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Discussing the Need for Building Maintenance From the Perspective of Urban Regeneration Policy.

Within the Taipei government's long-term vision for urban development, it has integrated hardware and software resources across various bureaus based on the characteristics and development potential of key urban-regeneration areas; promoted various regeneration projects, including the West Gateway and East Gateway Projects, to improve the local environment; launched a strategic layout of the city's TOD strategy and a comprehensive review of urban plans in response to the nearly complete Taipei Metro network; and re-integrated transportation to establish regional connectivity. These initiatives demonstrate Taipei's determination to accelerate its transformation into a highly livable and sustainable city.

 

—Starting Point of Taipei's Urban Regeneration Policy Innovation

 

The commonly employed urban renewal model of redevelopment and demolition has often resulted in unsuccessful urban renewal projects due to the difficulty of accommodating different opinions. Many socio-economically disadvantaged residents are also unable to afford the new housing due to the high cost of redevelopment and thus have to move away. During urban renewal in the past, it was not uncommon to see elderly and disadvantaged people struggling to survive in an environment with low living and safety standards. This is why I have always believed that there is an urgency and need to reform the urban regeneration system.

 

In Taipei, we have streamlined the administrative procedures, accelerated the renewal progress of government delineated renewal areas, and actively promoted the urban acupuncture of public housing and public office buildings. This not only serves to demonstrate the efficiency of government functions but also enhance industrial development, social care, and public facilities. For example, during the planning process of the Siwen Village III Government-led Urban Renewal Project, we managed to better understand the needs of the community with the help of resident workstations in the community over the long term. We also provided consultation services, conducted house visits, and built sample housing units during the approval stage of the business plan and the right transfer plan to enhance communication with the public. To meet the needs of tenants and disadvantaged people, we also actively provided moving assistance with the help and coordination of the Department of Urban Development, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Health, and other departments. This "tough yet soft" approach is our ideal form of urban regeneration.

 

I sincerely want to convey to the public and also to developers and policy implementers that urban regeneration is about not merely the reconstruction of hardware and the pursuit of rights and values but also the difficulties with various social aspects. I hope that urban regeneration will continue to unfold in the direction of creating more "homes" and "environmental values".

 

—Focus of Policy Resources

 

Thanks to the aforementioned opportunity to promote public urban regeneration, the Urban Regeneration Office has established the importance of social communication in promoting and implementing urban regeneration and renewal. Since 2001, Taipei has been revitalizing old neighborhoods in order to stimulate both communication in the area and public participation in social design. It is expected that through a variety of environmental improvement strategies, practical experiences will dispel the misconception that the only way to improve living environments is with bulldozers. Taipei’s “Old House New Life Project” is one such solution.

 

After 20 years of promotion and implementation, the "Taipei Urban Regeneration Promotion System" is now well-developed, heralding the next chapter of Taipei's urban regeneration. In view of this, the Taipei City Government has promoted the "2020 Urban Renewal Innovation Trilogy" to accelerate building renewal, public-environment revitalization, and the sustainable balance of resources for social participation.

 

In the past, both the public and private sectors have dedicated a huge amount of focus and resources to the demolition and redevelopment of old houses in Taipei City. In contrast, renovation and maintenance, which are also important aspects of urban renewal, have not been given enough attention. Moreover, demolishing and redeveloping all housing in Taipei City that is more than 30 years old will create large amounts of waste soil to be disposed of, which will negatively impact the urban environment. Therefore, a new direction has been established for more resources to be allocated toward building maintenance by injecting policy implementation funds via the Government-led Urban Renewal 2.0 initiative. In this way, residents can improve their living environment without having to change their lifestyle, move away, or invest huge sums of money and time.

 

In addition to focusing on and allocating more resources to building maintenance, it is even more important to enhance the quality of life of the residents and boost the safety standards of their living environment. By re-examining and formulating a renewal plan, we will encourage residents to participate in public affairs in order to create a user-friendly urban transportation system and an overall healthy and friendly city. The improvement of the quality of life and the regeneration of old houses are about not only the residents as individuals but, through joint participation and mutual assistance, making Taipei City a warm, great place to live for all its residents in an overall sense.