Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program: Urban-rural development

  • Date: 2017-09-26

I. Background

The Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program is designed to give Taiwan a comprehensive foundation for national development over the next 30 years. In addition to major government-led projects, the program will also support development proposals by counties and cities that truly serve local needs while highlighting a regional style and distinct identity.

One of the infrastructure program’s five components is the urban-rural plan, which aims to improve the overall environment and optimize the quality of everyday life. This plan will invest in infrastructure to enhance the overall environment in each region, improve the quality of public spaces, and balance development between urban and rural locales. Because resources are limited, projects that produce tangible benefits that touch people’s lives will be the first priority.

Over the next four years (2017-2021), the government will use a special budget of NT$137.2 billion (US$4.5 billion) to improve urban and rural environments. This budget will be divided into three terms, with NT$35 billion (US$1.2 billion) going into the first term (September 2017 through December 2018). The plan will focus on 10 major projects that will impact transportation, social welfare, industry, cultural heritage preservation, and recreation, while doing everything possible to ensure that every dollar is well spent, and that projects begin promptly and are completed in a timely manner.

II. Promote 10 major infrastructure projects impacting everyday lives

A. Improve parking situation: Improve the park-and-ride function at public transport stations, and address parking issues at popular tourism and leisure sites. Introduce smart parking management services and green design principles to utilize parking lots more effectively and upgrade service quality.

B. Enhance road quality: Abandon third-world standards and adopt new road construction specifications that will reduce the frequency of road repairs, eliminate potholes and dangling electrical wires, expand sidewalks and bike paths, improve drainage, and enhance overall aesthetics and road functionality.

C. Revitalize municipal centers: Invest in public facilities to make mid-sized urban and rural municipal centers function more effectively. This will revitalize older municipal centers and promote balanced regional development.    

D. Develop locally oriented industrial parks: Provide more land to consolidate industries that are currently widely dispersed, helping to upgrade those industries, create local job opportunities, and partially mitigate problems stemming from factories illegally located on agricultural land.

E. Develop cultural lifestyle circles: Invest resources to accelerate restoration of cultural assets, and revitalize them as local lifestyle facilities. Subsidize the refurbishing or construction of local exhibition and performance venues to enrich local culture so that culture will take root and thrive. Reconstruct historical sites to upgrade the nation’s system of cultural facilities and build culture and lifestyle circles.

F. Revamp school facilities: Renovate school campuses so that they can meet the leisure, fitness, digital learning and community parking needs, as well as provide space for child and elder care centers, for the surrounding communities.

G. Develop public service centers: Refurbish rural and community-based public service centers to integrate long-term care, child care, digital learning stations and community building functions, creating local focal points for public life. 

H. Create environments for leisure and sports: Meet public needs by making sports and recreation facilities widely available, using existing waterfronts, green areas and riverbanks to accommodate foot paths and bike paths, integrating conservation, ecological awareness and leisure while building high-quality sports and leisure facilities.

I. Develop a Hakka Romantic Avenue along Provincial Highway No. 3: Preserve and revitalize Hakka culture by highlighting and linking traditional Hakka scenic spots to promote tourism and stimulate local economies.

J. Empower indigenous tribes: Foster overall community development by building public service centers that provide long-term care, child care and digital learning stations, becoming a nexus of everyday tribal life while improving potable water supplies and industrial facilities, and developing tribal green-energy capabilities.

III. Urban-rural infrastructure goals

A. Add 40,000 or more parking spaces; complete 1,000 kilometers of road renewal projects that meet the standards of an advanced nation, and repair 390 kilometers of sidewalks.

B. Support core infrastructure development in 20 or more medium-sized towns to revive the service functions of central business districts. 

C. Reinforce or renovate 930 unsafe public buildings (including police and fire stations, health clinics, markets, government offices, and borough and village community activity centers) for use as public service centers and future disaster relief stations.

D. Construct long-term care service stations by preparing and equipping 2,000 long-term care stations in alleys and lanes, and 315 indigenous community day care stations for the elderly.

E. Promote community access to campus resources, and add 200 publicly funded kindergarten classes and 1,790 community service stations.

F. Develop 20 industrial parks for local industries. Construct 230 local cultural facilities by restoring 180 old buildings and upgrading 50 museums and local cultural centers. Build or upgrade 400 kilometers of bike paths, connect 200 kilometers of nature trails in Hakka communities, and upgrade 200 local sports complexes.

G. Strengthen community-building efforts in Hakka and indigenous tribal areas to create unique communities that are both livable and provide employment opportunities.

IV. Conclusion

The urban-rural infrastructure plan is designed to provide solutions for local economies based on community development needs, using system integration and diverse approaches to create local infrastructure while encouraging community participation. By providing the overall environment for an attractive, high-quality lifestyle and promoting more balanced urban-rural development, these projects will help create a homeland that will make Taiwan proud.