Mayor Inaugurates New Inclusive Playgrounds at 4 City Parks
On January 4, Mayor Ko Wen-je arrived at Chaoyang Park and Shude Park to inaugurate the new inclusive playground facilities during a joint press conference.During his address, he expressed his gratitude to city councilors for their suggestions and support, as well as providing the city government with the budget to install the key playground facilities. The mayor admitted that at first he doesn’t know about the concept of inclusive playground. It wasn’t until several city councilors mentioned the idea during city council sessions. Following their advice, the city implemented the policy starting with major parks, including Rongxing Park, Zhongyan Park, and Bihu Park. He later discovered that the concept is compatible with his belief of realizing politics in the daily life of citizens, through gradually expanding the concept of inclusive playground to include community parks.Regarding playground facilities, Ko noted that in the past, park playground facilities can be generalized through the image of “plastic cans.” All the parks look identical and ugly in favor of lower cost. However, this does not fit well with Taipei’s objective to become an advanced city. Therefore, the suggestion from city councilors on expanding inclusive parks fits well with the overall objective of city development. The Department of Cultural Affairs implement the new policy with larger parks first, hoping to expand latter to smaller community parks. Installation of facilities have been completed for four parks, with another two slated for end of January and September 2018, respectively.Commenting on the design of these new facilities, the mayor stressed that design requires funding. He took the opportunity to express his gratitude to eight local design teams for their roles in the project. Stressing that all the materials employed are made in Taiwan, he expressed his hope that the designing potential of local talents can be highlighted through these projects and exported to other countries in the future.