Ko outlines city plans for ‘smart, green’ development.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday outlined plans for “smart and green” city development, announcing that bike paths will be laid alongside all of the capital’s major arteries.
In a speech at the Green Together City-to-City Sustainability Dialogues also attended by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung and Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan , Ko outlined his vision for a “green city” characterized by zero growth in electricity consumption and usage of public transportation by 80 percent of city residents.
Ko outlined policies aimed at increasing use of public transportation, saying that new bicycle paths would be laid alongside all city roads 40m wide or more.
“Presently, we have bicycles, but we don’t have bicycle lanes,” Ko said, referring to the rapid growth of the city’s YouBike service.
Taipei Department of Transportation Commissioner Chung Hui-yu (鍾慧諭) said the city has budgeted NT$1.2 billion (US$38 million) this year for bicycle path construction costs. City plans call for quadrupling the length of city bicycle paths to 209km by 2019.
Ko also announced that the city was considering introducing a car-sharing program, as well as reforms to more closely integrate the city’s bus lines with the MRT, update bus computer systems and enable fees for bus rides to be charged based on distance.
He said the city also plans to promote green architecture and use special water-porous pavement to reduce Taipei’s urban heat-island effect.
In addition to “green” policies, Ko also announced policies for “smart” technological reform, highlighted by changes to the city’s free WiFi service.
“With more than 6,400 hot spots, Taipei Free consumes between NT$10 million and NT$20 million every year, but even I myself have trouble using the service,” Ko said.
He said that in the future, the city would merge Taipei Free into the national ITaiwan service, dropping the number of hotspots to less than 2,000, while integrating additional private hotspots operated by businesses, such as Starbucks and 711.
By Abraham Gerber / Staff reporter
Giving thumbs up to Modi government’s focus on developing smart cities, Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change on Monday said, “From my experience, he (PM Modi) is absolutely correct to make cities a central focus of his work.”
“The more India invests in sustainable cities, the stronger its economy will grow,” Bloomberg said. Giving a special address at RE-INVEST 2015, Bloomberg said, “Prime Minister Modi is showing that confronting climate change goes hand-in-hand with smart economic growth.”
Bloomberg urged both India’s private sector and foreign investors to continue developing and investing in the clean energy market which create “knowledge-intensive jobs and support the nation’s goals”.
Power Minister Piyush Goyal assured that the government will make sure that the investments in India will be protected and encouraged. He said for a new investment destination the prerequisite is an atmosphere which makes to do business easier, consistency in policies, bankable contracts and prevalence of rule of law in the country.
Goyal sought to assure investors that though the government is pro-poor, it understands the problems of business and will act as a facilitator.