The five-day pedestrianisation of San Ma Lou, the city’s main thoroughfare, cost about MOP 2.6 million, mainly for setting up installations and expenditure on management, Cultural Affairs Bureau President Leong Wai Man has said.
Officially dubbed Strolling through Almeida Ribeiro – Pilot Scheme for a Pedestrian Area, the scheme took place over the first three days of Chinese New Year (CNY) on 22-24 January, and once again at the weekend, on the 14th and 15th days of CNY.
Asked whether the event will be held on a regular basis, Leong said that an overall review would be conducted later, taking into account the opinions of the Transport Bureau and Public Security Police, adding that her bureau would consider “regularising” the event if the five-day pilot scheme was well received by the public and proceeded smoothly.
Leong pointed out that the event on the first three days of the CNY reached her bureau’s expectations, while the number of visitors even exceeded its predictions.
According to Leong, due to the Lantern Festival, adjustments had been made to this weekend’s event, including the addition of lantern installations and cultural and creative booths that were different to the first three days, such as setting up stalls near shops on San Ma Lou and outside the nearby Tung Sin Tong Historical Archive Exhibition Hall to promote traditional Chinese medicine, as well as extending the opening hours of the avenue’s Tak Seng On Pawnshop Museum until 10 pm and arranging guided tours in San Ma Lou, aiming to offer the event visitors a different experience and deepening their understanding of the area’s history.
Regarding some residents’ complaints that part of the installations appeared on an online shopping platform in mainland China, Leong pointed out that the idea of the pilot scheme was to provide spots where people could take photos in San Ma Lou, adding: “Sometimes we don’t need very expensive artwork”.
Leong pointed out that there were also “top class” artworks set up by the city’s six gaming operators in the avenue, where people could enjoy a variety of different attractions, The Macau Post Daily reported.