How can the results of the EcoMobility World Festival to be hosted at Hamasen in Oct. 2017 be turned into an asset of Kaohsiung? On Mar. 16, a famous writer by the name of Ciou Bing-Yu used some international cases to explain to readers why the EcoMobility World Festival will be the best gift that the city has to offer to its people. According to Ciou, the event may transform Hamasen into a low-carbon, liveable community. To ensure the sustainability of the concept of ecomobility, Ciou suggested that government–citizen collaboration-based “neighborhood companies” be established, which would allow the city of Kaohsiung to transform into a low-carbon, liveable city.
Ciou, a MSc graduate from the spatial planning program of University College London and the author of We Deserve a Better City, has walked through seven provinces in mainland China and toured five countries in Western and Southern Europe, all by himself. Ciou is committed to referencing international cases in his writings to address and tackle Taiwan’s urban issues, introduce new resources to its cities, and facilitate a better future for them.
Ciou offered a speech on the topic of “The Use of International Cases to Explain How the Results of the EcoMobility World Festival Can Be Turned into an Asset of Kaohsiung,” in which he referenced many internationally renowned cities such as Paris, Tokyo, Kyoto, Copenhagen, Bogota, and Portland that have introduced people-oriented urban pedestrian streets to effectively inhibit the use of private transport, increase pedestrian space, and successfully transform the cities into low-carbon, green cities.
From the international experiences, Ciou believes that the EcoMobility World Festival will provide both software and hardware facilities to Hamasen, providing it with numerous intangible assets needed to transform it into a high-quality community.
Ciou indicated that the event should be more than just “setting off fireworks”; the results should be sustained and spread to other regions. The idea is similar to setting up a solid foundation so that the perfect house can be constructed to benefit all of its residents. Ciou recommended that government and civilians work together following the event to build nonprofit neighborhood companies (e.g., those established in Portland, U.S.A.) or for-profit neighborhood companies (e.g., those established in Nagahama, Japan) so as to reduce the government’s communication costs, achieve the goal of sustainable operations, and revitalize local economies.
Ciou highlighted the importance of street reconstruction. International cases of pure pedestrian zones (i.e., car-free zones) and pedestrian zones with public transport (i.e., pedestrian zones where public transport is allowed) have both been observed. Cities that adopt pure pedestrian zones include Copenhagen, whereas those that developed pedestrian zones with public transport include Bogota (in South America). Initial construction of the pure pedestrian zone in Copenhagen received very little support; however, the said zone subsequently became a local area that the people of Copenhagen are most proud of. The building of the pedestrian zone with public transport in Bogota introduced a concept similar to the bus rapid transit (BRT), enabling it to become a landmark for travelers and a location of unlimited business opportunities.
Ciou noted that in terms of urban transport construction, clear vision and planning strategies should be in place and upper management of the city (e.g., a deputy mayor) should be in charge to integrate inter-bureau affairs to allow public transport and non-public transport dealings to be managed by a single responsible department, maximizing administrative efficiency and ensuring operational unity.
Director-General Chen Ching-Fu of the Transportation Bureau commented that the successful international cases will serve as a benchmark for the Hamasen event. In addition, adjustments will be made according to local conditions to allow the event to yield optimal results. Chen supported Ciou’s concept of founding government–citizen collaboration-based neighborhood companies after the event to facilitate the spread of the said concept, engendering economic benefits and revitalizing communities.