Erenlai - 按標籤顯示項目: living together
週一, 03 九月 2012 08:39

History of the Shida Controversy

( Mandarin Training Center in NTNU)

Unlike in most in most Western countries, the mixture of residential and commercial areas is a significant characteristic of Taiwanese Cities. Most foreigners who have lived on this island for a while are sure to have discovered this charm and convenience already. How should people live and work together in this kind of lively sleepless streets is another question.

The well-known Shida Road and surrounding areas probably are the first stop for many foreign students in Taipei City. Since the war between a residents’ group and businesses began, rumors and mistrust have spread through the area. Shidahood Association (師大三里自救會) seems to be trying to shut down every illegal shop in the area, the illegal status of is often attributable to a rather complicated history.

The story continues still, and no one can be sure how this chapter will end. We try to locate the actual historical casual relationships of this controversy, starting in the 1960’s.

 

The timeline of the Shida area controversy

9102_3Going back to the 1960’s, the origins of the Shida night market area can be traced back to some lower class Mainlanders who came to Taiwan with the KMT. They occupied the open spaces between Jinshan South Rd., Heping east Rd. and the north part of Shida Rd. It was known as “Longquan night market” because Longquan Street was the main street at that time.

In 1967, the government expelled all squatters, knocked down illegal buildings in the area and built Shida Rd. Some businessmen moved to the Nan Ji Chang night market (南機場) and the Zhong Hua business Center (中華商場, in the Ximen area), other trader and food stalls gathered on Shida Rd (now the park).

In 1987, due to urban planning and requests from local residents, Taipei City Major Hung decided to expel vendors and built a park on Shida Rd. A few stall-keepers moved into the lanes and alleys on the east side of Shida Rd. The businesses requested to keep their house numbers and continue running their businesses.

From the 90’s, because of NTNU Mandarin Training Center and the academic background of many local residents, new cafes and international restaurants became more and more common in the area.


(Every shop in Lane 13, Pucheng St. is closed now)

 

Enlarging the scale of business area

2007

Boutique shops began opening in the area. The number of clothing stalls was growing.

2008

A famous writer, Han Lianglu (韓良露) introduced and promoted the “Kang-Qing-Long” life area concept as a tourist attraction. This area stretched from Yongkang Street (永康街) to Qintian street (青田街) and Longquan street (龍泉街). The media began to promote culinary delicacies in the Shida area. The Longquan neighborhood tried to attract attention by holding a “shopkeepers’ beauty contest and a “best shop in Shida” contest.

2010

In January the Longquan neighborhood began cooperating with the Taipei City Market Administration Office and the Taipei City Office of Commerce. Under the guidance of the city government, they planned to found an autonomous night market committee, to redesign street signboards and undertake an environmental cleaning program. They were forced to postpone parts of their project due to the objections of local residents.

The Taipei City Office of Commerce promoted Shida as one of the top five business areas in Taipei. Local shops enrolled in the “Beef Noodles Festival” and other official tourism events. The Shida area became a new tourist spot.

In September, the Tourism Bureau and the South Village company which belonged to Han Liang Lu (韓良露) launched the “Spotlight on Taipei” program to attract international tourists.

SIGN

(Shida "night market" was only on the sign of MRT exit for months,
it has now been reverted to the original name.)

2011

The Longquan neighborhood office founded an association of businesses in the Shida area and built a billboard, “Welcome to the Shida Business Area”. They even changed the formal name of the bus stop from “Shida 1” to “Shida Night Market” and began indicating the night market at the MRT Taipower Building Station. This move enraged local residents.

At the end of 2011, the Shida business area won the ‘most popular award’ in a Taipei City Office of Commerce contest. Meanwhile, the number of shops had increased from 200 to 700 in just two years and extended further into nearby residential districts. There was a rapid deterioration in the surrounding living environment with pollution from overcrowding, smells, noise and rubbish.

