Preface by Mayor
Preface by Mayor
Taipei,a Warm and Friendly City
In the 130 years since the walls of Taipei City were completed, generations of Taipei residents have worked hard to bring prosperity and growth to the Taipei basin. Gradually, their efforts have brought about the thriving city that we know today.
Modern Taipei is a city of diversity, an international city peopled with friendly residents and served by a wide range of accessible and userfriendly amenities. The Taipei City government is working hard to make the transport system ever more efficient, to instill values of environmental responsibility and to see that residents are happy and have a sense of belonging.
A Well-Rounded International City
By expanding the breadth and frequency of international exchanges, we aim to make Taipei more visible on the international stage and establish closer connections with the rest of the world, thus enhancing our international competitiveness.
Taipei’s hosting of the 2009 Deaflympics and the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo and IDA Congress have helped to establish a strong positive image of Taipei across the world.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Livability Ranking and Overview ranked Taipei City seventh for the strength of our municipal development. Meanwhile, MasterCard Worldwide placed Taipei City among the top twenty Global Destination Cities.
An important step for Taiwan in developing cultural creative and design industries came with Taipei winning the right to host the 2017 Summer Universiade and the World Design Capital 2016. When Taipei City was recently selected to host Velo-city Global 2016, it became the first Asian city to host this event. These honours are clear indications of the international community’s trust in Taipei and recognition of our capabilities, our progress and our determination to continue to excel.
Living Well in Taipei
The twin bedrock of economic development is transportation and industry. Taipei City government is increasing the penetration and effectiveness of municipal services in order to improve quality of life in our city. By spearheading the promotion of private partnership and investment in public infrastructure, the government has strengthened the economy, rebuilt public confidence and enhanced competitiveness. After more than a year of intense effort, the positive results are streaming in and our transportation system and economy are thriving.
The Taipei metro network is nearing completion. On the back of our plan to build a new metro line each year, we opened the Xinyi Line in 2013 and will be inaugurating the Songshan Line in 2014. Using this safe, rapid, comprehensive and modern network, most passengers can reach their destination with only one transfer. With this fully integrated network, we are entering the golden age of public transport in Taipei.
During the same period, city government and industry cooperation has led Taipei City’s most dynamic industrial sites - Neihu Technology Park and Nangang Software Park - to see even more astonishing development, with revenues exceeding NT$4 trillion (i.e. 20% of total industrial revenue in Taiwan). The two parks have over 4,000 enterprises and employ nearly 120,000 people. Since I took office as mayor seven years ago, revenue has grown by over 50%. The Taipei Technology Corridor is expected to create output value of over NT$10 trillion within the next decade and make Taipei a world class technology city.
I believe, and have always believed, that the quest for perfection is a never-ending pursuit. By constantly striving for excellence and pushing ourselves to exceed our vision, Taipei City has implemented a large number of innovative policies to ensure better communication with city residents and more efficient and effective municipal services.
Measures which are particularly worthy of mention include the 1999 Citizen Hotline; policies to help married couples and young families, such as “Have a Care-free Pregnancy,” the commitment to provide one Parent−Child Center and one privately managed public infant Day Care Center in every district; long-term care for the elderly; drives for public housing and urban renewal; and the highly successful YouBike scheme.
This is Taipei, where creativity is encouraged, where there are no limitations and where the young can bravely pursue their dreams. It is in Taipei that great new ideas and forwardlooking policies first come to life.
When we put forward my plan to revitalize Tamsui River, many laughed and called us fools because at that time the river was dirty, noxious and polluted. But with years of effort, water quality has significantly improved and has now reached its best condition for thirty years. Today, thousands of people ride bicycles along riverside bikeways that extend for more than a hundred kilometers and enjoy water-based activities on holidays.
These are the fruits of river bank renewal and revitalization. They were not easy to accomplish and they did not come overnight, but we persisted because we believed that if we failed to act we would live to regret it. With determination and fortitude we overcame the difficulties and restored the river bank environment to a cleaner and more liveable state that our citizens could enjoy once more.
When trials of the YouBike scheme began in Xinyi District, unfamiliarity and underuse among the public led many to have doubts about the scheme’s viability. But in time, through hard work and dedication, we won wider acceptance. The number of users rapidly exceeded 10,000,000 and satisfaction rates have reached 93%. YouBike has not only become an important urban service that is popular among residents but is also a benchmark that is changing the way the rest of the world looks at municipal transportation.
This is Taipei, where we have both beautiful natural scenery and also the immense energy to drive forward and make your dreams come true.
Taipei City residents are optimistic, confident, tolerant and full of life. They are the wellspring of our city’s hope and future.
Taipei is the place we call home: a city of passion, a city of vigour and a city of friendship that you will not want to leave.
Lung-bin Hau, Ph.D