Thu, Jan 07, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Officials endorse Taipei’s 2050 Vision

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei City Government officials, as well as individuals from the private and academic sectors, yesterday came together to endorse the city’s 2050 Vision project, underlining the importance of planning city governance from a broader scope and an extended time frame.

The city government yesterday called a news conference at the request of five Taipei city councilors to explain the project’s key goals, in the hopes that the city council would approve its proposed NT$13 million (US$388,605) budget during today’s cross-party negotiations.

The department said that including the money budgeted last year, the project has a total budget of NT$19 million.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that because the project is slated to run until 2050 — which far exceeds the time he is allowed to serve — some Taipei city councilors have questioned its necessity.

However, long-term urban planning is a worldwide trend, with similar projects having been undertaken by international cities such as Tokyo, Amsterdam and London, Ko said.

Citing a planned biotech park in Taipei’s Nangang District (南港), Ko highlighted comprehensive planning, saying that the park had been designed in a way that would allow linkage with industrial zones in Keelung and the Development Center for Biotechnology in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District (汐止).

Taipei Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) said the 2050 Vision is not meant to address public housing or traffic problems independently, but comprehensive urban planning in the run-up to 2050.

Lin said that the project also includes plans to develop commercial districts — for example, the “Xinyi District 2.0” plan.

The plan aims to extend the scope of a commercial and financial district near Taipei City Hall eastward by roughly threefold, incorporating the Wufenpu (五分埔) garment district, the Raohe night market and the Songshan Railway Station in development planning, Lin said.

Following the proposed relocation of Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), land in the Datong District (大同) is expected to take on new importance; therefore, the Datong regeneration project, which involves the allocation of green spaces and rehousing efforts in old communities, would function as an integral part of Taipei’s urban planning, Lin said.

As public housing policies and the development of transportation systems cannot be addressed separately, the Vision would seek to cover the two aspects by incorporating the “capital living circle” concept espoused by Ko, which takes Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Taoyuan, as well as Yilan County, into account during policymaking, Lin said.

As such, the city would be able to expand its eastern and western gateways, Lin said.

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