Planning of Sanitary and hygiene system based on the “Biological principles”

In 1898, Gotō Shimpei, who had studied medicine in Germany, conducted a thorough westernized survey on the environment and the human habits in Taiwan, not only to understand the fundamental reasons for the prevalent cholera, plague, and malaria, but also to understand the bad habits or customs that could lead to healthcare problems (Liu, 2006). Shimpei developed a series administer policies and urban planning strategies, in an attempt to address the questions that how the Japanese, and their healthcare systems could adapt to the new environment.

 

In the urban planning field, according to the germ theory, Shimpei recognized the importance of well-planned infrastructure to the healthcare condition in Taiwan. He

planned to improve the sewage systems and built a public hospital so as to fundamentally improve the sanitary and healthcare condition within the congested city. Shimpei built a military style Taipei hospital on the northeast area within the original city wall, occupying the originally vacant lot in the city, while improving the road system that connects the hospital to the rest of the city (Fig 1). He has also improved the sewage system by constructing a series of open and enclosed drainage in the city (Fig 2, 3&4), along with the construction of main roads.

 

To ensure the quality of water supply. Large number of wells were constructed, and a water reservoir was constructed in Keelung. Along with the supervision of slaughter house and heavy industries (Chang and Ramon, 1963), the water supply system was greatly improved thanks to Shimpei’s thorough planning.

 

To conclude, Shimpei did not forget to incorporate his considerations on the hygiene condition while planning for the other facilities and infrastructure in the city, which then proved to be greatly improving the hygiene condition in Taihoku (Allen, 2012).

 

Regarding the administer field, the colonial government had set up a sanitary police force, not only to address to the bad habits of the Han Chinese residents there, but also to nurture a group of medical students who would later become the local leaders (Liu, 2006). Shimpei also carried out a series of education policies to rectify the old customs that caused healthcare problems, such that the hygiene condition could be improved from the fundamental sources.

 

All in all, the hygiene condition in Taihoku was greatly improved thanks to Shimpei’s policies and urban planning based on the studies of local diseases and customs. Not only was the healthcare condition improved, the colonial rule was also strengthened.

 

 

 

Fig 1. Planning for the Taipei Hospital within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 1. Planning for the Taipei Hospital within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 2. Planning for the sewage system within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 2. Planning for the sewage system within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 3. Planning for the closed drainage within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 3. Planning for the closed drainage within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 4. Planning for the open drainage within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)
Fig 4. Planning for the open drainage within the city. (Source: center for GIS, RCHSS, Acadenia sinica)

References:

Shiyung Liu, 2006. Building a strong and healthy empire: the critical period of building colonial medicine in Taiwan.

Jan van Bremen,Akitoshi Shimizu, 1999. Anthropology and Colonialism in Asia: Comparative and Historical Colonialism. Published by Routlege Curzon.

Joseph R. Allen, 2012. Taipei: City of Displacements. Published by the University of Washington Press.

3 Comments on “Planning of Sanitary and hygiene system based on the “Biological principles”

  1. A good sanitation system is always the key to a more hygienic living environment. Together with the improvement of medical facilities, the city’s health can be improved. It is interesting to note that the improvement of health within the city can also strengthen the colonial rule over the place. I believe it would be worthwhile to look into the siting of the hospital in relation to the urban fabric itself. For example, what is the main focus of the resulting siting of the hospital? Is it borrowing the idea from any precedent cases, such as Tony Garnier’s Industrial City, where the hospital is to be placed on the mountain top along with the water dam?

    On the other hand, it might also be worthwhile to compare how the city was before and after the implementation of the network of sanitation system in relation to the public health, and also the social aspect of the people. Only by introducing a good network of sanitary system and medical services cannot improve the health of the city, it also needs the cooperation of the citizens in utilizing the public services, which in turns demand an increase of awareness towards public health of the citizens.

  2. It is interesting that the urban form of a city is driven by a sanitary studies. Though the living condition was improved in Taipei with the governance under the Empire of Japan which strengthen the ruling power of Japan, I think it was not easy for the ruler to gain popularity since Taipei was ceded by Qing China after her loss in the first Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese had a strong sense of belonging at that time. I wish to know how, if the characters of Taipei city has been influenced, the identity of Taipei in senses of urban planning and architecture is changed or remained after the 50 years of Japanese colonization. If Japan did impact to Taipei, what means did the Empire took to negotiate with the citizen in Taipei.

  3. How the sewage system affect the entire Taipei urban planning? The population of Taipei increased a lot comparing with 1900s. How the architect estimate the population in 21 century in 1900s. If the city is really driven by the sewage system, it means that it is a brave move to construct city with a series of underground systems. City is the carrier of humans. Urban planners should design cities with better reasons. How is the main roads changed with the system. In the text, it only mentioned ‘He has also improved the sewage system by constructing a series of open and enclosed drainage in the city , along with the construction of main roads.’ However, there is no description of how is the improvement.

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