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Taipei to build farm park within concrete urban buildings

2015/04/13 20:38:11

Taipei, April 13 (CNA) Taipei citizens may no longer need to travel to the countryside to get a feel for the fun of farming and grow their own food, thanks to a planned farm park the city government will start working on this July.

The Heart of Neihu Science Park (內科之心) project, to be located at the site vacated by the Flora Wholesale Market in Neihu in March 2014, will be the capital's first farm and wetland park once completed at the end of 2016, the city's Public Works Department said in a statement released Monday.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Lin Chin-jung (林欽榮) explained that the city found itself with a 4.5 hectare plot of cement-covered land after dismantling the facility that once housed the flora market within the high-tech Neihu Science Park.

Over 2.5 hectares of the land was originally designated as park land, he said.

After discussing the plot with relevant city departments, Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) decided to build a farm and wetland park on the site, Lin said, with civic groups and private enterprises to be invited to jointly create the "heart" of the science park.

The planned project will consist of a wetland, a leisure activity zone and a 1.5-hectare "farm base" where local residents can lease farm land for their own use.

The farm base will allow citizens to grow greens amid a concrete jungle and experience the fun of farming, an official with the city's Parks and Street Lights Office said.

Construction of the planned farm base will start in July and is scheduled to be completed in December this year, according to the city government. Work to create the planned wetland is also set to be finished by the end of next year.

Officials involved in the project said it will be a challenge to create a wetland in the science park because it has no natural water source.

A study is currently being conducted on the feasibility of collecting rainwater and surface water for the planned wetland, the officials said, suggesting that the project could maintain bio-diversity and limit the urban heat island effect if feasible.

(By Yu Kai-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)