Taipei (1996-2006)/ Community Environment Remodelling Scheme: 2.2 – Structure of the Scheme

In the beginning, citizens were only responsible for preliminary proposals, which would be shortlisted by the government every year, followed by the assistance of the professionals, for instance, architects to complete the design under community participation. After then, the government would take over the construction and the cycle would be ended with an evaluation report, providing the administrative details and management advice for the future.

The proposers can be categorized into 4 types:
(1) merely the residents in more self-initiated communities; (2) schools as the leading role to gather all the teachers, students and parents together, emphasizing on creating a safe environment for pupils; (3) professionals and community organizations representing a large group of residents; and (4) relatively weak communities collaborating with non-profit organizations [1].

The nature of proposers affected the quality of the proposals, the possibility of getting shortlisted. New rural communities equipped with better socioeconomic conditions had greater potential to accomplish the whole process, for instance, middle-class residents with higher education level and income were better no matter on conceptual communication, time management or technical support, while, some old and under-developed communities would easily be neglected as they were lack of professional knowledge [2], even though the problem of the old communities may have got more serious.

The capability difference of communities allowed consecutive development for particular districts, for instance, Songshan Minquan was selected consecutively for four years on different renewal proposals, including pedestrian pathways, park rehabilitation and construction of infrastructural objects.

About the distribution of proposals, the government selected different proposals regarding wide range of themes for different years [3]. At the beginning of the scheme, the government mainly focused on the central and northern part of Taipei, then shifted along the river walk and further moved to the southern part. Throughout the time, Daan district (18 proposals) had the greatest number of proposals passed, while Zhongzheng district (1 proposal) had the least number of proposals executed.

Fig.1 – Covered Area of Community Environment Remodelling Scheme (1996-2000) (Source: Local Wiki)

The scheme was able to extend civil participation and intensified the discussion of urban issues, which were mostly in small-scale but closely correlated to the living, for instance, striking a balance between vehicles and pedestrians, improving the living standard in commercial district, revitalizing the public space in old communities, as well as reconstructing the connection of green spaces. With the great number of proposals the government adopted each year, the covered area for the 5 years had taken up a lot in Taipei territory.

[1] 專業者都市改革組織、社區改造聯盟. “地區環境改造計劃:執行成果評果與機制強化策略規劃.” 台北市地區環境改造計劃研討會, June 21, 1999.

[2] 麗玲 黃. “社區文化自己來?.” 中國時報, May 1, 1996.

[3] 于璋 柯. 從公民治理的觀點論台灣參與式社區規劃之課題與展望. 2009.

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