Gov't overestimates urban population by 6 mil.: interior minister
By Ashley Yen ,Special to The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan stated yesterday that the government has overestimated the projected population of Taiwan's six major cities (Taipei, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taoyuan) by 6 million in its urban plans.
October 29, 2013, 12:22 am TWN
The six cities have an aggregated population of 19 million, while the urban planning showed a 25 million projection. The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) pledged to conduct an overall review in 4 years to better tally the total urban population. The MOI also vowed to re-evaluate the demand of lands for public use and to remodel urban renovation plans with a focus on disaster prevention.
The minister made the comments at the Legislative Yuan's Social Welfare Committee meeting on national land policy yesterday. He pointed out that the population number has been hypothesized to be at 25 million in the urban plans for years. In fact, six of Taiwan biggest cities have a population of approximately 19 million, of which 14 million have their households registered.
Adjustment to land use based on a more accurate population estimate could free up additional space for facilities such as flood detention pools and other disaster-prevention systems while improving living environments at the same time. Therefore, not only would the risks of disasters be reduced but the local lands could be properly used and increase in value, said Lee. In the future, real estate developers could demand to incorporate urban-friendly designs such as rain gardens, cobble-filled sewage systems and green streets in their constructions.
Secretary-General of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) Dong Jian-hong said that the adjustment of urban planning land should seriously take into account population structure, industrial distribution and local land preservation. Fong is opposed to the demolish-heavy “bulldozer approaches” of urban planning and regards improving existing streets and buildings as a better solution.