Successful “Open Green” Shows Vibrancy of Local Community and Creates New Type of Public Space in Taipei
Taipei City Urban Regeneration office has worked on Open Green (OPG) project since 2013 and kept inviting the public to take part in transforming Taipei’s open space. The core spirit of Open Green is to promoting green lifestyle in neighborhoods and to encourage green actions by the local communities.The project team is commissioned to assist community members to start their environment improvement plan by greening underused places, no matter the land are publicly or privately owned. The environmental change is going through a variety of green actions. The deficient street corners or courtyards are being repaved and de-cluttered with new trees, seating and better access. It is also seen some art and creative intervention like graffiti or playground design to boost the area’s visual appeal. The OPG also sets out a vision to trigger wider public participation in urban policy. Through the localized micro actions and experiments, it is seen young blood keeps making contribution to change the neighborhood and attempts to tackle neighborhood’s problems. A neglected spot in Neihu District for example, turns to be a multifunctional botanic garden and urban farm for the village residents. As for Taipei’s early developed areas like Datong District, the green action in 388-Park makes relics of hundredth history of Taipei reappeared. The ancient paths, trees and bricks are conserved, making the courtyard regenerated. Green action is not limited to the environmental perspective. A redesigned courtyard in Zhongzheng District for local elders highlights the issue of increasing aging population in Taipei. It is witnessed to the OPG’s success that the project not only provides an animating open space for the communities, but also responds local issues or community’s need.There are 41 deficient or underused lands being renovated with a variety of experimental implementations, opening up the possibilities of public place. The bottom-up green actions has succeeded in changing landscape in Taipei, connecting vibrant open spaces to each other. The localized place making is one of strategic planning tool for wider urban regeneration. Each case represents Taipei’s diversified community power that will confirm more future community-led urban development in the city. Twenty cases are selected for the public to visit and to experience a welcoming atmosphere in the neighborhood. If you are interested to start your green plan, please visit the official blog “Hello! Green Life” (http://hellogreenlife.blogspot.tw/) or access to the website “Open Green” (https://issuu.com/taipeiopengreen) for more information.