Morakot memorial wins global award

VICTIMS REMEMBERED::In a worldwide competition encouraging creation of sustainable communities, Taiwanese entrants returned home with two awards

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Nov 28, 2012 - Page 4

Taiwan won two awards at the 16th International Awards for Liveable Communities, held from last Thursday through Monday in Al Ain City, United Arab Emirates.

Globally recognized as the “Green Oscars” and established in 1997, the annual event is endorsed by the UN Environment Programme and jointly held by the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration.

The awards are the world’s only international competition that promotes notions of environmental management and the establishment of livable communities.

The competition encourages cities and regions to elevate quality of life by building a dynamic, sustainable and environmentally conscious society.

The Siaolin Village Memorial Park in Siaolin Village (小林) in Greater Kaohsiung’s Jiasian Township (甲仙) won third place in the natural section of the project category, while New Taipei City’s (新北市) Yingge District (鶯歌) bagged the bronze medal in category C (cities with a population of 75,001 to 150,000) of the whole city awards category.

Following the severe devastation brought by Typhoon Morakot on Aug. 8, 2009, Siaolin Village was wiped out and lay buried under mudslides.

More than 600 residents are believed to have been buried alive.

With a respectful attitude toward the natural environment and amid growing community awareness, the Greater Kaohsiung Government and local residents jointly launched a project to construct a memorial park, which was completed in January this year.

The purpose of the memorial park is to console families of victims of the typhoon and to bring hope to the affected areas.

More than 120 projects carried out by 60 cities in 32 countries competed in this year’s project awards category, which recognizes community constructions that are innovative, inspirational to local society and the environment, and that are conducive to sustainable development and raising environmental awareness.

Of the total number of projects, 21 were tendered by Taipei, New Taipei City, Yilan City, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.

Other countries competing included Singapore, Malaysia, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and the Philippines.