Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Taipei ‘8+2’urban renewal plan touted

GOVERNMENT-LED:Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin announced draft regulations that outline the city’s role and responsibilities in urban renewal building projects

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday shed light on its urban renewal projects and unveiled draft regulations governing such projects, as officials pledged to channel rehousing efforts and boost the city’s resilience against disasters through comprehensive urban planning.

The “8+2” flagship project was introduced to push through government-led subprojects. The project involves eight areas designated for urban regeneration, with the city government assigning a land utilization plan to each area according to its needs, as well as two plots of land belonging to the central government — the site of a former air force base and a plot occupied by the Taiwan Railways Administration’s Taipei Railway Workshop.

The municipal government has been in talks with the central government over the two plots, in the hopes that it would be granted portions of the land to build public housing.

One example of an urban renewal project aimed at increasing the city’s disaster prevention capacity is Jiahe New Village (嘉禾新村) in the Zhongzheng District (中正), officials at the Taipei Department of Urban Development said.

The project seeks to build what officials said would be a comprehensive disaster prevention system, by integrating land belonging to nearby National Taiwan University, Ying Qiao Junior High School, the Taipei Hakka Cultural Park and Tri-Service General Hospital and roadways allocated for emergency use.

Jiahe New Village is to function as a park used for disaster prevention, officials said.

The 59,504m2 former military dependents’ housing complex, which has been designated a cultural asset, is to be retained in its entirety, they said.

Meanwhile, 1,300 public housing units are to be built on a 4.3 hectare plot, with groundbreaking scheduled for 2019.

The city plans to invest NT$6.7 billion (US$198.8 million) in the Jiahe New Village project and is hopeful it can attract NT$3.4 billion in private sector investment when work is contracted out.

As for rehousing efforts targeting dilapidated apartment buildings and illegal structures, the city plans to tear down the 51-year-old Nanjichang Apartment Building and illegal structures in the Wanhua District (萬華) and expropriate nearby land to build new buildings, for which three phases of work has been planned.

The city government is negotiating the distribution of floor space after the completion of the new buildings with 990 homeowners. Officials said that 627 households have agreed to take part in the project.

Meanwhile, Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin (林欽榮), who is chairman of the city’s Urban Planning Commission, unveiled draft regulations on government-led urban renewal projects.

The regulations categorize government-led urban renewal projects into four types: full-set, half-set, advisory projects and government-led demolitions.

Homeowners who agree to be part of a “full-set” project are to have their property rights calculated by the city government to avoid what Lin called “under-the-table” dealings among stakeholders, which he said has long plagued and stalled private projects.

When negotiations regarding private urban renewal projects reach a bottleneck, stakeholders can apply for “half-set” projects, which would allow the projects to proceed under the government-led model.

Advisory projects are aimed at helping homeowners rebuild sea-sand buildings or buildings damaged by natural disasters, Lin said.

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