Taipei(1996-2006)/ Community Environment Remodelling Scheme: 1-1 The Tales of Heterotopia/ (De)constructing City Planning
The protagonists in this narrative, ranging from the college students, the native people, the grassroots, the new immigrants to migrant workers who are usually disadvantaged and marginalized in the course of urbanization, all are in an attempt to settle a life with severe conditions within the existing neighborhood. The moot questions here stand – what is the process of such an attempt in relation to urban planning? How do the professionals foster the process of community bonding, strategic planning and synergic development? Why is the discussion for the process more important than the outcome itself? Is there a “leader” of such process and how do each one of the protagonist engage in the process?
Taipei is an aggregate of experiences enlivened by indigenous programs, by intermeshed series of happenings, by overlapping of perspectives, by changing of senses. It is a much more complex entity rather than a totality or a building. Under the drivers of modernism, the emphasis on rationality and calculability, the worship for professionalism, jargons in urban planning made the process becoming more of the game of urban planners. Urban planning becomes overly simplified under the thumb of elites with their firm belief in and understanding of transportation system, economy, architecture and engineering, while issues of neighborhood, community sense of identity, human rights are often overshadowed by this vast body of profession.
The complexity of this series of narratives lies in the tight-knit network of community, local governance, urban planning, and institutional bodies, which these topics revolve mainly around a certain mechanism and the crux in strategy allowing community engagement within the urban planning framework. These also address the issues of social justice, democracy, fairness and integrity with regard to the living environment.