Taipei MAPPING - a harmonious mix of assonance and dissonance | The Plan
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Taipei MAPPING - a harmonious mix of assonance and dissonance

The CityPlan returns to the Far East, to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. As usual, our survey starts with a look at the GIS-based maps that provide a significant overview of the city, a snapshot that also allows easy comparison with other world metropolises. Indeed, we now consider these seminal maps as an “automatic” aspect of this section, a post-production feature that makes the mass of collected data legible and useable.

The first map shows population density. It is the reference document against which to read the others that show the geographical features, service provision density, public transport networks, and natural vegetation, respectively.

The municipality of Taipei has about 2,600,00 inhabitants while the metropolitan area is home to around 6.5 million people. Overlapping the population density and contour maps shows how the major residential areas match the topographical features, namely a prevalently low-lying plain in a valley through which flows the River Tamsui that is joined by the tributaries Dahan, Xindian and Keelung before flowing into the sea. Tapei’s physical geography has led to the creation of a regular orthogonal urban grid, broken only by the intersection of the rivers. This has also informed the location of the important freeway system that includes the Sun Yat Sen highway in the northern part of the city running east-west.

The services map shows how social and collective activities are largely concentrated in the centre, with service provision and the old city centre practically overlapping. The map also shows how other, more peripheral centres have grown up over the years beyond the densely populated central nucleus with, however, matching service provision.

These “sub-density” areas are consistently covered by the public transport grid as shown by the public transport density map. Taipei’s main public transport feature is its underground, or subway, known...

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