About a dozen members of the government-appointed Urban Planning Committee urged the government on Wednesday to come up with a more specific strategic development plan for Macau covering the 2016-2030 period.
Mi Jian, principal consultant of the government’s Policy Research Office (GEP), who attended the meeting held by the committee at the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT), briefed the members on the strategic development plan for Macau from this year to 2030.
The meeting, which lasted about three hours, was chaired by Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario. It was partially open to the media.
According to Mi, his office commissioned the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University (THU) in Beijing last year to draft the strategic development plan.
Mi said the plan suggested the goals, directions and principles of Macau’s development in the coming 14 years.
Addressing the meeting, Mi said the plan also suggests that the government turn Macau into a “beautiful home” suitable for living and working, adding the aim was to provide a sense of belonging.
Mi also said the plan suggests that the government create a “fourth area”, which would be a new land reclamation area off south-eastern
Coloane, since Macau is short of land. He said the government could utilise its coastal waters to create more space for development.
According to Mi, the “fourth area”, which would become a “high-end industries centre”, could help push Macau’s economic diversification.
However, most of the members who spoke about the plan after Mi’s briefing urged his office to come up with a more specific development plan. About half of the committee members voiced their views on the plan.
Speaking during the meeting, committee member Ieong Tou Hong said the idea of a “beautiful home” was too vague. “Many countries and cities share the goal of building a ‘beautiful home’… So what will make Macau’s ‘beautiful home’ special?”.
Fellow member Leong Chon In expressed concern about the location of the “fourth area”, saying he worried that if it was to be located near Hac Sa Beach it would affect the beach’s coastal view.
Jorge Neto Valente, who heads the Macau Lawyers Association (AAM), urged the government to provide more details about the “fourth area”.
In response to the members’ remarks, Mi said he would certainly convey members’ opinions to his office after the meeting. He also said that the strategic development plan just served as a guideline for the blueprint of a future urban development plan, adding that it therefore could not lay out all the future construction projects in detail.
Stressing that the coastal view of Hac Sa Beach ought to be protected, Mi said the “fourth area” would certainly be located at least five kilometres from Coloane.
Mi also said his team had done a great deal of research before drafting the strategic development plan, adding that he could not introduce the whole plan during the meeting.
He also said that the full version of the plan contained much more information.
Rosario said on the sidelines of the meeting that according to the Urban Planning Law, the government needed to come up with a strategic development plan before drafting a blueprint for the city’s overall urban development plan, after which bidders would be invited to tender for the respective construction projects. Asked by reporters whether he thought the strategic development plan was too vague and what the “high-end industries” referred to, Rosario thought for a moment and said:
“[I think it’s] okay as it’s simply a guideline [for the blueprint],” adding that the government would keep the committee up-to date about the details. He did not elaborate further.