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Old March 22nd, 2015, 06:23 PM   #401
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Taipei's urban renewal time line announced
Deputy Mayor Charles Lin said that the new developments would be smart communities that integrate public services and use new green technologies
13 March 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt



Taipei Deputy Mayor Charles Lin yesterday announced a time line for the city governments urban renewal plans.

Following last weeks announcement that the city would open up MRT housing units for public rental, Lin said that construction on 10 transitional housing sites across the city would begin within a year, with residents of locations targeted for urban renewal beginning to move in by 2018.

Following discussions with residents, construction on urban renewal projects will begin by 2020. After construction is completed, the transitional housing would be converted into permanent public housing units, he said.

Lin cited former Minglun Elementary School as a future transitional housing site, while Zhongxing Elementary and Zhongyi Elementary schools have also been cited as future sites in media reports.

Lin called transitional housing key to realizing urban renewal plans that would involve the construction of 20,000 public housing units.

The big problem faced by urban renewal projects is not just reaching an agreement [with residential owners], but rather how and where to move residents when an agreement has been reached, Lin said.

Public housing plans have attracted criticism from neighboring residents of the proposed sites over fears that poor-quality construction and low-income neighbors could drag down property prices.

The public housing developments will not be slums, Lin said, while acknowledging that the city needs to do more to assure residents.
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Old April 7th, 2015, 08:29 PM   #402
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CAA plans Songshan traffic upgrade
6 April 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt



The government aims to reshape the image of the Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) as one of the nations main gateways with a new development plan in the second half of this year.

Built in 1936, the nations first airport was once its only international airport. After Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was established in the 1970s, Songshan airport became a domestic airport for a number of years.

Domestic passenger volume began declining after the high-speed rail system opened in 2007. However, the airports fate turned when cross-strait direct flights began in 2008, and it resumed international service with a massive passenger increase.

The airport received a further boost when it joined the Northeast Golden Aviation Circle, which connects Taipei to Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo.

Travelers can fly from Songshan to Shanghai Hongqiao airport, Gimpo airport in Seoul and Haneda airport in Tokyo. These airports are closer to their respective city centers than to the main international airports in the host nations.

To accommodate international passengers, the airport first completed twin terminal renovations.
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Old April 10th, 2015, 05:58 PM   #403
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Taipei Railway Station area sees boom in hotels
10 April 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt

The area around Taipei Railway Station has seen a surge of boutique and standard hotels in recent years, driven by fast-growing demand for affordable accommodation in convenient locations, property broker Savills Taiwan Ltd said in a report yesterday.

Ten standard hotels are operating on Chongqing S Road alone with renovations on another four under way as what was once known as Bookstore Street is turning into a hotel cluster due to its proximity to the train station amid a tourism boom.

Easy access to public transportation is important for tourists during visits to Taiwan and hotel operators are taking advantage of the convenience provided the train station, Savills senior manager Erin Ting said by telephone.

The railway station allows tourists quick transits to destinations nationwide by coach, Taipeis MRT rail system, railway and high-speed train, Ting said.

In addition, the construction of the MRT line linking the train station to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is slated to be completed by the year of this year, enabling foreign tourists to reach downtown Taipei within an hour of their planes landing, Ting said.

Inbound tourists totaled 9.91 million last year, with tourists from China, Japan and South Korea all increasing by double-digit percentages, according to government data.

Chinese tourists accounted for 30 percent of the visits at 3.99 million, with independent travelers from China reaching 1.18 million, almost double from a year earlier, data showed.

Investors are taking note of the trends and are transforming old office and retail space, as well as bookstores, into relatively affordable hotel rooms, Ting said.

In addition, the availability of old office buildings lends support to the hotel clusters formation.
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Old April 26th, 2015, 07:39 PM   #404
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City panned for sea-sand buildings
26 April 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt

The Taipei City Government has dragged its feet in addressing school buildings that are structurally unsound, Taipei city councilors Chien Shu-pei and Rosalia Wu of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

The citys Department of Education has done nothing about many school buildings that meet demolition criteria, Wu said.

She said that Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School's Ziqiang building is an example of the departments alleged massaging of dangerous building figures.

