Taipei Identity: From Icon to Infrastructure | The Plan
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Taipei Identity: From Icon to Infrastructure

Taipei, or Taipei city, as it is now officially designated, is the capital and most important political, economic and cultural city in Taiwan. Seat of national government and headquarters to numerous global corporations, especially in the technology and manufacturing sector, Taipei consistently ranks at the top in economic global city rankings, most notably in rankings for business competitiveness. In 2013, The Economist ranked Taipei 11th among world cities for overall competitiveness, just below Chicago and above Seoul, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. Among its many remarkable cultural treasures, none is more impressive than the National Palace Museum (1965), designed by Huang Baoyu. Founded originally in Beijing in 1925 and in later in 1948 in Taipei, the collection consists of more than 670,000 Chinese artifacts and is among the top five most visited museums in the world. Taipei is also known for its numerous shopping districts, including Ximending, the so called “Harajuku of Taipei,” and Xinyi which, in addition to featuring one of Taipei’s most important luxury shopping and club areas, is also site of Taipei 101 (2004), designed by Taiwanese architect C.Y. Lee, and, until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010, the tallest building in the world.

Situated in the eastern region of the Taipei Basin, bounded by mountains to the north formed by volcanic eruptions, and to the south and east by mountains formed by shifting plate tectonics, Taipei’s topography is one of dramatic variation. Only nine meters above sea level, Taipei is laced by a network of levees that prevent the many rivers and creeks which surround the city from flooding, including the Tamsui River to the west and the Keelung River to the north. These same mountains that make Taipei such an exquisitely beautiful city, along with the rivers, creeks and levee system that prevent them from flooding, also limit significantly the surface area...

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