According to a press release from the University of Coimbra (UC) a delegation of researchers from the University is expected to visit Macau between Jan 19 and 26 to make an assessment on the impact of the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) project and, in a separate investigation, the effects of the casino industry’s expansion.
The two projects are being undertaken by UC’s Department of Architecture under the coordination of scholars Jorge Figueira and Nuno Grande.
The press release states that by the research “constitutes a contribution made by the UC to the undergoing debate in Macau about urban and architectural transformation.
That debate was generated by the building of new infrastructures, namely the LRT, the reclaimed parcels of land on the waterfront, and the policy of casino and gaming industry expansion.”
Jorge Figueira and Nuno Grande stress that recent statements made by Beijing authorities “point out that the [region’s] development from now on should be made in a more sustainable way in order to counter the disproportional weight of the gaming industry in the local economy and the excessive construction on the new reclaimed land.”
During their stay in Macau, the UC delegation will participate in a workshop organized in cooperation with the University of Saint Joseph and will share their architectural concepts with local institutions such as the Architects Association of Macau, the Center for Architecture and Urbanism, the Transportation Infrastructure Office, the Institute for European Studies, and the non-profit organization Docomomo Macau.
LRT’s impact on the city’s waterfront,
The UC researchers will reveal the results of an investigation analyzing the historical relationship between Macau and the water that surrounds it. The researchers will use models and computerized images to present solutions linking the water and the LRT. The researchers stress that their proposals follow the work done in Macau’s southern front by prominent Portuguese architects like Álvaro Siza Vieira and Manuel Vicente.
The study about the impact of the growing gaming industry in Macau aims at “analyzing the impact of casinos in the territory, particularly their architectonical features, without stylistic preconceptions,” Jorge Figueira comments. Some “case studies” of casinos in Macau’s peninsula and also in Cotai will be presented.
Both research studies are being undertaken as part of the “Macau-Coimbra Project” promoted by UC’s Department of Architecture. The project is part of a program of cooperation in the field of creative industries between Portugal and Macau, and is financed by the European Union.