Wu said the department had not included the building on its public list of dangerous buildings marked for demolition, even though an internal investigation had found it to be a sea-sand building.

Sea-sand buildings are structures whose concrete contains cheap, ocean-sourced sand.

Salt in the sand leads to the rapid corrosion of steel used in construction, increasing the risk of building collapse during earthquakes.

Because [the Ziqiang buildings structural weakness] can not be seen with the naked eye, the department has pretended it does not exist, Wu said, adding that based on the departments internal investigation, there are at least six other school buildings across the city that have not been placed on the list of dangerous buildings.

She criticized previous city administrations for dragging their feet in addressing the issue, adding that a comprehensive review of school building safety had taken eight years to complete.

************************

Department figures show that at least 785 of the citys 1357 buildings failed to meet the new standards, with 123 still requiring strengthening measures.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #405
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Mon, May 04, 2015
Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome
‘INADEQUATE’ : Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union head Yu Yi said that the group’s right to protest was legally protected by the freedom of speech
Taipei Times Excerpt



Amid rising safety concerns related to the Taipei Dome project, the Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union yesterday called on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to adopt a bolder stance in negotiations with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) about the controversial Taipei Dome project, while reasserting that it would continue its campaign until the project is terminated.

Union director Yu Yi (游藝) yesterday said regarding recent remarks by Ko about the project that the Taipei City Government should give up its “flip-flop” stance and announce a plan to demolish the Taipei Dome.

He said that construction of the structure has fallen seriously behind schedule and caused obvious land subsidence in areas surrounding the construction site — both of which Yu said are evidence of Farglory’s “poor work” and solid points that would help the city government win possible lawsuits filed by Farglory if Ko decides to invalidate the company’s contract.

“The Taipei City Government should not be so afraid of potential lawsuits or compensation. It has a fairly good chance of winning,” he said.

People opposed to the project have said that it has been rife with corruption from the bidding and contracting process, managed by the administration of then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), to the environmental impact assessment during former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) time in office.

Ko last month said the Taipei Clean Government Committee is “decrypting” data related to dealings between former administrations and Farglory, and also called into question Ma’s and Hau’s integrity.

Yu also rejected comments that surfaced recently that say the Dome must be completed to avoid MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station from being seriously compromised.

“Tearing down the Dome and potential safety hazards are two separate things. While it is true that the underground base of the Dome has impacted the MRT station and it must be completed, the Dome itself has nothing to do with the station and demolishing it would not be a problem,” he said.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 04:15 PM   #406
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Tue, May 26, 2015
Taipei ‘pre-approves’ Dome site work
SHOW US THE EVIDENCE:A KMT city councilor called on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to prove that he has made a ‘substantial contribution’ to resolving contract disputes
Taipei Times Excerpt

New “pre-approved construction” for underground construction throughout the Taipei Dome site was announced yesterday by the Taipei City Department of Urban Development following talks with subcontractors of Farglory Group (遠雄集團).

The talks followed a city government-ordered halt to construction of the controversial development. The city halted construction last week on grounds that Farglory had failed to present a plan for ameliorating damage to the neighboring Songshan Tobacco Factory historic site and the Taipei MRT’s Bannan (板南) Line.

After preliminary talks on Friday last week, Farglory was allowed to resume “pre-approved construction” on the foundations of the site’s southern side for safety reasons.

Yesterday talks focused on expanding the scope of “pre-approved ” construction, with discussions addressing resuming work on foundations in other locations of the site, filling in site holes, stabilizing the Dome’s frame and completing the installation of a lightning protection system.
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Old June 13th, 2015, 01:24 PM   #407
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Sat, Jun 13, 2015
Taoyuan airport targets January finish to runway
Taipei Times with CNA Excerpt



The 36-year-old Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is to begin a new chapter in its history after the renovation of its two runways is fully completed in January next year.

The overhaul of the 3,360m northern runway is scheduled to be completed by Jan. 8, airport authorities said.

Work to renovate the 3,350m southern runway was finished in January, allowing the airport to use its full capacity to complete the overhaul of the second runway.

