URBAN DESIGN International

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 34–53 | Cite as

Urban revitalization in highly localized squares: A case study of the Historic Centre of Macao

  • Yongcheng Wang
  • Keita Yamaguchi
  • Masashi Kawasaki
Original Article


This paper focuses on Macao’s indigenous form of public space – chintei – the historic squares that epitomize the former Portuguese colony and remain a unique feature of the city-state under the rubric of the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. With Macao currently experiencing the ambivalence of a cultural enclave versus a global gaming hub, the squares are facing an unprecedented phase of transformation where heritage conservation converges or even collides with redevelopment pressures. Discussions are engaged about the government’s stance on preserving and revitalizing the squares, which can be either regarded as residual space or architectural ensemble and project potentiality of urban heritage especially after the inscription of the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List. Findings from case studies demonstrate that the squares’ revitalization is a process of trial and error that continuously redefines them, and their diminished socio-spatial vitality has yet to be revived.


urban revitalization heritage conservation historic centre squares Macao 



The authors thank Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro for his thoughtful and insightful contributions to this study.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongcheng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Keita Yamaguchi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Masashi Kawasaki
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.SingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.KyotoJapan
  4. 4.KyotoJapan

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