Special Report 2
Taipei, an Innovative City with Glamorous Waterfronts
Taipei is a city of extraordinary glamor. Taipei is known not only for her prosperity, but also for her all-embracing characteristics. In addition to the coexistence of multiple cultures, the conservation of the environment and the development of technology in Taipei combine to form a sustainable model of moderation and stability, a prosperous win-win scenario.
Success of the Waterfront Revival – Recovery of Dynamics
It goes without saying that the rivers around Taipei City were severely contaminated due to the development of industrial and commercial activities. The resulting dirty and smelly environment took people far away from the waterfronts. However, through the rapid promotion of the "Reviving Tamsui River" plan since 2007, the Taipei City Government has remediated, recovered and revived the rivers flowing through Taipei City, creating a brand-new appearance for the waterfronts of the city one step at a time. The City Government's first task in improving the ecological environment around the river and reducing pollution was to prevent pollutants from entering the river. Taking domestic sewage as an example, the most effective method of preventing pollution is to build a sewage system, collect domestic sewage and treat it in a treatment plant to prevent it flowing into the river directly. As for the construction of the sewage system in Taipei City up to the end of 2014, the main pipelines had been completely set up, and the completion rate of the sub-main pipes and distribution networks was 97.55% and 88.51%, respectively. The domestic sewage collected by the sewage system in Taipei City flows together and is treated in the city's 3 wastewater treatment plants: Dihua, Neihu and Bali. The number of households connected to the sewage system in the city has reached 807,754, a connection rate of 73.83%, the highest such rate in Taiwan. In addition to the sewage system, the Taipei City Government has improved the quality of the river water in other ways, such as by constructing gravel contact oxidation treatment facilities and domestic sewage intercept stations. As a result, the water quality in most sections of the Jingmei River and the Hsintian River has improved to the level of minor pollution, and the Keelung River is making progress from the level of medium to minor pollution. The RPI (River Pollution Index) value of the Tamsui River improved from 7.60 in 2007 (heavy pollution) to 5.06 in 2014 (medium pollution) with an improvement ratio of up to 33%, and the number of fish species in the river grew from 56 in 1986 to 87 in 2012 due to purification of the water. The clean water, once again, has become a habitat for fish and is attracting people to the waterfront. The riverside parks have become good places for sport and leisure activities. Following the parent-child theme of the Dajia River Park and the theme of love for the riverside park on the left and right banks of the Chengmei Bridge in 2012, the Taipei City Government completed 3 renovation projects at the riverside parks this year. The theme of the Guting
Riverside Park is “Weddings", the theme of the Huazhong Riverside Park is "Camping" and the Shezi Island has the theme of an "Ecological Wetland". Renovation with such lovable themes makes the riverside more abundant and vigorous. To integrate the characteristics of the waterfront into the local environment, suggestions from local residents and students have been adopted to create and beatify the scenery of the river embankment and connect it with the features of the nearby riverside environment, attracting citizens to come to the Tamsui River and enjoy nature. In fact, the Keelung River flows through the east and west of Taipei City, while the Hsintian River and Tamsui River surround the city on her west side. That is to say, Taipei has excellent natural conditions to develop water activities. Thanks to the improvement of the water quality and the completion of two harbors, Dijia and Yingfeng, and the boating watercourse of the Keelung River in 2004, water activities in Taipei City are becoming more and more popular. In recent years, the Taipei City Government has built aquasportsfriendly areas, using “leisure, water experience, and training” as their planning direction to provide a recreational and watersports-friendly space for the public and a training field for schools, communities and professionals in order to strengthen Taipei's competitive capability in watersports. Moreover, by actively promoting excellent water activity, the citizens change from a passive audience to having a role to play in jointly taking care of the rivers in Taipei City and protecting them. In doing so, the Tamsui River can really become alive and dynamic, showing the glamor and energy of the rivers and waterfronts around Taipei City. The great success of the "Reviving Tamsui River" plan speaks for itself. The successful conclusion to the remediation of the Tamsui River and the new look of the riversides were perfectly presented to the citizens of Taipei with the "2014 Tamsui River Festival" activity series, which ran from June to September, 2014. The events included the "2014 Summer Time with the Tamsui River", "2014 Taipei Waterfront Dragon Boat Festival", "2014 Taipei Aqua Friendly Festival" and "Live Show on the Waterfront".
Formation of the T.T.C – Another Excellent Performance
Taipei City, an internationally competitive city, has had brilliant results in environmental conservation. However, the development of high technology industry plays an important role in allowing this city to keep growing and is bringing her in line with international practice. The “Neihu Technology Park”, the first urban knowledge-based industrial park in Taiwan and a place of economic and industrial importance, has been developed primarily for manufacturing, IT, communications, biotechnology and offices. The “Nankang Software Park” provides a working environment for strategic core industries, such as the software and technology industries, in terms of 3 major knowledge-based industries: biotechnology, IC design and digital content. The “Nankang Software Park” will further develop with the construction of the TWTC Nangang Hall, the development of the region along the Nangang railway and the Academia Sinica's biotechnology park to provide a place for the service industries required by the Software Park, perfect the living functions of the parks and enhance their development dynamics. The “Beitou-Shilin Technology Park”, the 3rd industrial park under construction, is located on the border between Shilin District and Beitou District. This location is advantageous with regard to transport. It is close to the Keelung River and occupies both sides of the Shuang River and Huang River, providing access to rich waterfront resources. The Park also has abundant medical research resources, thanks to the nearby Taipei Veterans' General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University. Sunrise technological industries such as biotechnology, media, medical industry and information and communications technology (ICT), will be introduced to the “Beitou-Shilin Technology Park” in the future.
The Taipei City Government is building 3 major software technology parks to form a tightly-connected "Taipei Technology Corridor (T.T.C)" stage by stage. Industry clusters are created by building special industrial zones to enhance the cluster effect and build up a new level of industrial momentum in Taipei City. Furthermore, the network connections provided by the T.T.C will be extended to northern Taipei and the essence of the technology in this region will be aggregated by removing administrative obstacles to extend the connection of the industrial belt and improve the international competitiveness of Taipei.
Our City – Alluring Taipei
Taipei is changing and growing continuously. She has developed into a city of unique glamour through the impact, fusion and sublimation of internal and external elements. The great success of reviving Taipei's waterfronts and the formation of the T.T.C are excellent outcomes that the Taipei City Government has achieved by mixing and equally emphasizing industrial development and environmental protection. In future, there will be more and more challenges relating to the “conflict, compromise and regrowth” that will be solved only through the combined strength of industry, government, academia and all the citizens of Taipei City. Taipei City becomes more energetic, lively and attractive during each transformation. This is Taipei, our pride and joy!