The 1.7 km long former railway line crossing downtown Taichung was an important catalyst for the development of the old city. The railway’s historical value plays an important role in the revitalisation of the urban realm on which it sits. Although in the past, the rail line was a mean of connection, the disused railway acts more as a divider due to its challenging location on the dyke, which impedes the circulation from one side of the tracks to the other. The current proposal will reuse the rail line to connect the different parts of the city in a sustainable way by creating a green corridor for biodiversity and including bike/pedestrian lanes to better cater for the needs of the community.
Within this linear site, the sustainable development covered a wide range of planning and design factors including urban regeneration, public participation, historic preservation, green and water resources, and circulation routes for pedestrians and bikes.
Relying on Mecanoo’s 30-years urban planning experience, the design will shape a people-oriented green corridor, complementing the Green River’s waterfront.
To maintain the area’s strong historical character, and set a coherent, recognisable theme for the project, the new circulation system layout relies on the junction railway track pattern. Based on the visual language of the railway infrastructure, the routes branch out to integrate the existent and future planned functions. We define the green corridor as a continuous public park in the centre of the city, which will: support the conservation and development of the area’s flora and fauna; improve connections for pedestrians and bike users in Taichung centre; integrate existing and newly added functions to the area into a coherent linear park. The green corridor will become a destination and invite users to explore and enjoy the green qualities of the park. Based on different properties of the dyke, programmes such as herb garden, street fitness, tribune, playground, viewpoint and waterpark create an ideal place for leisure and recreation activities. All the proposed programmes are designed to intensify the use of the area for the local and wider Taichung community while promoting a more coherent city infrastructure.