The Ministry of the Interior yesterday unveiled a NT$6 billion (US$202.33 million) environmental beautification program for county-governed cities, districts and townships nationwide, to boost local tourism and improve regional economies.
The six-year program is part of a series of efforts to boost local economies started in 1997, but it is the first of these to focus on environmental beautification, Construction and Planning Agency Director-General Wu Hsin-hsou (吳欣修) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei.
The program would target key areas where the landscape should be improved: waterfronts, city parks, unused spaces, community areas and other designated spots, Wu said.
It also seeks to create an environment at the local level in which small businesses can thrive, he said.
The program would work at the community level to encourage collaborations between residents and community planning specialists, he said.
Its goal is to entice young people working in big cities to return to their hometowns to work and live, thus revitalizing the region, he said.
The ministry would select 20 locations to highlight for environmental beautification and link them to 20 sites identified as part of the “micro-tourism” policy the ministry unveiled on Wednesday, he said.
It is designed to make these communities, counties and cities more liveable and appealing, he said.
While past programs often subsidized the construction of parking lots or art installations, those types of projects are not the focus of this program, he said.
The new program would issue grants for projects that increase green space, incorporate ecological engineering methods at recreational facilities and highlight the special features of a district, township or city, he said.
Approved proposals would be carried out under the guidance of landscape engineers and community planners to ensure that they improve the site rather than appear “gaudy,” as many past projects have, he said.
The ministry would also prioritize smaller projects with costs less than NT$100 million, he added.
‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’: The ‘Global Times’ accused the DPP of offering politicians in Somaliland bribes and promoting Taiwanese independence by funding US think tanks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday denounced China’s Global Times for disseminating disinformation about Taiwan, after the Chinese state-run newspaper claimed that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been bribing Somaliland politicians. Taiwan in August last year inaugurated the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland, which is the nation’s only representative office whose title uses just the name “Taiwan.” The East African country also established a representative office in Taipei, despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations. The Chinese-language Global Times on Monday accused the DPP of offering Somaliland politicians and their families considerable bribes, citing anonymous sources. The International Cooperation
Phase 2 clinical trial results of the Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday were published on the Web site of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, in an early preview before publication. The study paves the way for other nations to issue emergency use authorizations or produce the Medigen vaccine, given The Lancet’s credibility as a highly respected medical journal with a rigorous peer-review process, Medigen’s international affairs director Lien Chia-en (連加恩) said. Lien said that the study is important as it proposes methods for converting international units for efficacy comparisons. The methods have been used for correlating the efficacy of hepatitis B
Ambassador Theaters on Tuesday announced that its Breeze Center cinemas in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) would close late this month after screening thousands of major Hollywood movies and local favorites over two decades. Ambassador Theaters, one of the largest cinema chain operators in Taiwan, said that Oct. 25 would be the last day the Breeze Center cinemas screen movies, adding that its lease expires on that day. “We sincerely appreciate the support and recognition from audiences in Taipei over the past 20 years,” the company said. “We look forward to seeing you again in the future.” The cinemas started operating in 2001, upon
BUMPING AROUND: A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations or inside trains over eight months, with a majority caused by ‘distracted walking’ Taipei Rapid Transit Corp yesterday urged people to avoid looking at their phones when walking, saying 73 cases of “distracted walking injuries” had occurred in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system from January to August. As the local COVID-19 situation has been brought under control, passenger traffic has been increasing, reaching about 1.5 million rides per day last month, the company said. However, many passengers have been looking at their phones as they walk through MRT stations, which can lead to collisions with other passengers or injury from falling down stairs. A total of 143 people sustained fall injuries at MRT stations