Since the new southern runway was reopened in January, it has been operating smoothly and fully satisfies the requirements for takeoffs and landings of A380 superjumbo jets, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Co said yesterday.

The runway overhauls began in February last year, with the renovation involving digging up and repaving the runway to lay underground cables to upgrade the airport’s navigation system, the company said.
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Old June 21st, 2015, 05:23 PM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Mon, May 04, 2015
Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome
‘INADEQUATE’ : Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union head Yu Yi said that the group’s right to protest was legally protected by the freedom of speech
Taipei Times Excerpt

Taipei Dome project chief executive quits
19 June 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt

Taipei Dome project chief executive Ho Chin-liang has resigned from his post after less than two months, the Taipei City Government said yesterday.

Spokesman Sydney Lin confirmed Hos resignation, adding that he had applied for a transfer because of his life plans.

As Taipei Dome project chief executive, Ho had been responsible for supervising and implementing the citys contract with contractor Farglory Group.

Hos resignation comes at a sensitive time for the city government after it announced earlier this week that it would request the financial backers of the Taipei Dome take over the project from Farglory.

Hos appointment two months ago had been controversial because he served as sports commissioner under the previous administration of former mayor Hau Lung-bin, in which capacity he had also been responsible for overseeing the citys contract with Farglory.

The position of Taipei Dome project chief executive officer was previously held by the Taipei sports commissioner prior to the administration of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.

It is the latest in a series of resignations of officials responsible for the project, including Yang Jong-her the former sports commissioner as well as Taipei Construction Management Office Director Kao Wen-ting, who had simultaneously served as executive secretary for the Taipei Dome project.
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Old June 27th, 2015, 05:30 AM   #409
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Sat, Jun 27, 2015
Taipei Dome banks urge city to ‘coach’ Farglory
‘END CONTRACT’ : The Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union’s Arthur Yo said the Farglory contract should be ended before it has a chance to finish the job
Taipei Times Excerpt

Banks said that they hope the Taipei City Government can “coach” Farglory Group (遠雄集團) to produce a follow-up Taipei Dome safety plan, according to Deputy Taipei Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基).

The banks’ stance belies Farglory’s position that the terms of the contract under which it borrowed construction funds should restrict the results of ongoing negotiations with the city, Teng said after a meeting yesterday.

The city and Farglory have been locked in conflict over the build-operate-transfer project’s contract and site safety since January.

The city government yesterday held an initial “information session” with the banks behind the Taipei Dome’s syndicated loan.

“Even though financing institutions are not included in the [Dome] contract, their loans mean that they have a large stake in the project,” Teng said.

He said that city departments had made several presentations to banking representatives to ensure that they had “first-hand” information on city policy.

“There is a possibility that in the future our partnership can continue to be pushed forward and expanded,” he said.

The possible contractual influence of any new Dome safety plan should be considered only after Farglory presents an initial draft, he said, rejecting as “conjecture” and “misunderstandings” rumors that the city has sought to use lenders to pressure Farglory.

Teng added that the city governement could hold meetings with Farglory as soon as next week.

The city asked Farglory’s lenders to take over Dome site management earlier this month.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:39 PM   #410
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Wed, Jul 22, 2015
Airport seeks ideas for third terminal
OVERLOADED? With passenger numbers estimated to hit 40 million this year, people traffic could exceed the capacities of the airport’s two terminals, an official said
Taipei Times Excerpt


Source : http://www.taoyuan-airport.com

Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday said it is seeking public input on designs for the airport’s third terminal, adding that the company would take the designs into consideration in discussions with its architectural team.

The new terminal forms a core feature of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project, and in terms of scale and funding would be the largest construction since the “10 Major Construction Projects” of the 1970s, TIAC senior vice president Wen Yung-sung (溫永松) said.

The project includes constructions of a third terminal, air bridges, a multifunctional building connecting Terminal Two and the new one, parking for aircraft, automatic people movers and access roads to the terminal.

The cost of the project is estimated to top NT$74 billion (US$2.36 billion), with about NT$48.8 billion to be spent on the planned terminal, he said.

