“Stressed city produces stressed residents”
This mantra seems embedded into Taipei city’s government mind when they manage and govern the city. A cosmopolitan city, Taipei provides spaces scattered across the entire city for its residents to unwind, get connected with others or appreciate nature. With good access from public transportation and adequate, if not excellent, facilities in the parks, there is no reason not to come and love the parks.
Look at some of the parks I visited while I was there. I am envious!
228 Memorial Park. A park to commemorate 228 incidents. Located close to Presidential Building and walking distance from Taipei Main Station. MRT NTU Hospital is right at the park.
Daan Forest Park. An oasis in the city. This vast park is located next to Taipei Grand Mosque.
Shilin Residence Gardens. This is the former residence of late Republic of China President Chiang Kai-shek located on Zhongshan North Road in Shilin District. Chinese and Western style gardens are open for public.
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)-designed linear park near Zhongshan MRT Station
When pedestrian is a park in itself
Treasure Hill Artivist. According to Wikipedia:
Treasure Hill is originally an illegal settlement, was founded by the Kuomintang military veterans at the end of 1940’s and served originally as an anti-aircraft position.
After cooperating with non-governmental organization Global Artivists Participation Project, the Taipei City Government developed the area into an example of environmentally sustainable urban community.With the policy of preservation and revitalization, the old settlement unfolded a new vision of an artivist compound which would respect the existing fabric of the community while fulfilling the regeneration concept of “symbiosis” to incorporate production and ecology in communal living and ushering in the program of an international youth hostel and creative ideas of art to further cultural exchanges with broader international communities.
Commissioned by the municipal government to propose an ecological masterplan for the area, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande found that that this settlement, perhaps because of its illegal and marginal status, has evolved organically to operate according to an ecological model: recycling and filtering grey water, using minimal amounts of electricity (“stolen” from the city grid), composting organic waste, and repurposing Taipei’s waste. Casagrande relates his experiences of working on the site: For the ecological urban laboratory I had to do nothing, it was already there. What I did was to construct wooden stairways and connections between the destroyed houses and some shelters for the old residents to play mah-jong and ping-pong.
Treasure Hill is the attic of Taipei carrying the memories, stories and traditions of the past generations. In some way it is a reflection of the Taipei mind that the industrial city is not able to reflect. For the stories to surface the industrial city must be turned over: the city must be a compost. —Marco Casagrande
Police closed the area in 2007 in order to guarantee safety for restoration work.The restored Treasure Hill reopened as an artist village in 2010 with only 22 original families managing to move back to the settlement.The restoration process has been criticized to have caused the neighbourhood to be stripped of its prior residents and turned into a space which celebrates individual expression and artistic creativity at the expense of housing lower income families
Cycling or Taichi? We have a space for you
Taipei Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden covers an area of about 15 hectares and includes over 1,500 plant species, in 17 districts. In any given day you may find Tai-chi practitioners, photographers club, elderly with their nanny, plant enthusiast, or families enjoying a walk. Best visited with combination visit to National Museum of History nearby. The garden is 5-min walk from Xiaonanmen MRT station.
Taipei Expo Park. The park was the venue for the Taipei International Flora Exposition in 2010-2011. Currently this large park consists of many park elements such as Taipei’s Children recreation Center, Taiwan Excellence Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei Story House, Expo Dome, Pavilion of Flowers, Rose Garden, etc. The park is accessible within walking distance East from Yuanshan Station of the Taipei Metro
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park is a multifunctional park in Xinyi District (MRT SYS Memorial Hall).
The park was initially constructed in 1937 as a tobacco factory under the name Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Monopoly Bureau of the Taiwan Governor’s Office under the Japanese government. After the handover of Taiwan to China in 1945, the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau took over the factory and renamed it as the Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau. In 1947, the plant was renamed again as Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Bureau.
The factory ceased to produce cigarettes in 1998 for concern over urban planning, tobacco and liquor marketing regulatory changes and the decline in tobacco demand.
In 2001, the Taipei City Government designed the defunct tobacco factory as Taipei’s 99th historic site and converted it into a park comprising city-designated historic sites, historical structures and architectural highlights. Together with Taipei Dome, the site is known as Taipei Cultural and Sporting Complex.
For more efficient reuse of space, in 2011 the former factory was turned into a creative park by its current name to provide venues for diverse cultural and creative exhibitions and performances.
Points of interest in the park include: Red Dot Design Museum, Taiwan Design Museum, Eslite Spectrum (design-themed mall), array of design stores. A nice fountain with backdrop of Taipei 101 is also worth a visit.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park. If Shongshan was a site for Tobacco Factory, Huashan was a winery that produced sake and ginseng wines, and bred moth orchids. This multi-purpose park showcases creative talents from theater groups, painters, wood sculptors, writers, movie producers and directors from Taiwan and abroad. The park is also a good place to browse design stores or nice restaurants. The park is accessible within walking distance West from Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station of the Taipei Metro
Taipei Hakka Cultural Park. The 4 hectare Hakka Culture Park, in the Gongguan area of Taipei City (MRT Taipower Building), features a central plaza, delonix plaza, tung flower trail, bike station, farming experience area and eco-pond. Hakka are Han Chinese who speak Hakka Chinese and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China. In Taiwan, Hakka people comprise about 15 to 20% of the population and are descended largely from Guangdong immigrants: they form the second-largest ethnic group on the island. Best visited with a combined trip to Shida Night Market (MRT Taipower Building, Exit 3) on Shida Road.
Dahu Park. I visited this park intrigued by a picture of the park’s moon bridge on Dailymail. Though I can’t reproduce the same picture 🙂 I found this was an interesting visit in itself. The park has its own Dahu Park MRT station.