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Old 12-22-2015, 02:50 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,771 posts, read 5,114,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
Developed just means boring modern cookie cutter architecture. Older buildings (assuming there is upkeep) give places character.

Who wants Taiwan to look like Dayton Ohio?
Older buildings do, but what Taiwan has is **** buildings, not old ones.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:34 AM
 
276 posts, read 204,296 times
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I can't work out Taiwan (based on a 3 week visit):

1. If it's really got a lot of $ but just hiding it (money not spent now new glitzy buildings)
2. If it's really not that rich and poorer than a lot of people/media claim it is.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:18 AM
 
1,089 posts, read 477,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
I can't work out Taiwan (based on a 3 week visit):

1. If it's really got a lot of $ but just hiding it (money not spent now new glitzy buildings)
2. If it's really not that rich and poorer than a lot of people/media claim it is.
There actually could be a 3rd or more reasons ... The service sector accounts a big percent of Taiwan's economy. With that, when wage and cost of living is high, the economy seems bigger than it really is.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,771 posts, read 5,114,752 times
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^Not really, the wage is just **** and the cost of living, while certainly not as high as Europe or Canada or whatnot, is not that low either, especially with that kind of laughable income (more or less on the level of Spain or Italy).

Taiwan looks ugly because of the complete lack of city planning, people being selfish and dumb, and poor policing and law enforcement. Economy development has very little to deal with it.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,779 posts, read 13,347,718 times
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Well, look at NYC, London or especially HK. You'd be forgiven for thinking large swaths of these cities are super-cheap, low-income, low-value hovels, but are actually worth tens or maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars because of demand and valuation. The process of tearing down and rebuilding these places is so expensive and complicated that it's not really feasible, much of the time.

And yes: on the one hand, any type of building and arcitecture ads character, but... on the other, a lot of these buildings are just utilitarian, concrete, midcentury-to-early 80's utilitarian places... they aren't Boston's brownstones, Beijing's hutongs, SF's victorians, or London's rowhouses. They're not even the Soviet Union's postmodern brutalism. They're just... there.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
451 posts, read 1,078,886 times
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Here are some interesting insights on why Taiwanese cities look rundown and not as fresh as other developed East Asian cities from quora.com. Many cite things such when the Kuomingtang took over Taiwan, they only considered Taiwan as a temporary refuge. Thus, they had no interest in making the city aesthetically pleasing. They are just wanted to quickly develop without regards to city planning. Much of the modern development occurred in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Then there are other factors such as the humid climate which can contribute to building looking more worn and Typhoons. Redevelopment would be very disruptive. I do not want to rehash what everybody wrote, but you can read for yourself at:

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Taiwan...ties-so-shabby

I don’t think it has as much to do with Taiwan being undeveloped as a society- to anybody who claims that I would have to disagree (it is NOT an undeveloped country)- that could be more another post. I believe Taiwan is like the “hole in wall” restaurant- the outside does not look impressive, but when you go inside and try it, you would be a lot more impressed. Plus, Taiwan is not alone- there are many cities in First World Countries (in North America, even Europe and Asia) with rundown looking sections (I've personally visited some of them)- so Taiwan does not have monopoly in that.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:55 PM
 
2,682 posts, read 905,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCALMike View Post
What can be done about this? The housing, the streets, it looks more south east asian, like Thailand.
I noticed that about Japan back in the '80s while living there. Sure their down town areas look really modern and up to date. But the houses themselves still seemed to be made out of shabby materials like tin roofs and such. My opinion about Japan is that they put most of their money into the bank and spent less on making their houses look modern. Or at least less percent into their homes compared to how much American's usually spend on their houses in America. This could be the same for Taiwan as well.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:44 AM
 
276 posts, read 204,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twnxn View Post
Here are some interesting insights on why Taiwanese cities look rundown and not as fresh as other developed East Asian cities from quora.com. Many cite things such when the Kuomingtang took over Taiwan, they only considered Taiwan as a temporary refuge. Thus, they had no interest in making the city aesthetically pleasing. They are just wanted to quickly develop without regards to city planning. Much of the modern development occurred in the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Then there are other factors such as the humid climate which can contribute to building looking more worn and Typhoons. Redevelopment would be very disruptive. I do not want to rehash what everybody wrote, but you can read for yourself at:

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-Taiwan...ties-so-shabby

I don’t think it has as much to do with Taiwan being undeveloped as a society- to anybody who claims that I would have to disagree (it is NOT an undeveloped country)- that could be more another post. I believe Taiwan is like the “hole in wall” restaurant- the outside does not look impressive, but when you go inside and try it, you would be a lot more impressed. Plus, Taiwan is not alone- there are many cities in First World Countries (in North America, even Europe and Asia) with rundown looking sections (I've personally visited some of them)- so Taiwan does not have monopoly in that.
The tour guide basically tried to sell that idea that Taiwan was only a temporary base and that the KMT would try to go back to the mainland one day, but somehow, I don't buy that explanation.

