||Inspired from the recent European movement of “Cittaslow”, this paper explores the notion of “Slow Taipei” through various temporal and spatial concepts pertaining to the planning framework of the city. Rational analysis on the chosen site that engages historicism, urban nodes and sustainability play a critical role in this discussion. On the other hand, the dialogue also takes into account the emotional aspect in imagining the future of the city. Through these means, a new concept of urban living and development would form an alternative methodology and a sensitive vision in the planning of both the physical structure and metaphysical value of the city.
The four operative concepts to engage this dialogue are “to ease”, “to speed”, “to become a flaneur”, “to walk.”
To Ease, or causing calm, connects with the “slowing down” concepts in the global movement of “slow city” by alleviating speediness. Although “slow city” has been well explored in the European cities, Taiwan started to understand the value of this concept only after it became a global trend. This thesis attempts to address how cities in Taiwan can utilize the principal of the slow city concept to plan her future, contrasting to the common belief that “faster is better.”
To Speed, or becoming faster, relates to both the written and built interpretation of “fastness” in human and urban elements such as scales, historical reference, spatial distortion, events, and structure explored in essays, writings and case studies from other cities. This exploration serves as a contrast with the slow-city principals and allows the further examine and strengthening of the argument for employing slow city principles in Taipei.
To become a flaneur, or observing city space through drifting, is a contrasting proposal to our common way of experiencing the city through rapid means. The quickness of mass media, rapidly instant Internet, fast food, and not to mention vehicles flying past all contribute to the fast pace and instant gratification driven city. The city becomes overcrowded since it expands its developing rapidly, while the spaces for real human contact and communication are obstructed by all kinds of barriers. What can city life be in the future of Taipei? Through the analysis of spatial signal and operational policies, I attempt to discover key strategic sites for development in the city.
To Walk, or moving along, is imposing an sustainable vision on the historically significant Xinsheng North Road, supported by two realities, four tactics and eight imaginations from the principal of Cittaslow. It is a response to this question: What is the future tense of living in Taipei?