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Grand Opening of Tainan New Landmark – The Spring - with Huang Wei-che and William Lai

The Spring, hailed by local media as one of the seven most anticipated parks in the world, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 7. Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che invited Vice President elect William Lai, Dutch architect Winy Mass of MVRDV (the main designer of the park), NTIO Representative Guy Wittich, Council speaker Guo Xin-liang, Construction and Planning Agency Director General Wu Hsin-hsou and many local legislators and council members to take part in the official opening of this brilliant new Tainan landmark. This is another remarkable result of Tainan City’s efforts to revive and renovate the old city zone. Representative Wittich gifted tulips to Mayor Huang and Vice President elect Lai, who in return gave the Dutch Representative orchids and a ceramic orchid plate, to symbolize the lasting friendship between the two sides.


Mayor Huang expressed that the old Chinatown Mall is located at the center of the old Tainan Axis. Thanks to close collaborations between the Dutch architect team and different agencies of Tainan City Government, this much-anticipated park is now completed. He also thanked to selfless efforts of residents and local businesses. The Spring, which was planned during former Mayor Lai’s term and started construction in former Mayor Li’s term, is a model project in Tainan that incorporates many elements and features, including urban planning, architecture and scenery, culture and history, and tourism and recreation. This eco-friendly and sustainable park also serves educational purposes and has introduced international concepts into Tainan.


As the Bureau of Urban Development points out, old Chinatown Mall is the collective memory of Tainan residents. The renovation project was implemented via multi-zone expropriations and integrated housing and land taxing methods. To help the public relate to The Spring and learn more about the surface backfill display area, 2D and 3D displays related to the park and backfill area are extended onto the walls, including ancient maps, old photos, rubble from the demolished Chinatown Mall, and 3D models of the new park. The rich content introduces the history and cultural background of this space to visitors via a “river of history”: starting when it was just part of Taijiang Lagoon to becoming a canal harbor, then the rise and fall of old Chinatown Mall and to the current Tainan Spring park.


The Bureau of Urban Development also mentioned that since the preserved old shopping center building structure and decorated archway are witnesses to the development of Tainan City, they launched an online call for entries for “100 memories with old Chinatown Mall X 100 ways to enjoy The Spring”. Everyone is invited to share their experiences, stories and old photographs of old Chinatown Mall and the many creative ways to photograph and enjoy The Spring. Tainan hopes that this event will let this new waterside recreational space with historical, educational, and sustainable features carry on the city’s historical memories and gradually become part of Tainan residents’ lives.