Taipei's citizen-led activation
How to make the most out of small spaces
I was in Taipei for Global Solutions Taipei Workshop 2018 — “Shaping the Future of an Inclusive Digital Society” organised by Kiel Institute for the World Economy and Chung-Hua Institute for Economic Research. In my spare 24 hours, I had a quick look around the city to find its citizens activating the public realm in their own beautiful and unique ways.
Between Zhongshan Station and and Taipei Station is an underground path mainly lined with retail. But a portion of the walls are covered in mirror. Groups of young people use the path to practice K-pop dance. Great dance floor finish and acoustics. Free wifi, seating and drinking water fountain on site. Lots of passers-by stopping to look. Clever use of an otherwise boring path for walking through. Underground spaces can be more than retail and paths. In the development process we need to build in some room -- and resources -- for the community to identify their needs and claim the spaces.
People make the best out of small spaces at building fronts.
Shopfronts are narrow and diverse, from a fish pond to tiny pot plants and green walls.
Ice shaving with fruit is popular. Many shops open wide to the street, although I hear it can get quite hot in summer.
Longshan Temple's ledges are the best places to people-watch and rest. Many are there to pray, some just enjoy being there.
Around Longshan Temple Station, many older people socialise and rest.
This restaurant fronts a public park and draws an organic boundary line with plants.
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