The government launched demonstration programs for urban-rural scenic beautification in 1999 to balance urban and rural development and help local communities improve surrounding scenery and landscapes. These programs were incorporated under public infrastructure programs in 2001 and have been actively implemented across Taiwan. The past 20 years have seen five phases of the medium-to-long term programs (lasting four years each), with each locale developing its own distinct character and storyline that contributed to a diverse blend of unique regional cultures. Urban and rural scenery and landscapes across the nation have grown more beautiful over time as a result.
For the new phase of the urban-rural scenic beautification and environmental revitalization program (2021-2026), the government will invest NT$6 billion (US$210.2 million) into four strategies: conduct systems integration, expand participation, promote dialogue, and establish standards and regulations. The strategies will assist rural communities in the improvement of spatial environments while helping local industries revitalize and add value to businesses. As cities, towns, villages and communities build up more individual character and charm, these efforts will draw more young people back to their hometowns and transform Taiwan into a nation of sustainable and resilient cities and towns.
Implementation methods and focus of rebuilding
■ Implementation methods: Government agencies will pool resources for interdisciplinary cooperation, while smaller towns and villages will compete for distinction and encourage participation by young people. These methods will connect local businesses, landscapes, lifestyles and ecosystems to create unique brands for each locale.
■ Focus of rebuilding: The program will improve parks and green spaces, create ecological waterfront environments, reconstruct landscapes of major sites, restore and utilize idle property, beautify and revitalize environmental spaces, and help communities develop their own environs. The goal of these six measures is to build a new homeland marked by culture, greenery and aesthetics.
■ Three phases of community rebuilding: The first phase is an initial project to make preliminary landscape improvements to the more dilapidated sites, while adding more greenery to distinctive sites or buildings. The second is a more advanced project to collaborate with local residents, civil groups, or colleges and universities on community rebuilding. The third phase will combine local revitalization with efforts to attract young people, by promoting projects that station participants in rural areas; this will draw more young Taiwanese back home to start businesses and help rejuvenate local communities.