Granted that humidity is one contributing factor, same with some really old run down Hong Kong buildings. My uncle lives in Vietnam and I am astonished to find freshly painted exterior paint was pretty much tired looking after one year, additionally due to the steamy weather, all plastics "yellow out" very quickly as opposed to drier countries like Australia, where I live.

Taiwan people also probably have a habit of saving rather than spending as well, I guess Taiwan peaked early and never really invested much into rebuilding or rezoning much - i.e. tearing down old buildings and developing news ones. Mainland China peaked much later and their buildings are much newer, but just check them out after 20 years...same with Korea, though most of their urban population is in apartment style high rises like Hong Kong.

Not sure if another factor would be the Chinese not being as clean as say the Japanese - it helps, just look at Singapore, although that within itself needs another thread. Singaporeans are that clean, but rely on a lot of cheaper foreign labour that does a lot of the dirty work - pun intended.

It's just odd that Taiwan, as a country that is admired around South East Asia's Chinese diaspora (many of who, until recently studied Chinese via Taiwanese publications and with it, the Taiwanese version of Chinese culture) looks shockingly very plain compared to even South East Asia these days.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,771 posts, read 5,114,752 times
Reputation: 4555
Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
Taiwan people also probably have a habit of saving rather than spending as well, I guess Taiwan peaked early and never really invested much into rebuilding or rezoning much
So you basically just answered your own question.

And why would you stay for 3 weeks if you hated it so much?
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
451 posts, read 1,078,886 times
Reputation: 357
Quote:
Originally Posted by willister View Post
The tour guide basically tried to sell that idea that Taiwan was only a temporary base and that the KMT would try to go back to the mainland one day, but somehow, I don't buy that explanation.

Granted that humidity is one contributing factor, same with some really old run down Hong Kong buildings. My uncle lives in Vietnam and I am astonished to find freshly painted exterior paint was pretty much tired looking after one year, additionally due to the steamy weather, all plastics "yellow out" very quickly as opposed to drier countries like Australia, where I live.

Taiwan people also probably have a habit of saving rather than spending as well, I guess Taiwan peaked early and never really invested much into rebuilding or rezoning much - i.e. tearing down old buildings and developing news ones. Mainland China peaked much later and their buildings are much newer, but just check them out after 20 years...same with Korea, though most of their urban population is in apartment style high rises like Hong Kong.

Not sure if another factor would be the Chinese not being as clean as say the Japanese - it helps, just look at Singapore, although that within itself needs another thread. Singaporeans are that clean, but rely on a lot of cheaper foreign labour that does a lot of the dirty work - pun intended.

It's just odd that Taiwan, as a country that is admired around South East Asia's Chinese diaspora (many of who, until recently studied Chinese via Taiwanese publications and with it, the Taiwanese version of Chinese culture) looks shockingly very plain compared to even South East Asia these days.
My uncle lives in Taipei and has for over 50 years and he lives in a typical Taipei looking grimy neighborhood block (a back alley way) running parallel to Nanking Road and PaTeh Road. This video shows a typical dodgy looking alley neighborhood (http://youtu.be/BP8_Gf48iyY). Developers have actually offered to buy his home along with all the neighbor's home, so they can tear down and build newer apartments and businesses- not sure of the status of that offer. But, I do notice across my uncle's home are these modern mid rise buildings-that did not exist before. Before were also older housing blocks. The point is there is some redevelopment going on. I think redevelopment comes down to money. I agree people in Taiwan just like to save and also not deal with the hassles of moving people out, tearing down, rezoning and rebuilding. I do see near where I work- I live in Irvine, California (a city known to be very sterile, suburban, clean, cookie cutter, but master planned and incidentally, a sizable population of people of Taiwanese background)- that they have been tearing down these industrial buildings in the past year and building new apartments/retail-mixed use developments- it is done here, but Taiwan has a different culture, environment and rules).

As for Mainland China- they have newer construction since China is far less developed. However, the outside may look nice- a nice facade, but the construction is often shoddy. If the new construction in China is in an earthquake zone-then an earthquake will see how well those new construction will stand. I think in Korea the quality of construction is much higher than that of China (at least you would think)- but only time will tell how well those buildings hold.
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