Every morning, elderly bird lover Vong Ying-ho brings his two budgies to a recreation area near his home in the Fai Chi Kei district for a breath of fresh air. But from later this month, a fuel station will occupy the middle of the park, leaving Mr Vong and his budgies to breathe in the fumes. 'That's not very good for their health,' Mr Vong said, concerned about his birds. 'But I cannot do anything.' As Macau's economy blossoms, casino projects and basic infrastructure such as car parks, petrol stations and power generators are gradually encroaching on the city's public space. In the case of the Fai Chi Kei park, the government surveyed the whole district to find the right spot, according to a letter from the authorities to legislator Au Kam-san. 'It just happened that the most appropriate location was in the middle of a park,' said Mr Au. Another park, across the road from the Landmark Hotel, serves as a prime example of how open space is disappearing. Known as Art Garden, it was first cut in half when Galaxy Resorts' StarWorld project obtained rights to the land last year. Also towering over the park is a Wynn Resorts casino under construction. To provide sufficient electricity for these properties, a power generator was built in the gardens. When these casinos open next year, parking is expected to be in short supply. As a solution, work on two multi-storey car parks began last week, to provide more than 1,000 spaces. Fortunately, they will be underground, leaving the downsized gardens intact - at least for now. Carmen Wong Yin-nga, a Macau Polytechnic Institute lecturer and urban space designer, suggests innovative ways to maximise green space in a built-up area. 'Even if it's an underground car park, we could leave a column of space in the centre for a small garden and for sunlight to penetrate,' she said, drawing on solutions applied overseas in metropolitan areas. 'For a tall building, the government could impose a rooftop garden or even a garden every 15 floors.' Also disappearing are public sports facilities. The Workers' Stadium has had to make way for the Grand Lisboa project. As compensation, a new stadium has been built near the border gate to Zhuhai. But whereas the old stadium was open to anyone to play sports throughout the day, the new venue requires advance booking to enter. 'These places remain public venues, but access is more limited,' Mr Au said. 'What we need may be just simple space for spontaneous walks and games.' Or some fresh air for Mr Vong and his budgies.