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.
SCANDAL: There are still discussions over whether a ban from being coaches, referees or agents should be imposed on the players, the association said The Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), Taiwan’s basketball governing body, on Tuesday said that it has handed lifetime bans to 10 players accused of game-fixing and breaches of betting rules. In a statement on Tuesday, the CTBA said it has revoked the registration of nine former players from the semi-professional Super Basketball League’s (SBL) Yulon Lexgen Dinos and one from the Taiwan Beer Leopards of the professional T1 League. The nine former Dinos players are Ko Min-hao (柯旻豪), Chiu Chung-po (邱忠博), Chen Pin-chuan (陳品銓), Huang Hsuan-min (黃鉉閔), Wu Yu-jen (吳祐任), Chou Wei-chen (周暐宸), Yen Wen-tso (顏聞佐), Lee Chi-en (李其恩), and Senegalese center
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
NOT TOO LATE: Hou urged Ko to ‘think things over,’ adding that there were still 48 hours to change his mind, as the TPP picked up registration forms in Taipei Focusing on polling disputes between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) is not conducive toward collaboration, the campaign office manager of the TPP’s presidential candidate, Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), said yesterday. Vivian Huang’s (黃珊珊) comments came after New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, on Tuesday called for both sides to return to the table for further talks about forming a joint ticket for the election on Jan. 13. Hou had suggested that the parties each pick two experts to re-evaluate the polling results to determine who was favored to lead the ticket, and