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Deputy mayor of Taipei urges urban renewal

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Deputy Taipei Mayor Chang Chin-e (張金鶚) said that he wishes the non-disputed urban renewal regulations could be passed soon, as the deadline for regulation amendments is approaching.

In a press event yesterday in celebration of his first term as deputy mayor, Chang answered reporter's questions after giving his thoughts on lessons learned during his first year. Chang, who took office on April 1, 2013, was a professor at the National Chengchi University Department of Land Economics (國立政治大學地政學系).

Chang was appointed partly due to this, as it was believed that it would grant him the qualifications to deal with the various problems that have surfaced with the urban renewal project in Taipei thus far.

During his statement, Chang said "Looking back last year, the famous Wenlin Yuan controversy is on its way to be resolved. Though the urban renewal program was mistakenly seen as being stalled, the city government has put in a lot of effort in trying to promote the program, and has since gain more confidence in being able to drive the program with diversity."

Problem Regulations Might Drastically Hinder Process

Following the constitutional interpretation of the regulation by the Justices of the Constitutional Court on April 26, 2013, whereby parts of the regulation were ruled illegitimate, the justices issued a one-year grace period for the city government to amend the regulations.

With the deadline drawing near, and the amendment draft still not agreed to in the Legislative Yuan, Chang worries that the deadlock might result in the program being indefinitely halted, and has urged the problems to be resolved before April 26.

As of today, the city government has 79 urban renewal summaries in its application and 243 business summaries pending approval, all of which are facing long term postponement or possible termination, as the consequence of failing to meet the deadline has yet to be determined.

Chang put forward his personal thoughts for a remedy for the situation, calling for the passage of urban renewal regulations which have been cleared according to the constitution and therefore have undisputed legitimacy.

Should the amendment fail to be delivered by the deadline, added Chang, the city government's final plan is to either seek a solution from the central government or find provisional regulations and other autonomous legislation to seek a new possibility for the urban renewal project.

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