Proposed changes to development plans for Taipei’s Shezidao (社子島) peninsula are unrealistic, area borough wardens said yesterday.
“We want a place to build our lives — where we can have a home and work,” Shezidao Borough Warden Lee Tzu-fu (李賜福) said, adding that the suggested revisions would result in a “recreational space” far removed from the concerns of peninsula residents.
Borough wardens and city councilors met with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to discuss potential revisions to city development plans for the low-lying sandbar between the Keelung and Tamsui (淡水) rivers for which construction has been forbidden since the 1970s due to flooding concerns.
Ko last week criticized previous city development plans aimed at turning the peninsula into a “Manhattan,” promising major revision to hasten development while reducing costs.
While the city is still in the process of drafting plan revisions, comments by officials have hinted at a greater emphasis on protecting the peninsula’s ecology, reducing the area to be developed by “returning land to the river,” he said.
A Department of Urban Development official said that the city hopes to expand the area of the peninsula’s protected riverside undeveloped zone to add as an additional buffer zone against flooding, reducing costs by reducing the height and length of the dike required to protect the zone to be developed.
The city’s suggestions that only “low density” development should be allowed on the peninsula attracted criticism from borough wardens and councilors emerging from the meeting.
“Shezidao is not Amsterdam, or Budapest, or Venice,” Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Lin Shih-tsung (林世宗) said in response to comments made by Ko that development plans should be modeled after a European city.
He said peninsula residents would only accept city plans which allow for “high-intensity development,” including the construction of high-rise buildings.
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