7 months ago

Going Green – Experiencing the Ecomobile Lifestyle

ISBN 978-3-86859-512-3

The Place Hamasen in

The Place Hamasen in Former Times ... By Chinghui Liao, ICLEI Kaohsiung Capacity Center When deciding to host the EcoMobility World Festival 2017, the City of Kaohsiung chose Hamasen as the demonstration site for ecomobility. Formerly a coastal lagoon, Hamasen became solid land as Japanese colonizers around a century ago built up the Takao Harbor—today’s Kaohsiung Harbor—and filled it with waste sea soil. The newborn Hamasen was turned into a high-class residential neighborhood with all that was modern: tap water, electricity, postal and telecom services, grid plan, police station, elementary school, city hall, banks, official residences, parks, and even disaster prevention forests. The neighborhood was named after a railway that linked the new harbor and the main line railway, and the Japanese name “Hamasen” was pronounced locally as Taiwanese “Hama-seng”. Hamasen is home to Kaohsiung’s modernization and centurylong development into a major port city. Travelers a century ago got off trains at Hamasen station and entered the neighborhood either on foot or by cycling, while goods were transported by train, ship and human labor. Vehicles were rare, and the human-centered neighborhood would be considered livable even by current standards. The Japanese surrendered and left Taiwan after World War II, while migrants from Tainan, Penghu as well as Chaozhou and Shantou in China thrived in Hamasen with fishing, shipping, Chinese medicine imports, transportation, and other harbor-related trades. Hamasen’s prosperity has dimmed since fishing port functions moved to Qianzhen District. “ Hamasen used to be home to the largest fish market in Southeast Asia, which was connected to the main line railway by the Hamasen railway so that fishery goods could be bought here at the break of dawn and sent directly to Taipei. ” Mr. Rui-yao Ou, 74, shipping company owner and bird-watcher “ In Hamasen, there used to be a cluster of importers of Chinese medicine into Taiwan from the Japanese era onwards, and they gathered in Hamasen because the piers of Hamasen were the primary port they used. Their major clients were wholesalers of Chinese medicine in Taipei. ” Mr. Hung-hsiang Chen, 59, importer of Chinese medicine and online marketer for Taiwanese aboriginal recreational resorts 4

... and Today Hamasen today is a typical Kaohsiung neighborhood. It’s a tight squeeze for pedestrians and vehicles on the streets, and vehicles carrying visitors to view the renowned sunset make it worse. The pursuit of ecomobility intends no more than to restore Hamasen’s past livability, which—just like the remaining parts of the Hamasen railway—lies dormant but has never died. • 5