Special Report 2
Livable Taipei: A New Residential Culture
Vision Taipei: 2050
“Vision Taipei: 2050” was a visionary initiative launched to address challenges arising from the dwindling birth rate, a graying population, future trends in urban development, and transition toward the knowledge economy. As the capital city, Taipei should consider modifying the city's spatial structure over the long term from the perspective of its Megalopolis stature and establish a sound, reasonable and rapid mechanism for problem-solving.
Take the Megalopolis for example: a robust transport infrastructure is now in place following an extended period of development, projects including the Taipei Metro network, highways, the Wugu-Yangmei Overpass, Xueshan Tunnel and high-speed railway. The Taoyuan International Airport MRT is also to begin operating this year and expected to bring close to 10 million people living in New Taipei City, Taipei City, Keelung, Taoyuan, and Yilan closer together in daily life. This new transport network is also anticipated to transcend administrative boundaries, consequently, Taipei City’s future development vision should be integrated with the construction of neighboring counties and cities. This is a daunting challenge to more than just Taipei City: it should be faced and tackled by the nation as a whole.
The relocation project of Taipei Songshan Airport & Renewal Programs at the Site also presents a daunting yet exciting challenge: with Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 3 to be completed in 2020 and the third runway in 2030, New Taipei City, Taipei City, and Taoyuan City will need to address the relocation of Songshan Airport earlier than originally planned; the central government should also be actively engaged in discussions. The relocation of Songshan Airport and reviving its current site encompass more than just the issue of building height restrictions － an aspect that affects urban development, other issues, such as noise control, urban safety, industry, and Taipei's spatial restructuring should also be taken into account. The formulation of "Vision Taipei: 2050" will involve public participation. Input from the general public will be incorporated into all administrative programs implemented by every department in the spirit of "Open Governance, Public Participation."
Taipei East Gateway Explanatory Plan
Milestone Development Projects in Taipei － Urban Regeneration in Nangang
Approximately 700 factories crowded the Nangang District before 1980; they were credited for driving the area’s industrial development, but the industrial prosperity also contributed to the heavy emission of black smoke, and Nangang was notorious as “the Town of Black Smog.” From 1980, with changes in industrial structure, the rise of globalization, and increased environmental protection awareness, most large factory plants were relocated, giving Nangang District an opportunity to transform and be reborn. In the 1990’s, the straightening of the Keelung River made new tracts of land available, and Nangang Business Park began to take shape. Land became available and industry transformed thanks to the Railway Underground Project, and Nangang Station’s “four railway station” positioning. The Department of Urban Development and Taipei City Urban Regeneration Office assisted in the modification of land use in industrial areas, earning a specific percentage of available land designated for public facility construction and building land for improving infrastructure in Nangang, public housing development, public service offices, and industry. In other words, government-led urban regeneration projects and public-private partnership were given priority on this large area of public land to boost environmental quality, and achieve the objective of urban regeneration.
“Vision Taipei: 2050” serves as the blueprint to create a connective system more complete than the one in Xinyi Planning District through the opportunities offered by urban regeneration programs; with Nangang Station as the core, linking Taipei Pop Music Center in the west and extending to Kunyang MRT Station and Nangang Depot, connecting Nangang Business Park and the existing footbridge system in the east, connecting the National Exhibition & Convention Center, Nangang Exhibition Hall, Nangang Exhibition Hall and Nangang Software Park MRT stations; connecting with Phase-2 National Biotechnology Industrial Park in the south, and connecting to the Keelung River riverbank via Xingzhong Road. With Neihu Garbage Dump Site being decommissioned in the near future, Taipei City Government plans to build a crossover bridge to connect Nangang with Luzhou Borough along Neihu’s waterfront.
The city government is planning public housing in Nangang to meet the area’s future industrial development needs. The short-term plan includes several public housing projects on city-owned land, which include Dongming, Xiaowan, and Zhon Nan lots. The Xiaowan public housing program will provide public service facilities for local residents; Dongming public housing complex is going to be an intelligent community featuring safe (quake-resistance certified), eco-friendly (green building gold label), energy-smart (smart building silver-label) and free disabled access designs. The public housing complex in Zhongnan lot is the first development program in the city made possible by negotiation-coordination between the city government and the neighboring landowners. The urban regeneration project involving the modification of land use on land in the industrial park along the Railway Underground Project will use building capacity bonuses as an incentive for the private sector to provide public housing, making the city government’s public housing policy a reality and meeting the housing needs of young entrepreneurs in Taipei.
Public Housing in Xinglong 1st Community
The skyrocketing housing prices in Taipei City in recent years have become the primary source of grievance for residents, also arousing concern that the younger generation’s relocation to outside of the city will weaken the city’s competitiveness over the long term. In light of the two social trends of “Promoting Public Housing Programs and Expanding Public Housing Availabilities” and “Ankang Affordable Housing and Renovation,” the city government decided to promote “Ankang Public Rental Housing Flagship Project ” as its priority, starting in 2011.
“Ankang Public Rental Housing Flagship Project” has been officially renamed as Xinglong Public Housing. Phase 1 development is divided into 2 areas. One of the two areas named Xinglong First Community was completed on May 15, 2015, and it passed inspection on September 14 the same year. This public housing complex is located on Lane 2, Section 2 of Muzha Road. Building A and Building B are reinforced concrete buildings. Building A has 3 underground floors and 18 above ground floors while Building B has 2 underground floors and 19 above ground floors. The complex has 272 units in total.
This project covers a land area of 3,595m2; its total floor area is 25,142m2; the cost of construction was around NT$960 million. In considering the local terrain, following the terrain multi-level open space was provided connecting roads on the north side and Muzha Park along the south side, and meeting the diverse demands of a modern lifestyle. The complex was built using a semi prefabrication method. Prefabricated outer wall panels and cast-in-situ reinforced concrete (RC) and beam columns were used to effectively cut construction time. In terms of the complex’s pipes, the developers used a balcony open pipe design to facilitate follow-up maintenance. Xinglong is Taiwan’s first public housing project with quake-resistance, green-building, and intelligent-building certification. The project also earned the 2015 Taipei City Distinguished Public Construction Award, and “Mark of Excellence” in the Public Construction Golden Quality Award by the Public Construction Commission, Executive Yuan. These awards signify that Taipei’s public housing policies have taken a big step forward.