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Taipei mayor visits Singapore to study urban rejuvenation

2011/02/23 19:45:05

Singapore, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taipei has much to learn fromSingapore's experience in river cleanup and restoration of historicaland cultural relics, the mayor of Taiwan's capital city said inSingapore Wednesday.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, who arrived in Singapore Tuesdayevening after a visit to Hong Kong, made the remarks after a call onthe Southeast Asian city state's Urban Redevelopment Authority, atour of Clarke Quay and a cruise on the Singapore River.

"I was impressed by the Singapore government's far-sightedness inurban planning," Hau said at a news conference.

"It has a 50-year strategic development blueprint that it reviewsonce every 10 years, " the mayor said, adding that Taipei will learnfrom Singapore's development strategies.

Clarke Quay used to be a relatively dilapidated and noisy area,but the waterfront godowns there now host a colorful kaleidoscope ofrestaurants, wine bars, entertainment spots and retail shops thanksto a successful urban rejuvenation project that included the cleanupof the Singapore River and restoration of old buildings, Hau noted.

"We will learn from Singapore's achievements in this regard as wedraft plans to clean up our Danshuei River and carry out a waterfrontarea development project along its banks," Hau said.

Hau started his two-leg overseas visit Sunday. In addition tolooking at public housing and urban revitalization projects in HongKing and Singapore, Hau is also seeking foreign investment for threemajor land development projects in Taipei.

The projects, located in the Taipei Railway Station area and theXinyi District, will require an estimated NT$100 billion (US$3.3billion) in investment, according to the city's Department ofFinance.

A public tender for a planned twin tower on a 31,000 square metersite near the railway station is scheduled for April, while the50-year surface rights for two separate lots of 18,000 and 20,000square meters, respectively, near Taipei 101 in the Xinyi Districtwill be tendered in the third quarter of this year.

Shortly after his arrival in Singapore Tuesday evening, Hau metwith Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Hau is traveling with a 70-member delegation that includes theheads of Taipei's Social Welfare, Information and Tourism, andUrban Development departments and several city councilors.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Sofia Wu)
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