The new terminal would be designed to accommodate 45 million passengers per year, Wen said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2017 and be completed by 2020, he said.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 06:02 PM   #411
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I think 45 million includes the satellite terminal. I don't think that will be done by 2020. They currently do not have the land to build the satellite terminal. Even if T3 is done in 2020 (without the satellite terminal), I think the capacity of the airport will still be too little. Central and local government needs to accelerate buying out the farms next to the airport to ensure that the 3rd runway and satellite terminal is built ASAP
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Old August 22nd, 2015, 06:08 AM   #412
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Taipei City Government announces list of venues for 2017 Summer Universiade
The planned budget for maintenance of the sites was slashed by 43 percent due to a disparity between estimated costs and a new city financial plan
20 August 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt


Source : http://www.taipei2017.com.tw

The Taipei City Government yesterday announced a final list of 79 venues to be used by athletes training for and competing in 22 events at the 2017 Summer Universiade.

Two venues, the Taipei Tennis Center and a basketball court at Hoping Elementary School which is scheduled to open after the Universiade are to be completed before the event, with the tennis center designated as the venue for tennis finals, the Taipei Department of Sports said.

Baseball events are to be held at the Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium in New Taipei City and the Taipei Tianmu Baseball Stadium, which is to be the venue for the final, the department said.

The announcement came after the International University Sports Federation (FISU) approved the list, which underwent numerous adjustments to bring the venues in line with the federations requirements, the department said.

Department Deputy Commissioner Liu Chia-tseng said some proposed venues were removed from the list because they did not conform to the federations specifications, which could cause a range of problems, such as not having enough space to accommodate a sizeable audience or to hold award ceremonies.

The venues for similar events, including several martial arts competitions, were adjusted in compliance with FISU statutes, because they had been scheduled to take place at the same time in different parts of a venue, which could hurt audience attendance, Lin said.

Department Commissioner Hung Chia-wen said that due to the difference between the estimated costs and tenders accepted by the city government and an austerity plan announced by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, the planned budget for maintenance of the venues was reduced from NT$5.36 billion to NT$3.03 billion (US$164.07 million to US$92.75 million), a 43 percent decrease.

He said that the athletes village would be built in Taoyuans Linkou District and was to be completed by June 2017.

Construction is to be conducted in two phases in the form of affordable housing, Hung said, with the second phase focusing on compartmentalizing the buildings to accommodate international delegations.
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Old August 29th, 2015, 08:34 PM   #413
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Sat, Aug 29, 2015
Airport Rail line set for March start
Taipei Times Excerpt

The opening of the express train service linking Taipei to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be postponed to March because of testing delays, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.

“We encountered many difficulties in the integrated testing of the system and re-evaluated the date of the launch,” Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Tseng Dar-jen (曾大仁) told a press conference in Taipei.

“Unfortunately, it will not happen by Dec. 31 this year,” he said. “We estimate that the system would meet the standards to begin operation in March next year, and we will work with the Taoyuan Metro Corp to reach that goal.”

Yesterday’s announcement marked the fifth postponement of the line’s launch.

Bureau of High Speed Rail Director-General Allen Hu (胡湘麟) said that the bureau had completed 42 of the 43 items to be tested, adding that various problems emerged when it was time to test the system’s ability to operate based on a train timetable.

For example, the system would show that a train was at a certain section of the track, when that section was actually empty, he said.

The suspension of the wireless transmission also led to the emergency braking of the rail system, he said, adding that all these problems show that the system could not operate reliably.

“The contractor in charge of testing the rail system [Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp] lacks the ability to integrate the system for the testing,” Hu said.

“It is proven to be unable to effectively and efficiently resolve its disputes with its subcontractors. All these factors have also delayed the progress in testing,” he said.
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Old September 2nd, 2015, 08:38 PM   #414
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Old October 8th, 2015, 03:34 PM   #415
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Court says gondola assessment invalid
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said that the city would not continue to pursue the project or any other large development in Yangmingshan National Park
3 October 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt

The Taipei High Administrative Court on Thursday nullified the environmental impact assessment of the controversial Beitou Gondola project, citing procedural flaws and the Taipei City Governments review committee lacking authority.

In its verdict, the court said that the citys environmental impact assessment review committee did not have substantial discussion on the capacity and structure of cable pylons to ensure that the project would not significantly affect the environment before conditionally approving construction in December 2012.

