The Urban Renewal Committee gathered yesterday for its third plenary meeting.
After the closed-door meeting, Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, said while briefing the media about the meeting, “We need time. Maybe you find it’s taking too much time but the topics are being addressed by specialized groups and only after they reach some conclusion will they bring it to the plenary.” He added, “These topics aren’t simple and we need everybody’s comprehension, and [the groups] require time to reach conclusions.”
The Secretary also explained that the working method of the plenary meeting is always the same, with three specialized groups addressing a total of six topics, briefing the plenary with an update of relevant developments in each topic on a monthly basis.
This time, Rosário admitted, “there aren’t great developments or conclusions to report,” but “that doesn’t mean that work wasn’t done.”
Using the refurbishing of old industrial buildings as an example, the Secretary said, “The topics are in fact very complex. For example, regarding this matter, the percentage of the agreement between the owners to [change] the purpose of the building is difficult to determine and understandably, the previous committee [for urban renewal] failed to come to an agreement.”
“First, the committee needs to agree on what should be done. Then, if the conclusion passes through the plenary and changes the law, they [the specialized group] need to provide guidelines for that change.”
During the meeting, the leader of each specialized group updated the plenary on topics relating mostly to temporary housing or the creation of subsidies for the people living in old neighborhoods to allow the buildings’ renewal, as well as the renovation and change of purpose of old industrial buildings, namely in the area of Av Almirante Lacerda.
In response to the media’s questions about the government project of building public housing on Av Wai Long near the Airport, the secretary said that this topic was not addressed during the meeting.