Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Historic Centre of Macao

China
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Housing (Including high-rise buildings; Potential visual impact of new developments)
  • Land conversion (Land reclamation)
  • Management systems / Management Plan (Inadequacy of the current management systems; Lack of Management Plan)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

January 2009: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 November 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1110/documents/, in which the following activities are reported:

  • The Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) has completed the project “Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region (2020-2040)” to protect cultural heritage and maintain the visual corridors and protection zones of the property and the entire city of Macao, including the New Urban Zones. Progress has been made with the Protection and Management Plan for the Historic Centre of Macao, which is undergoing revision and required legislative processes before submission to the World Heritage Centre. Macao has well-developed processes for the conduct of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) using two different approaches, depending on the circumstances of the project, with a focus on the conservation of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and on avoiding or mitigating other potential adverse impacts;
  • The protection of the visual corridors linked to the Guia Lighthouse is acknowledged as important, and a cautious approach is applied to nearby construction projects. The HIA for the unfinished building project at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio, close to the Guia Lighthouse, concluded that completing the construction project at its current height is a reasonable technical solution that balances heritage protection and urban development. All new construction projects developed around Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues comply with height limits set in the 2008 Order of the Chief Executive to protect the visual corridors linked to the Guia Lighthouse and maintain the surrounding landscape setting;
  • An urban design plan has been initiated for the New Urban Zone A, and a transit line will be developed underground and under the sea to avoid impacts on the surrounding landscape setting. The State Party is committed to liaising with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the planning and construction phases of the New Urban Zones and relevant development proposals;
  • Public education about heritage protection and increased public awareness of heritage values have been pro-actively addressed through promotional activities, which inspire and encourage the active role of the general public and government organizations in conserving and celebrating the heritage values of the property.

Since the 43rd session of the Committee (Baku, 2019), the World Heritage Centre has received a series of third-party information, notably on the construction of high-rise buildings in the vicinity of the property, which were transmitted to the State Party for comments. The State Party provided a response through a letter dated 29 May 2020, including an HIA for the unfinished building located at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio. A Technical Review provided by ICOMOS was transmitted to the State Party on 26 November 2020.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The programme of public education initiatives undertaken to increase public awareness and to encourage conservation and celebration of the heritage values of the property is welcome. Progress has been reported with the Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region and with the Protection and Management Plan for the property, but the extended timeframe to complete the necessary regulatory instruments and processes is concerning, given the role of the Management Plan in conserving the OUV of the property. Nevertheless, it remains important that the Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, as soon as possible and prior to its adoption and implementation. The implementation of HIA processes will further contribute to the ongoing conservation of the property.

ICOMOS provided advice on the unfinished high-rise building project at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio and the construction of high-rise buildings on Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues in its November 2020 technical review. The HIA for the unfinished high-rise building at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio reasonably concluded that reducing the original height of the approved design and finishing the project with the current built height option would not fundamentally affect the OUV of the property, even though there will be some effects on visual corridors between the Mount Fortress and Guia Fortress and Lighthouse. However, it is advised that the design of the upper floors of this building should be revised to be more transparent and less bulky to lessen the visual impact.

With respect to the high-rise buildings on Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, it is recommended that a detailed urban design and conservation planning study be undertaken for the length of the Avenida, taking into account existing site conditions, legal and planning constraints and HIA requirements. A reduction of the present maximum height limit along the Avenida (as determined in 2008) should be considered and a moratorium placed on new construction approvals until such a time the outcomes from the study have been formally adopted.

Finally, it is recommended that the emerging urban design plan for the New Urban Zones be submitted to the World Heritage Centre as part of the State Party’s commitment to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the planning and construction phases of the New Urban Zones and relevant development proposals, including the underground/undersea transit line.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.141
Historic Centre of Macao (China) (C 1110)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.57, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the education and awareness-raising initiatives pursued by the State Party regarding the history of the property and its encouragement of the conservation and celebration of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and other heritage values;
  4. Takes note of further progress made towards the finalisation of the comprehensive Protection and Management Plan for the property and the development of the Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region (2020-2040), which will assist with the integration of cultural heritage protection into urban planning and development, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit the Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible and prior to its adoption and implementation;
  5. Reiterates its concern that potential new developments may impact adversely on the OUV of the property, and therefore also welcomes the advice from the State Party about the ongoing role of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in conserving the OUV of the property, and encourages the State Party to ensure that potential impacts of new developments, including visual impacts, continue to be evaluated through the preparation of HIAs that comply with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties;
  6. Also notes that the unfinished high-rise building at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio will be completed to its existing height, but requests that the design of the upper floors of this building be revised to be more transparent and less bulky to lessen their visual impact, and also requests the State Party to undertake a detailed urban design and conservation planning study for the length of the Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, taking into account existing site conditions, legal and planning constraints, HIA requirements, and to consider a potential reduction of the current maximum height limit and a moratorium on the approval of new constructions until the outcomes of this study have been formally adopted;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the aforementioned Master Plan and major projects in the New Urban Zones, such as the underground/undersea transit line, and to follow the recommendations of the Management Plan to ensure that any development project supports rather than endangers the property and its OUV;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.141

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.57, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the education and awareness-raising initiatives pursued by the State Party regarding the history of the property and its encouragement of the conservation and celebration of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and other heritage values;
  4. Takes note of further progress made towards the finalisation of the comprehensive Protection and Management Plan for the property and the development of the Master Plan of the Macao Special Administrative Region (2020-2040), which will assist with the integration of cultural heritage protection into urban planning and development, and reiterates its request to the State Party to submit the Management Plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies as soon as possible and prior to its adoption and implementation;
  5. Reiterates its concern that potential new developments may impact adversely on the OUV of the property, and therefore also welcomes the advice from the State Party about the ongoing role of Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) in conserving the OUV of the property, and encourages the State Party to ensure that potential impacts of new developments, including visual impacts, continue to be evaluated through the preparation of HIAs that comply with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties;
  6. Also notes that the unfinished high-rise building at 18-20 Calçada de Gaio will be completed to its existing height, but requests that the design of the upper floors of this building be revised to be more transparent and less bulky to lessen their visual impact, and also requests the State Party to undertake a detailed urban design and conservation planning study for the length of the Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, taking into account existing site conditions, legal and planning constraints, HIA requirements, and to consider a potential reduction of the current maximum height limit and a moratorium on the approval of new constructions until the outcomes of this study have been formally adopted;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the aforementioned Master Plan and major projects in the New Urban Zones, such as the underground/undersea transit line, and to follow the recommendations of the Management Plan to ensure that any development project supports rather than endangers the property and its OUV;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 46th session in 2023.
Report year: 2021
China
Date of Inscription: 2005
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top