The court also said that as 80 percent of construction is taking place in Yangmingshan National Park, the case should be under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Administration, rather than the city government.

The Taipei High Administrative Courts ruling on Thursday upholds a ruling by the Taipei High Court in July last year in favor of local residents and environmental groups, who filed an administrative suit against the city government alleging that the review was illegal.

Local residents and environmentalists said the ruling was delayed justice and called on the city government not to appeal it.

Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association lawyer Hsieh Meng-yu said that the Taipei City Government reached a conclusion on the project before conducting the review, using the results to endorse the project.

The city government shielded the developer by conditionally passing the project in an opaque manner, despite the developers misinformation and inaccurate geological survey, Hsieh said.

The idea to develop a 4.7km gondola system that would run from Beitou Park to Yangmingshan National Park began more than 20 years ago under then-Taipei mayor Huang Ta-chou. The budget for the built-operate-transfer project was about NT$3.3 billion (US$99.53 million).

Local residents and activist groups have spoken out against the project over the years, citing the areas fragile rock strata, questions over slope stability the numerous underground hot spring veins, severe corrosion caused by sulfuric fumes, environmental degradation and traffic issues.
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Old October 16th, 2015, 07:36 PM   #416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Mon, May 04, 2015
Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome
‘INADEQUATE’ : Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union head Yu Yi said that the group’s right to protest was legally protected by the freedom of speech
Taipei Times Excerpt

Oct. 17, 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt
Farglory decries ‘prejudices’ against Dome construction

The Farglory Group has requested the Control Yuan to investigate possible administrative negligence for inappropriate punishments the Taipei City Government has imposed on the corporation in relation to the construction of the Taipei Dome.

According to a news report published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Farglory spokesman Jacky Yang (楊舜欽) said that the corporation had made the appeal in response to what he called the city government’s “prejudices” against, and “disproportionate” punishments over, the project.

“The Taipei City Government on the afternoon of May 20 asked us to improve the data on Taipei Dome’s construction, but later that day ... ordered the suspension of the construction,” Yang was quoted as saying.

The order to suspend the construction was given on the same day on which Ko criticized Farglory for having adopted a “complacent” attitude during talks it carried out with the city government to discuss safety issues about the project.

According to the report, the city government has sent more than 20 official documents concerning the project to Farglory from late last year to early this year, most of them notifying the company about a fine.

“This is not only unfair, but also violates the ‘principle of proportionality,’” Yang was quoted as saying.

Taipei Department of Urban Development Deputy Commissioner Chang Kang-wei (張剛維) said issues over the project’s emergency evacuation readiness have remained.
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Old October 23rd, 2015, 07:47 PM   #417
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Thu, Oct 22, 2015
Sub-contractors demand answers on Taipei Dome
Taipei Times Excerpt

Taipei Dome sub-contractors and other workers yesterday stage a protest in front of the Control Yuan against the Taipei City Government for having suspended work on the project for four months.

Members of the Taipei Dome Sub-Contractors Self Help Association yesterday presented a petition to the Control Yuan calling for an investigation into the Taipei City Government’s decision to halt construction of the Taipei Dome.

After presenting the petition, association head Sam Hsu (許志霖) called on the Taipei City Government to publicize the list of construction plan violations on which its order is based, allowing the sub-contractors to move toward resuming construction by addressing the violations.

The legal basis for the construction halt is unclear because in normal circumstances planning violations are only subject to a NT$9,000 fine per violation, payable after construction is completed, he said.

“The city government needs to give us a clear answer on what the plan violations are and whether they are related to the main structure,” he said, adding that a resumption of construction should be allowed if the Dome’s main structure is not implicated.

If the city chooses not to resume construction, it should make a decision as soon as possible on whether the structure is to be demolished, because only then could sub-contractors dissolve their contracts with Farglory, he said.