On 26th October, due to the increase of clothes shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, residents from Taishun St. (east of the night market area) organized a public hearing to ask Taipei City Hall to ban illegal shops in residential areas, and formed the Shidahood Association (師大三里里民自救會). In response, Taipei City government formed a Special Shida Taskforce (師大專案小組) headed by deputy mayor Sherman Chen (陳雄文) and involving a wide array of government departments. They first banned all foreign restaurants on Lane 13, Pucheng St.

2012

In February, some shops organized the “Shida Business Area League” petitioning to the government for their right to work, through different forms of protest such as stand-ins, kneel down and turning off all the lights on the street for 30 minutes.

In May, the Shidahood Association posted an article on the blog criticizing that Shida Park had been left abandoned as a dangerous and licentious zone.

On July 15th, the legendary live house Underworld was forced to close under pressure from the Shidahood Association.

In August, Roxy Jr. Café which had been running for 18 years on Shida Rd. hung a first banner to counter the protest banners of the Shidahood Association. Yet, on 19th August they nevertheless decided to close up temporarily.

 

JR

("Legal businessman against fake neighbors' persecution" wrote by Jr. Cafe)

References

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B8%AB%E5%A4%A7%E5%A4%9C%E5%B8%82

David Frazier, Dodgy dealings, TAIPEI TIMES, 2012.07.25

找出師大商圈四贏的藍海,聯合報社論,2012.02.27


Edited by Nick Coulson

 

 


週五, 14 九月 2012 18:27

Reader Response to September Focus: Living Together

The Rock (1996)

Daphna has lived in the Shida Area for 6 years and studies at Chengchi University - here is her response to our September Focus on Living Together:


週五, 31 八月 2012 12:39

Taipei’s Civility Engineering Project

Riding Taipei’s subway home from the recent Radiohead gig, I was struck by what should be a peculiar sight.

It was close to 11pm and the carriage had many more passengers than there were seats, yet no one was availing themselves of the dark blue Priority Seats reserved for elderly, frail and pregnant passengers, or those travelling with children. By the time I alighted the MRT eight stops later, not one passenger had taken a Priority Seat even though many remained standing.

The seats appeared to be saved for people who were not likely to board the train. Not many obasans ride in to Taipei Main Station at that late hour. Those passengers who were not elderly, frail or pregnant appeared unwilling to offend those that might sit in those seats, even though no such person was there. Perhaps though, the intended or possible presence of an obasan was enough to shape such cautionary behaviour. Such is the civil code of the MRT.

Officially labelled the Mass Rapid Transit, the MRT is an essential feature of daily life for those Taipei citizens without private transport. Only 15 years old and with new lines appearing every couple of years, the network is slowly diffusing throughout the bowels of the city. On an average June 2012 day, 1,588,700 people took advantage of the MRT’s punctual, clean and orderly service to travel around the system’s 101 stations .

More than just an ongoing civil engineering project, Taipei’s MRT is a civility engineering project.

It could be chaotic but it is not. Somehow the authorities have managed to instil a sense of cooperation into the riding public. Platform queues are orderly. Seats are yielded to those in need. Food and beverages are not consumed. Phone conversations are generally kept to a minimum.

For foreign visitors to Taipei, especially those unfamiliar with the Chinese language, the MRT is the easiest way to traverse the city. Were one to stay underground in the MRT system, one would think Taipei to be clean and cool; regimented and reliable. Such conceptions would be obliterated upon stepping up from the MRT station and into the frazzling pedestrian traffic and frying heat of the street. In that sense the train system underground serves as a panacea to the often frantic life above ground.

One part of the government’s project to train MRT passengers is an extensive set of posters hung in both trains and stations. These posters encourage proper behaviour both IN and OUT of the MRT.

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Passengers are exposed to a range of advertisements that seek to influence their behaviour. Having control over the walls of the stations and trains gives the government the opportunity to monopolise the advertising medium. Of course much space is given over to commercial advertising, whose valuable remittances help keep the MRT system afloat. But the endless entreaties to behave better are what really created an impression on me. The captive audience of the MRT is ideal for the government to impress upon its ideals of how to create a better city.

