Taipei (1996-2006)/ Community Environment Remodelling Scheme: 2.5 – Collaboration of Professions

In 1999, the government launched a community planning profession scheme to encourage the participation of all professions other than architects, for instance, scholars, urban planners and IT elites, as to deal with other issues coming with urban renewal, like heritage conservation.

Fig.1 – Soft renewal of Gichen community, a website for regular announcement and records of historical events

Bopiliao historical block conservation proposal was a failed example that architects and the authority were not able to solve the conservation conflicts within the community. As the site was planned for educational use during the colonial period, it was kept unexpectedly until 1999, when the government proposed to pull down the historical blocks for the construction of Laozheng elementary school. In order to preserve the block, architects took the stance and intervened by submitting a proposal to the scheme, as well as publishing academic essays to prove the historical and architectural value of the post-war architecture. The action successfully hindered the demolition of the historical blocks, and the planning stage began afterward [1].

Fig.2 – Original site of Bopilao historic block conservation proposal (Source: Wong, 2002)

However, as it was originally planned for educational use, the school and parents were discontented about the result that they thought a comfortable and safe learning environment weighed more than conserving the old blocks. Thus, they organized a peaceful protest named as yellow ribbon movement to voice their opinion of giving back the space for school construction on the same day of the reclaiming homeland movement, which was proposed by the residents.

Fig.3 – Reclaiming homeland movement (Source: Space Magazine, 1999)
Fig.4 – Yellow ribbon movement (Source: Liberty Times, 1999.4.5)

The government tried to take a neutral stance that only partial blocks would be pulled down and the remaining would be renovated into a cultural museum, using the fundings in the Community Environment Remodelling Scheme [2]. The result at the end caused the discontent from both sides.

Urban renewal is meant to resolve the conflicts between different stakeholders. Instead of choosing a side, involving other professions could provide possible alternatives to satisfy the needs of all. All types of professions are undergoing the changes of its professional duties which is well shown in the execution of Community Environment Remodelling Scheme. Apart from the involvement of community design, the issues related to landscape design, urban planning and historical conservation are also raised during the discussion. The restructuring of the city is not only about urban renewal, but also introduces a new way for the professions to collaborate, from specialists to generalists [3]

[1] 信勳 黃. “變調的剝皮寮古街改造計畫-誰的城市?” 2002.

[2] Ibid.

[3] 旭正 曾. “建立新模式 處理都市政策爭議.” OURs 都市改派通訊, February 1999

2 Comments on “Taipei (1996-2006)/ Community Environment Remodelling Scheme: 2.5 – Collaboration of Professions

  1. It is a good interpretation on the context of the emergence of the bottom-up urban planning policy, details of policy implementing process as well as problems and advantages of consequence. You could also propose some analysis and advice from this case as it is a practical reference for us to learn lessons from the implementation process. However, the whole process was very sophisticated involving various kind of stakeholders and did not have a systematically methodology. And you could also mention more about the role of government in moderating these conflicts from different stakeholders at the end and compare with Hong Kong if you like.

  2. Even for the government, different divisions have their own stance towards the issue that takes the government a long time to make the decision. Below is a timeline based on the government’s action, quoted from the website of Heritage and Culture Education Center of Taipei.

    ‧1998 年 2 月、4 月-剝皮寮居民成立「反對老松國小徵收私有地自救會」,冀望剝皮寮成為「歷史風貌特定區」
    ‧1998 年 4 月-市府會同各界學者,針對「剝皮寮」地區進行會勘審查,學長建議比照「迪化街」保存模式
    ‧1999 年 1 月-行政院文化資產推動小組,建議北市朝「歷史風貌特定區用區」方向規劃。
    ‧1999 年 3 月-市府認為「校地校用」歷史特定區不可行,校方家長要求校地歸還校用。
    ‧1999 年 5 月-行政院尊垂市府朝文化資產與學校共存的方式規劃
    ‧1999 年 6 月 15 日-剝皮寮居民為歷史街區進行守夜
    ‧1999 年 6 月 16 日-進行剝皮寮拆除作業,但發生建物超拆作業。教育局首日拆除工程完成後,一個月內徵求提案、三個月內完成槷術圍籬,兩年來恢復老街舊貌等承諾。

    We can see the city government positions itself as a moderator, trying to dig deep the issue and balance the interests of all stakeholders. However, the city government is not capable of executing the vision of co-existence. Instead, they just literally cut the land for both educational and conservational uses. Putting two conflicting stakeholders side by side intensified the contradictions and we can see from the complaint received about over-demolition on 16 June 1999. Even though the city government weighs the citizens’ opinion a lot, they are still inexperienced in handling the conflicts in between. However, with the collaboration of all professions like scholars and architects, it is potential to actualize the government’s vision.

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