Learning from Docklands London/ 他山之石─ 英國倫敦
◎By Anna Lin
In order to study and learn from London's waterfront construction projects and the successful transformation of Manchester City, the Acting Mayor Chu-lan Yeh led a delegation to London on March 5th to the 12th. During the visit, the delegation held a briefing on future construction projects, such as the Kaohsiung Port Aerial Tram, the light railway, the image design competition for the Port of Kaohsiung, and the new Administration Building. The delegation welcomed any conglomerates interested in entering Taiwan's market to participate in the city's future construction projects.
Headed by the Acting Mayor Yeh, the main purpose of the delegation was to study Britain's city infrastructure and cultural developments. During their stay, the delegation visited the Dockland Regeneration Area in London, London's waterfront construction, Heathrow Airport, Transport for London (TfL), the Railway Industry Association, the British Consultants & Construction Bureau, London's Organizing Committee for the Olympics Games 2012 (LOCOG), Wembley Stadium, and Manchester City.
Among all the places on the itinerary, the Dockland Regeneration Area in London was one of the most important stops. By providing tax incentives and imposing appropriate control over the developments taking place in London, downtown, the government has successfully shifted the commercial center to the new urban districts. Most importantly, along with the building of the light railway system and other mass transportation, such as subway and highway systems, the Docklands Regeneration Area has been fully converted into a financial and political center.
In early years, Manchester City was the biggest industrial city in Britain. Nowadays, it has transformed into a business center. Much of the credit must go to the transportation construction of transportation such as the light railway system, the urban development and the well-planned investments by the government and conglomerates. As a result, Manchester City now has a new face.
The Acting Mayor Yeh acknowledged the excellent job London City Government has done and the prosperity that the transport systems have brought. She indicated that these are models that Kaohsiung could make good use of. She is confident that Kaohsiung city would be able to deal with the property issue effectively since the government is in possession of the Port area. She also agreed that the light railway system would be an essential element in Kaohsiung's development.
Meanwhile, to better prepare for the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, the delegation visited London's Organizing Committee for the Olympics Games in 2012, and the Wembley Stadium that will soon be completed. The Acting Mayor Yeh recognized the construction of the stadium. Even though Wembley only has a population of 300,000, the building of this 90,000-seat stadium will definitely benefit the city and the local community. The Acting Mayor also mentioned that Kaohsiung city will regard some of the measures taken by Wembley as important points of reference. For example: open the stadium to the public during the construction; aim to build a multi-sports stadium to ensure the smooth running of the program, etc.
During its stay, to attract foreign businesses to participate and invest on Kaohsiung's future construction projects, the delegation took the opportunity to elucidate several planned construction projects while visiting the Railway Industry Association and the British Consultants & Construction Bureau. Construction plans include the Kaohsiung Port Aerial Tram, the light railway system, the image design competition for Pier 1-22, and the construction of the new Administration Building.