Do people live together in the MRT? Yes, they do. An unspoken code of behaviour exists. This is not without contradictions. Someone could bring on a box of freshly fried stinky tofu, and while the odor might be a bit much for some, as long as the offending passenger does not eat any then this is OK. However, if someone is feeling in need of a drink, which is common in the summertime heat island of downtown Taipei, then he would be advised not to sip from his water bottle, lest he incur a sharp look of disapproval from the nearest righteous passenger.

Such a stringent code of behaviour is not without failing though. The Priority Seats can be contentious, especially if you are sitting in one and do not look old or injured, or are not wearing the appropriate sticker. Of course, many injuries or illnesses are not perceptible from the outside. If you are sick or sore but do not look it, then your fellow passengers might take umbrage at your bold occupation of a Priority Seat. I once saw a lady vehemently defend her right to sit in the Priority Seat, even though there was an older (and at least visibly, more frail passenger) standing nearby. Confrontations of this sort are uncomfortable for those nearby but, at least to my knowledge, rare.

In a city where almost every available inch of space is utilised and contested, the MRT exists as a zone of relative harmony and compromise. It is not only citizens who take the MRT, but the city of Taipei also rides it on the way to a more civilised society.

 

 


週二, 21 八月 2012 13:28

Passive Aggressive Much?

Let's face it, we've all written them at times, and at other times we have all pretended that they are not written about us, whether they be notes pinned to front doors, or slogans pasted across 5 stories of a building, passive aggressive notes are an unavoidable symptom of city life. Taipei is no different, being a city with a very dense population, people tend to get on each other's nerves. This mostly anonymous way of addressing the strangers that live around us is one of the easiest forms of communication to overlook, it tends to blend into the city scape except in extreme examples, but it also tells us a lot about what is acceptable and unacceptable about our behaviour, and the minute influences we have on the people who share the city with us. Here are a few examples of passive aggressive notes that I noticed around my neighbourhood, what about yours? Feel free to send any passive aggressive notes you find to eRenlai (conor_at_erenlai.com).

[Main writings] "Only animals pee here"
[Added writings on the right] "I am an animal"

 

2

 

 

[Message in black] Dear residents, please make sure the door is well closed in order to prevent unwanted people from entering. Our safety depends on your vigilance. Thank you for your cooperation!

[Message added on the right side] Some people often forget to close the door. If anything happens, these people should pay full responsibility! This is terrible and outrageous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

"Attention please:
The new residents are kindly requested not to throw their garbage here, not to mention cigarette butts as they may increase the risk of fire. Please show more consideration for our public environment. 
Thank you for your cooperation."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

"To the residents of the building:
In order to maintain the quality of our living environment, 
please do not throw trash here."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

"LITTERING AND POLLUTING BUSINESSES,
LEAVE MY HOME ASAP"

 

6

 

 

 

[Left] "SAY NO TO SMOKE AND NOISE"

[Right] "FOR A RESIDENTIAL AREA WITHOUT SMOKE AND NOISE POLLUTION"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

"SAY NO TO SMOKE AND NOISE"

9

[Left] "DEFENDING THE RIGHT TO A BETTER LIVING ENVIRONMENT"
[Right] "SAY NO TO SMOKE AND NOISE"

11

"LIVE TOGETHER, FLOURISH TOGETHER

SUPPORT THE SHIDA COMMERICAL CIRCLE"

12

 

"Why is it only the Shida Commercial Area being closed down?... Do you think its really fair?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

14

 

15

"Under video surveillance
Please do not feed dogs over here"

 

16

The white characters on the blue door say: 
"NO PARKING"

 

18

"Notice: In order to keep the arcades of this building clean, it is strictly forbidden to install any stand, to spit betelnut juice and to throw cigarette butts."

 

19

"Please do not sit on this scooter unless you're a cat of the shop"

 

 


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