Macau (2009) / Viewing our living environment – the top-down scale and the bottom-up scale

The Chinese government has lunched the Hengqin development plan in ease to boost the development within the Pearl River Delta region. The aim of the project is to strengthen the economic bond between Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macau. Macau as the region which has the smallest amount of land among the three is facing the biggest challenge in urban development. Rather than to “produce” more land through the usual reclamation projects, the central government has offered help and introduced the Hengqin plan which is to lease land to Macau for expanding the University campus under a time frame of 40 years[1].

In this case, the city was treated not as a stand-alone individual. Instead, it was treated more like a component in a larger machine. Macau has been planned into a part of the project in Pearl River Delta region. It was used as a tool to boost the economic income for the country. As a usual resident in the city, we always have a bottom-up understanding towards our living environment. We would think in a sequence of neighborhood > city > country. While on the other hand, the politicians would have a top-down approach, thinking from country > city > neighborhood. In many of the times, the politicians would even neglect the smallest unit which is also the most crucial basic element of a country. This has been the reason why the rapidly developed new city always have the difficulties in preserving their uniqueness and significance. This is also the reason why I think the residence should regain the ultimate power to make decision on their city.

[1] State Council information office. 2010. “Overall Development plan for Hengqin.” State Council information office, Feb 6, 2010.

1 Comment on “Macau (2009) / Viewing our living environment – the top-down scale and the bottom-up scale

  1. It is a common problem that when government carries out a large-scale development plan officially, the local identity and uniqueness might be neglected during the process. Also, the diversity of culture will probably be reduced since the large-scale development plan tends to focus on several specific objects. To what extent and in what way do you think Macau residents have influenced the city planning bottom up? Would it be more efficient if the government follow up to carry out new plan according to residents’ reaction?

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