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.
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
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