Proposal suggesting action plans of urban planning now out for consultation

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Issue 524, Page 5
Word count: 457
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

After nearly two years of research, the bill that explored the system of urban planning was disclosed yesterday by the government for public consultation in order to have the formal urban planning legislation entered into the legislative process in the second half of 2010.

The public consultation period runs until December 9.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io and his cabinet introduced details of the bill at the same press conference they had for the Land Law revision draft as he said urban planning and land management were “complementary”.

According to the presentation by the research group, main challenges were identified in carrying out urban planning projects in Macau including a contradiction between economic growth and environment and resources, and also the “obsolete” legislation that was lagging behind the rapid social development.

Between 2000 and 2007, Macau GDP per capita soared from US$14,171 to US$36,357, whilst the income median jumped from MOP4,822 to MOP7,800.

Having a total number of more than 184,000 residential units in the SAR that occupied for only 23.6 square kilometres excluding Cotai Strip, the household density registered at 7,831 per square kilometre.

Of which, the Macau Peninsula has 157,635 residential units in the 9.3 square kilometres of land, which came up to a density of 16,950 per square kilometre, a figure significantly above Taipa and Coloane of respectively 3,867 and 166 residential units per square kilometre.

However, the research group also pointed out that the heritage sites and their buffer zones accounted for 3.8 square kilometres, or 40 percent of the total area in the Peninsula. Thus, they said looking at the direction of high rise construction to reduce the density could be hindered.

In addition, the research group said current legislation that touched on urban planning could not follow the pace of social changes and a formal urban planning law was essential to attain sustainable development in Macau.

Suggestions were made by the research group such as to form a cross departmental group to work on drafting the urban planning law and other supporting legislation which was aimed to enter to the Legislation Assembly for deliberation in the second half of 2010, Secretary Lau said.

The bill also proposed setting up of special departments which were to study the nature, duties, organisation and operation of the planning coordination committee and the urban planning committee.

At the same time, the research group suggested active cooperation with the mainland and Hong Kong in order to enhance quality of policy making.

Copies of the proposal can be obtained on the websites of the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau at http://www.dssopt.gov.mo or the Cartography and Cadastre Bureau at http://www.dscc.gov.mo.

Opinions can be sent to the above two bureaux until December 9, 2008.

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