – surface and underground metro routes plus bridge and tunnel connections to other parts of Macau are being considered.

Note, however, that while members of the Urban Planning Committee have complained that the government submitted plans of Zone A for their evaluation quite late, public tenders for the design of the fourth bridge, connecting the same Zone A with Zone E1 in Taipa, and the development of a tunnel to link the area to Zone B have already been granted.

Meanwhile, in the old historic town, more planning is being unveiled by the Cultural Affaires Bureau as it presents its protection management plan for heritage conservation following serious concerns being raised last year by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee about the government’s commitment to heritage protection.

The Coloane shipyards have also been in the spotlight after struggles between Lai Chi Wun villagers, public opinion and the government proper have dragged on for more than a year. Also under public consultation, the site is earmarked for protection and eventual classification on the city’s heritage list.

Note, however, that the consultation was launched without the presentation of a concrete plan for the site, although several interests and ideas have been contemplated for the area, including the Wine Museum.

MNA has previously reported that a plan for part of the area, on Rua dos Navegantes – of which specifics have not been clarified by the attendant authorities – is being prepared by CAA City Planning & Engineering Consultants Ltd., a company chaired by legislator José Chui Sai Peng.

It is particularly puzzling, though, that the logic of zoning continues to prevail when the Master Plan of Macau has yet to be decided, and that contracts for the development of urban projects continue to be awarded before proper planning is conducted. So much for due process.

*Editor-in-Chief MNA