Officials said yesterday at a forum that more creativity and a new mindset would have to be introduced in all plans for urban development in the future as academics expressed disappointment over the government’s performance in this area during the past decade.
“New legislation, ideas and approaches are required for metropolises such as Taipei City and the New Taipei City to improve their urban environment,” said Hung Chia-hung (洪嘉宏), director-general of the Construction and Planning Agency’s Urban and Rural Development Branch.
Hung was among a group of officials and academics in the Taipei Next Forum, organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智), which focused on urban development, in particular on issues of social housing, urban regeneration and the proposed development of a waterfront, in the greater Taipei area.
With housing prices in Taiwan skyrocketing, social housing has been mentioned by experts as a way to ease housing demand for the young and the poor, but Taiwan’s government has always distributed social apartments through selling, rather than leasing.
“Perhaps it’s time for us to introduce the concept of superficies by allowing residents to live in apartments without owning them, so they would not have to endure the high housing price,” Hung said.
Volunteer participation in urban regeneration projects could be tax deductible and legislation should be relaxed to allow changes in the use of land to bring in industries and rejuvenate certain areas, he added.
Ting Yu-chun (丁育群), Commissioner of Taipei City’s Department of Urban Development, said the city government has learned lessons in a number of urban regeneration projects which had stirred up controversies and public anger this year.
Taipei City plans to build 45,000 social apartments, around 5 percent of the total of 970,000 households in the city, in 25 years for people in need, he said.
Huang Jui-mao (黃瑞茂), a professor of Architecture at Tamkang University, described the government’s performance on urban development in the past decade as “out of control.”
Development projects have become politicians’ blank checks in election campaigns, he said, adding that the underprivileged people and urban reservations were among the issues that the government had totally ignored in Tamsui (淡水), a town of 100,000 residents in New Taipei City (新北市), has been the perfect example of how things went wrong in Taiwan’s urban planning, Huang said.
The town was “overloaded” with careless development of its waterfront and its culturally rich urban texture, he said.
A recently discovered supernova is the brightest and closest to Earth identified in the past decade, and can be observed with basic equipment, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said on Wednesday. The supernova has an absolute magnitude of 14.9 in luminosity and is in the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101) about 21 million light-years from Earth. It was discovered early on May 20 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki, who immediately reported the finding to the International Astronomical Union, the museum said. The supernova was designated SN 2023ixf following the astronomical naming conventions for supernovas, it added. The museum said that it observed
Tropical storm Guchol is moving in a northeasterly direction off the east coast of the Philippines and will not hit Taiwan, but will impact local weather starting on Friday, the Central Weather Bureau said Thursday. The storm would bring a low-pressure system northward toward the vicinity of Taiwan, forecaster Chao Hung (趙竑) said. Northern Taiwan will see intermittent rain showers in the morning, and thunderstorms in the afternoon on Friday, he said, adding that rain would be heavier on the east coast and in the central-southern mountainous areas. Rainfall would continue into Saturday, and would spread throughout Taiwan proper, he
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
A man was arrested in Hsinchu on Saturday on suspicion of filming women in the women’s washroom of a shopping mall in the city, local Chinese-language media reported on Thursday. The man was arrested at around noon on Saturday when a woman using a stall in the mall’s washroom noticed a cellphone being held above her from the neighboring stall, reports said. The woman ran out of the washroom and yelled to her husband to help her, after which the suspect – who was dressed as a woman – attempted to flee, but was subdued by other men until police