Department of Rapid Transit Systems,Taipei City Government

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Human Concerns

The MRT - More Than Just Transportation

Introduction

The Muzha Line In addition to being a means of getting around, an MRT can play many other roles in the life of a city. It can, for instance, provide a platform for street performances, be a venue for fairs and exhibitions, a site for advertising, and even be the location of a group wedding ceremony.

MRT space, then, includes more than just stations and trains. It is also underground malls, outdoor squares, and pedestrian malls above underground stations and tunnels, as well as linear parks under elevated stations and tracks. Therefore, MRT space is used for all kinds of activities and by all kinds of people.

Public Art

The piece of art 'Growth' On the Taipei MRT, in addition to speed and safety, comfort and aesthetics are also emphasized, and these human concerns have the effect of turning MRT space into a cultural phenomenon. At many stations, public art has been installed to enhance the quality of MRT space. Many forms are used to expand the local Children creating a mosaic context of the stations and encourage a feeling of intimacy with MRT structures among the public. For example, Taipei City Hall Station on the Nangang line, plays host to a sculpture with the title "Growth." This sculpture aims to symbolize the growth of the city under the direction of Taipei City government. In another example, a mural named "Dawning Sail" at Shuanglian Station on the Tamsui line describes the history of the Shuanglian area, while on the same line, The piece of art 'Dawning Sail' the mosaic collages along the outdoor pedestrian mall were produced with the cooperation of children from nearby schools. Public art sometimes provides more than a visual impact. Some of the artworks actually function as station furniture, such as the "Small Park," one of the "Suite of Hands" series at NTU Hospital Station on the Tamsui line; "Push" in the "Growth" series at Taipei City Hall Station on the Nangang line; and "Heaven, Earth and Man" at Xindian Station on the Xindian line.

Architecture

Jiantan Station MRT stations and their architecture also serve as city landmarks. Jiantan Station on the Tamsui line embodies the attractive qualities of structure with its striking cable system. In addition to being voted one of the city's most impressive landmarks by the people of Taipei, Jiantan Station also won an award from Architect magazine in 1997.

The piece of art 'Tree River' The vent shafts at Zhongxiao Dunhua Station and the multi-function pedestrian mall on the Nangang line were transformed into the public artwork "Tree River." This piece, which provides an eye-catching view of nature in downtown Taipei, came about as the result of a locally performed survey, in which people expressed their preference for an ecological theme. On the long- term network, furthermore, stations are being designed as works of art in themselves. The particular artistic theme of each station is incorporated in its architectural design. For example, the theme for Sanhe Junior High School Station on the Luzhou line is "Sand." Thus, the station's color will be light brown; the floor will be paved in a sand bar pattern; and the walls will be decorated with graphics of "Egrets Standing on Sand." The goal is to make the environment appear artistic and, at the same time, make art a natural part of the environment.

Historic Preservation

Li Cheng Chung His/Cheng En Ching Fu Additionally, history is not being ignored in the process of MRT development. When the Nangang line was under construction, great care was taken to preserve the nearby North Gate of old Taipei. During excavation, stone and wooden pillars that previously formed parts of the foundations of the old Taipei City Wall were discovered. They were carefully dug up and restored, and parts of them are now displayed at the location where they were found in the Zhongxiao West Road Underground Mall. Furthermore, some of the stone pillars are reincarnated as elements of art.

Facilities for the Disabled

Wheelchair accessible Turning to the needs of the disabled, the Taipei MRT provides an obstacle-free environment with all the required facilities. The facilities include a tactile guide and broadcast system for the visually-impaired, information display system and flash signals for the hearing-impaired, ramp and pathways for wheelchairs and baby strollers, as well as toilets and elevators for the disabled.

Landscape

Pedestrian Path on the Danshui Line The environment along Taipei MRT routes and around the stations provides precious open space for the inhabitants in this crowded city. They walk, exercise, cycle and take advantage of the opportunity for both physical relaxation and mental release. Many open spaces, such as the riverside park outside Tamsui Station on the Tamsui line, are popular tourist destinations during weekends and holidays. These open spaces are for multi- function use.

Cultural Activities

Trains displaying advertisements At some stations, licensed street performers create an artistic atmosphere. MRT trains decorated for promotional purposes also function as a kind of mobile art form. Pathways are used for temporary exhibitions, festivals are held to encourage use of the MRT system, and it is even possible to watch specially-made TV dramas, for example, "MRT Love Story" on some trains. In short, the MRT enriches the quality of urban life.

CKS Memorial Hall Station An MRT system can have a positive effect on civic pride and people's behavior. When, for example, food and drink are prohibited, the result is a cleaner traveling environment in which people are less likely to litter. Moreover, arrows on platform floors and signs on escalators induce passengers to line up properly and leave pathways clear for others. In this way, people are encouraged to be aware of the convenience of their fellow passengers. Cellular phones must be turned off in certain cars of the train, and there are strict regulations governing the transport of pets. Regular patrols by MRT police are complemented by peer pressure in encouraging the public to obey these regulations and, in some cases, behave differently from when they are outside. In this respect, the MRT has created its own unique culture.

Vision

Danshui Line In conclusion, leisure time nowadays is being emphasized more and more in urban life, and an MRT can play its part in meeting people's needs for more than just transportation. Because it is a vital means for commuters and a key to the city for tourists, aesthetics and comfort should be considered along with the requirements of transportation. Facilities related to human concerns should be incorporated in all future MRT design. Public art, architectural design, historical preservation, landscaping, facilities for the disabled, cultural events and MRT regulations all relate to urban living, and all are concerns of Taipei MRT. With the vision of providing passengers with a safe, convenient, comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing commuting experience, Taipei MRT will continue to progress towards the goal of becoming a world-class MRT system in the 21st century.

  • Hit: 2968
  • Updated: 2013-6-7 09:51
  • Reviewed: 2013-6-7 09:51

  • Source: Department of Rapid Transit Systems, Taipei City Government
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