“We’re not here to nit-pick about who is at fault, but now that a construction halt has been ordered we hope for a quick response and decision,” he said, adding that without a resolution, many contractors would go bankrupt or be forced to lay off employees.
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Old October 26th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #418
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Lowering housing prices could spark crisis: Ko
24 October 2015
Taipei Times with CNA Excerpt

The Taipei City Government yesterday expressed concern over the central governments policies aimed at lowering housing prices, saying the policies could precipitate a crash in the housing sector and spark an economic crisis.

During a special report on the city governments policies on public housing and preparations for the 2017 summer Universiade and the World Design Capital yesterday, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je said Taipei would not suppress housing prices because doing so could hurt the construction sector.

Previous policies aimed at encouraging joint-developed residencies to become public residential units were misdirected, as the average person considers jointly developed residencies more luxurious than normal residential units and thus not affordable, Ko said.

Regulations formerly restricted renting of these residential units to those who have less than 40 percent of that years average annual income for city residents the average for last year stood at NT$1.19 million (US$36,600).

The city government is looking to amend regulations to allow families with 50 percent of the average annual income to rent the units, Ko said.

Due to declining birth rates and high housing prices, the city government would look into the viability of repurposing empty public buildings into public residential units, Ko said.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 11:33 AM   #419
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Wed, Oct 28, 2015
Taipei Times Excerpt
Songshan airport still required: premier


臺北松山機場 by Tzuhsun Hsu, on Flickr

The demolition of Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) should be premised upon Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport being upgraded and able to incorporate the capacity of the central Taipei airport, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said yesterday.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said he plans to hold a seminar on the possible removal of Taipei International Airport next month and he has invited the three presidential candidates to join the discussion and reveal their stances on the matter.

Mao, asked about the plan by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, said Songshan airport, since its upgrade from a domestic airport to an international one in 2008, has been of great help to the development of the nation’s civil aviation and tourism industries.

“The conditions for the removal of Songshan airport are the completion of the third runway and the third terminal at Taoyuan airport,” Mao said.

“Taiwan’s flights would be immediately affected if the conditions are not met to incorporate the capacity of the Taipei airport before it is removed,” he said.

Minister of Transportation and Communications Chen Jian-yu (陳建宇) said the demolition of Songshan airport should only be considered in 2030, as it is now an important part of the Southeast Asian tour network and is responsible for transportation to the nation’s outlying islands.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) said in Taoyuan yesterday that the short-term possibility of removing the airport is “very low,” as it would first require the completion of the construction of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis and the transportation infrastructure of northern Taiwan.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 04:58 PM   #420
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Nov 10, 2015
EPA meeting mulls alternatives to the Tambei Expressway
Taipei Times Excerpt


Taipei City Council

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday held an environmental review of the proposed Tambei Expressway (淡北道路, Tamsui-Taipei Expressway) to assess possible alternatives to the project, with environmental groups proposing the expansion of Highway No. 2 in lieu of building the expressway.

The project was originally a 4.7km passageway between New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水) and Taipei’s Guandu (關渡) area, but during the most recent environmental review in September, the developer proposed extending the passageway with a 700m elevated section in Guandu to divert ground traffic, which was accepted by the EPA’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) committee.

The review yesterday defined possible alternatives to the now 5.4km expressway project, including the expansion of Highway No. 2, the only major arterial road linking Taipei and Tamsui; the replacement of the 700m elevated section with an underground tunnel; constructing an extended section to connect the expressway with the Zhoumei Expressway (洲美快速道路) that passes through Taipei’s Shilin District (士林), or an extra ring road that would connect with Guandu Bridge (關渡大橋).

Environmental Jurists Association lawyer Chang Yu-yin (張譽尹) said that there is no need to construct the Tambei Expressway if Highway No. 2 could be substantially expanded, adding that the soon-to-be-built Tamkang Bridge (淡江大橋), connecting Tamsui and Bali, and a light railway to be built in Tamsui would be enough to reduce traffic congestion in the area.

The developer said expanding the highway is impossible due to engineering difficulties, but Chang said that only a narrow section of the highway is problematic, and there is room for expansion along the rest of the road.

Previously, the EIA committee conditionally passed the expressway project in 2011, but the Taipei High Administrative Court rejected the review in 2013 on the grounds that the committee did not thoroughly assess the impact of the construction on the Mangrove Forest Conservation Area.
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