China City Profile

City Investigation (Macau)

Information and Background

Like Hong Kong, Macau is a special administrative region of China. Macau was a Portuguese colony, the Portuguese ruled Macau for more than 400 years, from the year of 1557 to 1999. Macau has a population of 636,000 people, and an area of 30.3 kilometers squared, making it the densest city in the whole world. Not only does Macau top the charts for densest cities, Macau is also one of the world’s richest cities. Macau earns most of its money by tourism, because the S.A.R. has so many high-end and famous casinos, it attracts many tourists. In 2014, the amount of money that the casinos made were 83% of the government's entire total revenue. Not only do the casinos attract tourists, the food, the local streets, and the landmarks are all very popular internationally. Being the only place in China where gambling is not prohibited, it is the world's fastest growing economy. Two of Macau's hotels is under the world's biggest hotels (in volume), The Venetian, and the Sheraton.


Main Question

How does the constant growing population of Macau affect its social problems and geographical constraints?


What has the government done to face this issue?

Is it still an ongoing problem?

What impacts have these solutions made to the city?


This is a comparison between the "artificial" land reclaimed Macau and the original Macau
Current map of Macau




In 1912, Macau only had 11.6 km square kilometers of land, but 100 years later, in 2012, Macau had an area of 29.9 kilometers squared. This was all because of the process of land reclamation. With over 15 kilometers of reclaimed land, the overall area of land reclamation in Macau is 170% of what Macau used to be. Over these 100 years, there have been 4 major reclaimed parts in Macau, they are the area of Macau peninsula, the area of Taipa, the area of Coloane, and the Area of Cotai. Macau is also currently starting to expand on an area called the UM Hengqin. Not only do landfills damage the nature heavily, it also causes many problems regarding water. The drinking water may be contaminated and lead to many different problems. Even though, Macau is the densest city in the world, the reclaimed land is not only for housing, it is also for new casinos. Casinos are essential to Macau and is their major income source. The most famous casino/hotel, The Venetian is located in the reclaimed land of Cotai, and not to forget the newly City of Dreams is also located in the reclaimed land.

Explanation and Analysis

Macau is the most densely populated city in the entire world, thus the need of more land and space is desperate. Macau, is split into 4 different parts. The Macau peninsula is very busy and packed, whereas the other 3 parts are relatively quieter, though many corporations are expanding to those areas at this moment. Since Macau is considered as an independent state, it needs many of its own political facilities, and because there isn't space to fulfil everyone's needs, land has to be reclaimed. Although there are many negative impacts about land reclamation, Macau is growing rapidly, and it needs a lot more space for it to grow even more. There are many perspectives to look at this situation. It is all about whether the growth of civilization or mother nature is more important. I believe that once Macau has enough space and is capable of supporting itself, the campaigns saving nature would start. However, there are still too many things going on for Macau right now, and they need to prioritise their steps.

Looking into the Future

Macau would always be the leading city for gambling along with Las Vegas. Its economy is quite stable and is gradually rising. However, because of the growing population and the shortage of land, land reclamation will be even more needed. Soon, the prices of housing will drastically increase until there is more land in Macau. Also, since only 20% of Macau's population is over the age of 55, there will be a much higher demand of housing space over the next few years.

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