Thu, Apr 02, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei announces a NT$130 million makeover for expo

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government announced yesterday a NT$130 million (US$3.8 million) urban renewal project to beautify Taipei’s appearance as the city seeks to impress tourists with a new image.

The “Beautify Taipei” project will begin with large-scale demolition of more than 600 old and abandoned buildings owned by the city government starting on Monday. The city will clean up the external walls of buildings, integrate store signs and install art in major municipal buildings.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the project was planned to coincide with next year’s Taipei International Gardening and Horticulture Exposition to impress foreign visitors by having a more beautiful Taipei next year.

“The expo is expected to attract more than 6 million tourists and it presents a great opportunity for Taipei to upgrade its appearance and show the world how beautiful Taipei can be,” Hau told a press conference yesterday.

In addition to reorganizing old and abandoned government-owned buildings, the budget will also be used to help local residents improve the appearance of their buildings, Taipei Deputy Mayor Lin Chien-yuan (林建元) said.

Owners of buildings that are located within 500m of major tourist attractions and transportation hubs can apply with the Taipei City’s Buildings Administration Office to have their external walls cleaned, have cables and wiring tidied and have illegal advertisements removed, all for free.

Taipei City’s Urban Redevelopment Department has also approved 42 urban renewal construction projects around the city to improve the quality and design of municipal buildings.

Local residents can also apply to the city government to make abandoned area in their communities green by planting trees, Lin said.

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