Taipei City unveils series of environmental designs

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jun 22, 2013 - Page 4

The Taipei City Government has unveiled a series of design proposals aimed at improving the city’s living environment and promoting Taiwanese designs around the world.

Among the 24 proposals, which are to receive subsidies from the city government, are plans to tackle common urban problems in the areas of transportation, health, environmental protection and community-building.

Gixia Group, for example, plans to introduce LED traffic signals that can display real-time traffic information such as information on road conditions, accidents or the approach of an ambulance, said Lucy Lu, a special assistant at the group.

The innovative traffic signals will be part of a complete traffic network system that the group plans to develop, Lu said, adding that her group will first complete a survey as well as research by the end of this year to analyze the capital’s current traffic conditions and needs before designing the system.

The biggest advantages of the system would be its up-to-the-minute accuracy and its ability to save on the personnel resources sometimes needed to operate traditional traffic signs and signals, she said.

Meanwhile, Brain Communications Ltd is to hold a competition to encourage citizens to submit ideas for improving the design of public restrooms, while the Association of the Visual Arts in Taiwan plans to invite 11 artists from Taiwan and abroad to exhibit visual arts on the streets of the city’s Zhongshan District (中山).

W Taipei hotel, the Taiwan Design Center and Miniwiz Sustainable Energy Development Co will also cooperate to recycle the hotel’s used polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, slippers and plastic toiletries into boutique products to be reused by the hotel.

Guests of the establishment might be able to start using these green products as early as next year, according to the hotel.

The plan to subsidize the 24 proposals is part of Taipei’s bid to be named World Design Capital in 2016. The city government submitted an application in April to the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to enter the running.

Liu Wei-gong (劉維公), commissioner of Taipei’s Department of Cultural Affairs, said the city government will offer a total of NT$10 million (US$334,094) in subsidies to the 24 proposals, which will require total funding of NT$55 million.

The preliminary results of the plan will be exhibited during the Design and City Exhibition in Taipei in September.