Kaohsiung City's public green space now totals approximately 100 hectares, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said yesterday.
In a celebration of the breakthrough in the city, Chen said the Public Works Bureau had been promoting a greener city since 2007 because “the average size of green space every resident enjoys in a city partly determines the quality of living in that city.”
Although at first the bureau's plan met some resistance, the plan has yielded fruitful results over the past two years, she said.
Chen said the city government recently also decided to turn a 10-hectare piece of land worth NT$15 billion (US$445 million) in northern Kaohsiung into a forest park.
“Ever since I assumed office [in 2005], I have always believed that the city's unused spaces — public or private — should all be opened up to residents,” Chen said.
“In light of the city's projected development over the next 50 to 100 years, [the city government] was willing to reserve the land for residents of Kaohsiung,” she said.
Chen said the city government would continue to enlarge the size of the city's green spaces ahead of the World Games so that international athletes would see the beauty of Kaohsiung when they arrive in the city in July.
Meanwhile, the bureau said the quality of the water of Kaohsiung's Lotus Pond — one of the city's major tourist attractions — had improved greatly since the city government drained the pond in October for cleaning as part of its preparations for the games.