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What's up Green (2020)
When senior urban designer - Mr. H.T Song attended the public hearing for the design proposal of Song Jung Park and realized the park’s design by the city government defied all common urban design senses, he decided something had to be done. Together with Mr. H.T Song I formed the team of “What’s Up Green” to address and reflect on the problem that Taipei City Government has been designing and constructing urban green spaces according to the needs of political agendas instead of designing to the actual needs of urban parks. The campaign lasted for 5 months, multiple high profile senior urban design/landscape design experts and practitioners, including deans of several landscape/architecture departments , and former minister of Transportation were all part of our working team. The campaign consisted of 4 stages:
1. Addressing the conundrum Before the campaign Taipei City government designed and constructed all urban green spaces following the one hat fit all design philosophy. Once we dove into the situation we realized that political factors were deeply embedded in the situation, as a result the urban design processes had been overwhelmingly skewed . 2. Negotiation The project had a slow rolling start, the city government was reluctant to have an open conversation regarding its one hat fit for all design philosophy; however after organizing a petition which garnered the support of a huge list of influential figures across all disciplines, together with the aid of media reporting the government eventually opened up and started to listen and displayed willingness to modify its design approach. 3. Partnership Eventually my team successfully persuaded the Taipei City Government to work with us and revised its Song Jung park design. The revised layout is much more environmentally sustainable and friendly to users in all age groups. In addition, this newly formed partnership between the government and scholarly practitioners allowed the one hat fit for all urban greenery design philosophy to be updated, to be more project driven, rather than politically pre-determined. 4. Communication During the campaign the Facebook group of “What’s Up Green” was formed. This media outlet now serves as an important platform for citizens to learn and share about eco-friendly approaches towards landscape developments. Furthermore, it also act as a hub and scope to monitor and be involved with future policy makings in regard to Taiwanese urban landscape designs.
The original design concept of Song Jung park proposed by Taipei City Government consisted a staggering amount concrete coverage, while 50% of the total budget was dedicated to creating an artificial flood storage pond. The park was originally intended as a buffer green zone between a large commercial zone and a residential zone, however with the pressure and influence from local politicians the park eventually evolved to a space which is stuffed with concrete and plastic playground goods and filled with all kinds of artificial constructions, losing the park’s original purpose of acting as a green belt buffer zone.
This is the promotional video for raising awareness of how the city government has been treating and designing urban green spaces. Directed by ChihKang Hsu, the video addresses the misusage of concrete as well as the lack of greenery in Taipei city parks. The video was majorly successful in raising awareness and acted as a communication tool for citizens who aren’t equipped with professional backgrounds.
During the campaign we hosted numerous events on the existing Song Jung Park to demonstrate to the city how versatile and how important an urban green space can be. This photograph was taken from an event where we hosted an origami paper plane festival.
During the campaign we hosted multiple workshops to discuss and have conversation with the Taipei City government’s officials. In the workshop participants from different disciplines ranging from urban design experts, local residents to government officials were all mixed together to usher for a dynamic and diverse exchange of opinions. The workshops eventually proved to be considerably successful with its discussion result being included in the revised design proposal by the city government.
The final revised design proposal from the city government is an excellent piece of work displaying a fruitful campaign that initiated from grass root movement from the local community in conjunction with experts from the respective disciplines to challenge and alter the Taipei City’s one hat fit for all design proposal.
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