GIVING THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT According to Marreiros, “[Macao] residents are now more aware and critical than ever, and that is a good thing.” The Macanese architect believes the community should be directly involved in the city’s development. “Macao is a city that really depends on the government, and that is not something you change overnight.” However, he believes there is also a strong sense of change that has to come from within the community: “People have to take a critical stand for the sake of their city.” For people to do so, he explains, decision ‑makers have to be open ‑minded and interactive, showing residents that their demands are being heard. “Real estate demand is so high that urban planners don’t even have to worry about fitting activities into their infrastructures; the community does it for them.” Architect Rui Leão agrees: the community truly matters, and to that end, there is, he underlines, a group of citizens starting to take a critical stand on behalf of their city’s health and beauty. “There has to be more openness for people’s opinions because they are the ones who live and experience the city.” Leão surveyed several residents currently living in some of Macao’s oldest neighbourhoods who expressed that they, too, are interested in seeing these places revitalised. “There is a willingness to do so.” The architect is President of the International Council of Portuguese Speaking Architects (CIALP), created in 2011. His partner Carlota Bruni suggests a different approach to resuscitating the region: “Tourists follow the tourism agencies’ routes and directions, so they only get to see the Ruins, Senado, and the Fortress, because that is what they are told to see. Then why don’t those agencies start including other streets and avenues in their itineraries?” Doing so, Bruni adds, would give new life to dying neighbourhoods which might inspire property owners to think about reinvesting in their assets. Leão is also in favour of renewing the city centre, which most architects and residents alike would agree is quite neglected. “It has a lot of potential, but people are just waiting for it to fall apart.” He also advocates that the Fund for the Cultural and Creative Industries should adopt a broader approach when considering project
LANDRY’S CITIES Landry’s City 1.0 is characterised by strong development of the industrial sector with an emphasis on factories and mechanisation. Its movement peaked between the 1960s and 1980s when wide ‑spread road infrastructure boomed as personal vehicles became popular. “The management and organisational style is hierarchical and top down…vertical with strong departments, and there is little if any partnership.” Technology and creativity are set aside to prioritise mass production and infrastructure construction. The 90s mark the development of City 2.0. These cities are more tech‑driven, valuing technology and science development hubs. Work environments become more open to new ideas, and the concept of collaboration within the work‑place starts to spread. Consumption is the main trend, with architecture and design playing a leading role in urban life. The population of 2.0 cities are more connected and assertive. “There is also a move to reflect human need and human scale. How people interact rises up the agenda…The city is less car‑dominated, walkability and pedestrian‑friendly street design with buildings close to the street become a priority, as do tree‑lined streets or boulevards, or street parking and hidden parking lots.” The City 3.0 is mainly characterised by a strong interweaving between citizens, places, environments, attitudes and decisions. In 2.0 cities, tech hubs are built far from the city centre: City 3.0 puts it all together, creating different spaces with different mind‑sets in close proximity. Roads and streets are no longer solely for cars but also for people: large parks and promenades invite the public to enjoy the outdoors. The 3.0 city “can be called ‘soft urbanism’ as it takes into account the full sensory experience of the city. In making the city, it considers the emotional impact of how people experience the built fabric and thus is strongly concerned with the public realm, human scale and aesthetics.”
Published on Nov 27, 2016
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