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    What #Macau is to me - soon will be gone

    By Freda Weng Chu
    Sep 24, '12 1:06 PM EST

    Macau is not just about Casinos, we have our own culture and if we don't protect and preserve it, it will soon be gone. This is the Macau that I know of.


    • I can relate to that title and feeling of loss. So called urban transformation projects are all the rage in Turkey as well. What started as dense urban speculation in 50's and 60's has turned into an urban fabric we so depend on, and now they will erase most of it to make room for gated communities and "rezidans," as they call it, type of housing. I wrote an article in Istanbul publication about this called "Master Plan Worlds." It talked about these sterilized buildings and culture replacing the type of buildings and social make up you are talking about.

      Great photo documentation.

      Sep 24, 12 2:26 pm  · 

      I feel for you becasue loving a place is like loving yourself.  Cities are the backdrop of our personal histories, and when they get torn down all at once (big chunks) it's not only disorienting, but down right traumatic.  As a student of arcitecture in NYC in the 80's, our library had an amazing collection of sociological studies of the people who where forced out of urban renewal projects.  It was tragic to read of how people where broken by that experience.  You pointing the obvious out is important becasue far to often the pejorative thrown out to people who try to slow the natural evolution of our cities is that one is nostalgic.  Lately, I've heard people talking about hoarding, but I think that one won't stick.  Eitherway, not enough attention is spent understanding the phenomena of what happens to humans when their physical history is deleted, and what we can do as a profession to mitigate the worst of these plans.

      Sep 24, 12 3:40 pm  · 

      Thanks for the comments, I have been away from Macau for years and every time I went back things not just changed but actually they were gone, it is really hard to find the traces. Recently, the government started to clear out the street market and didn't allow vendors to have their business on the side street. This street market is a tradition and the vendors didn't block anyone's traffic / ways. If everything is "Organized + clean" then we won't be able to feel the local living style. Civilization doesn't mean that you have to "clean up" every parts and pieces of a city. 

      Sep 24, 12 5:01 pm  · 
      chatter of clouds

      interestingly these buildings that are in the spirit of generic modernism have been adopted as vernacular architecture; these can be modernist buildings anywhere (that deserves balconies) . the opposite of regional modernism - modernist regionalism?

      many of these buildings, in their 'habitude' elegance and lack of pretense and in the way they bring modernism and colonial elements remind me of many buildings in beirut actually...1950's to just before the (lebanese) civil war. i feel that era was a fertile period of growth for both cities.  

      Sep 25, 12 6:53 am  · 

      Strictly speaking Modernist regionalism is an oxymoron, as modernism was about the negation of nationalism, thus the term international style.  What's so beautiful about these photos is  there's nothing strict about them.  Life seems to have grown over these buildings, regardless of style, making them seem almost organic.  It's so strange that government beaurocrats always seem to want to "clean" up these scenes, yet when if you ask almost anyone living in them, they will have wonderful associations.  I'm sure if you asked many people in those photos if they'd like a single family home with their own plot of land, they'd say absolutley, but once stuck in the isolation of a suburb, they'd be constantly be wondering why their so sad.      

      Sep 25, 12 8:48 am  · 

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About this Blog

I am a MArch student from Washington University in St. Louis, I am currently studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain for 2 months and then I will be abroad for another 4 months in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I would like to share my traveling and learning experience in Europe and Argentina with others.

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