Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city, has emerged as an eco-city leader in Taiwan.
In the 1990s, Kaohsiung had over 6,000 factories, which was fueling much of the pollution. In such a short time period, Kaohsiung has been transformed.
Kaohsiung’s Air Quality
Through these measures, Kaohsiung’s air quality has shown big improvements and very quickly too. In 2010, Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County and Pingtung County were the first in Taiwan to implement the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) air pollution quota control system.
City Bike Rental Scheme
Since 2006, Kaohsiung has implemented a number of initiatives to become a more sustainable city. One of the measures that has been encouraged by Kaohsiung’s Government is the use of bicycles.
The C-Bike Rental Scheme is cheap and simple to use. Bicycles are placed all over the city to rent. 150+ km of bicycles lanes have also been created around Kaohsiung’s City.
The efforts of the Government have enabled Kaohsiung to become named by CNN as “the third most bike friendly city in Asia“.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
The MRT has two lines which has made it easier to get around Kaohsiung. Two more lines are expected to be built around Kaohsiung City and up to Pingtung County, which would make getting around much more convenient.
Kaohsiung city has also put into action sevel hundred buses that are all powered by both petrol and biofuel.
Kaohsiung’s Government are also encouraging individuals to switch to alternative fuels. They are also offering large subsidies for those who wish to buy an electric or natural gas powered vehicle.
The Government will offer a NT$ 25,000 subsidy to those who buy an electric motorbike and a NT$10,000 subsidy to those who buy an LPG vehicle. Kaohsiung’s Government aims in the next few years to take 300,000 motorbikes off the road to further improve air pollution.
Taiwan’s Largest Steel Producer – China Steel Corporation
In 2009, Kaohsiung’s Government implemented a carbon tax on heavy industries. If a company emitted over 10,000 tons of CO2 per year then they would be subjected to paying a huge tax.
China Steel Corporation was responsible for producing over 40% of Kaohsiung’s City Co2 emissions. To respond to the Government’s initiatives and their own economic incentives, China Steel Corporation has now cut it’s emissions by 20% through upgrading its technology. They have invested millions of Taiwan dollars, thus improving efficiencies and emission levels.
Green Buildings in Kaohsiung
1. World Games Stadium
Kaohsiung’s World Games Stadium can host up to 55,000 people. The stadium was opened in 2009. The building has over 8,800 solar panels on the roof which supplies up to 75% of the building’s power during operation. If the building is not in operation the solar power that is generated is enough to supply 80% of the surrounding area.
2. Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Pop Music Centre
The structure has not yet been built as of yet but the idea and plan is being put into action. The structure will overlook Kaohsiung’s city and Kaohsiung’s harbour. The idea of the building will be a public space for pop music. The roof will be covered entirely with solar panels.
There will be a theater which will seat 12,000 people. The outside of the structure will be made with thin-film solar technology. The aim is that it will be an iconic and attractive structure in Kaohsiung.
Love’s River Transformation & Solar Powered Boats
The Love River has had an amazing transformation in the last 10 or so years. Kaohsiung’s Government are continually working their way through the river to improve sewage and reforestation. The river is now home to over 50 species of marine life.
In 2010, the Government replaced some of the fuel boats and launched five solar powered tour boats along the Love River. They plan for many more in the next few years. The tour boats have been very popular especially in the evening on weekends.