台北市文化局長劉維公

用設計改造城市
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2012 / 11月

文‧陳歆怡採訪整理


近日,台北市政府舉辦「台北設計城市展」,主展場位在松山文創園區,以「社會設計」為主軸精神。希望透過創意工作者的彼此串連,邀請市民重訪巷弄裡的文化寶藏。

活動總舵手、文化局長劉維公把創意街區形容為「巷弄中的都市更新現象,信仰創意的設計聚落」,並相信設計與創意是改造城市的溫柔力量。


問:創意街區與一般商圈有何不同?

答:商圈強調的是市場,創意街區則更強調生活美學、生活價值觀、生活風格等。

台北市的創意聚落很早就開始成形,包括從2000年起就有文化人鼓吹無牆美術館、街區生活,又如企業界利用都更土地推動藝術街區,市政府則在2009年開始投入。

創意街區雖然仍屬於產業政策,但卻不同於資金密集、旗艦式的產業,我們更關注微型企業、青年就業、空間再生等議題,核心精神是創新與研發。

問:創意街區對城市發展的重要性在哪?

答:全球化浪潮發展到極致,每個城市都開始回頭尋找在地特色;我們到國外旅遊,之所以對當地城市驚豔、有感覺,也是因為那裡的街道表現出原創精神,且人民對自己的生活形態抱有驕傲感。

創意街區的宗旨就是讓更多人認識自己生長的地方,進而找到自己的生活價值與生活風格,這是城市發展不可或缺的環節。

城市要永續發展,不能光靠捷運等硬體設施,而需要有自信的市民;倫敦、紐約等國際都會之所以能立足,正在於他們的市民對自己的生活環境與生活風格非常有自信。

台北市的觀光能量漸強,越來越多來自新加坡、香港乃至中國大陸的背包客,比起傳統觀光客的走馬看花,他們更好奇探究台北城市的身世,創意街區的利基正在於此,但需要整體的規劃與包裝。

問:台北市文化局在輔導創意街區上,有何策略?

答:文化局對創意街區的著力比較在行銷端,作法包括:舉辦導覽、推動街角櫥窗、繪製地圖等。以創意櫥窗為例,概念是希望每個店家都成為一個小型美術館,讓美學自然融入街道。

今年的發展重點在北投、萬華、大稻埕與溫羅汀4處街區,它們各有其獨特的在地文化與歷史故事,也吸引了不同特質的創意人進駐。

例如,北投很適合舉辦結合自然地景的大地藝術活動;北投的魅力不只在溫泉,還有許多流傳至今的生活文化,像是那卡西、古琴藝術等,我們希望透過慶典活動介紹給更多市民。

萬華與大稻埕的街區特色則是古今交錯,其中較有挑戰性的是創意能量相對薄弱的南萬華,策略上,我們是把青年公園當作獨特的綠色生活資產,希望透過整體規劃,吸引創意工作者進駐。

溫羅汀街區的文創發展比較成熟,這裡就像是「知識家」的秘密基地,經營者平日就會舉辦沙龍、講座,文化局做的是提供整合的平台,強化街區形象。

其他針對創意工作者的輔導措施還有:找出更多閒置空間,設置台北創意學院等。創意工作者必須不斷提升自己的經營管理方法,政府能做的是架設平台、改善產業環境。

問:如何引導創意人參與街區環境營造?

答:設計工作者在城市發展可以扮演不同角色,這也是「台北城市設計展」以「社會設計」為主軸的原因,當設計能以「人本」作為核心動機與目標,開始關注城市生活的重要議題,例如環境保護與資源再生,設計就能成為市民追求美好生活的重要力量。

文化局正在規劃一套機制,讓設計工作者可以表達其對地方的認同感與理想,小至幫里長重新設計里民告示牌,大至對社區環境議題提出創意解方。

問:許多創意街區位在住商混合區,如何在居住品質與商業發展間取得平衡?

答:台北街區本來就是混合使用,很難擁有純粹的住宅區。然而,換個角度看,純粹的住宅區也不見得是宜居城市。

推動文創街區對我而言,是軟體工程,不是商圈的基礎建設;我們就是要揚棄以「人潮」作為地方發展指標的舊思維,發展出環境永續的經營之道。

在推動手法上,我們堅持不打折扣促銷戰,不懸掛旗幟,也不會去介紹已經很有名、大排長龍的店家。

理想上,一旦創意街區在台北市遍地開花,人潮就不會集中在特定地方,關鍵在於必須讓每個地方發展出獨有特色。

許多經驗顯示,把「公益」做好,是可以賺錢的,若忘了自己身為社區一份子的責任,反而會有反挫力。師大商圈會出問題,原因之一就是經營者抱著過客心態,沒有把自己當作社區一份子。因此,我們非常鼓勵設計工作者朝向「社會企業」轉化,也就是把社會公益納入事業經營的項目,或是運用商業模式解決社會問題。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Design as a Driver of Urban Change

interview by Chen Hsin-yi /tr. by David Smith

Social design was the focus of the Taipei City Government’s recent Design & City Exhibition, where the main venue was located at the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. The event is unique in that it also features a separate exhibition, Taipei Design Clusters, happening simultaneously in four different areas of town. Through their interactions with each other, the creative workers taking part in the exhibition invite local residents to take a new look at the cultural treasures hidden in the city’s back streets.

The exhibition was carried out under the direction of Department of Cultural Affairs commissioner Liou Wei-gong, who describes creative clusters as “backstreet urban renewal, and design clusters with a faith in creativity.” He believes that design and creativity are a soft power that remakes a city.


Q: What is the difference between a creative cluster and an ordinary shopping district?

A: A shopping district focuses on commerce, while a creative cluster focuses on aesthetic living, value systems, and lifestyles.

Creative clusters still fall under the purview of industrial policy, but they are different from capital-intensive, flagship-style industries. We are more concerned with micro-businesses, youth employment, and spatial regeneration. At its core, it is about creativity and R&D.

Q: What is the importance of creative clusters to urban development?

A: Now that globalization has gone as far as it can possibly go, cities are beginning to turn back and seek out what is uniquely local. We experience delight when traveling abroad precisely because the street scenes there give expression to the creative spirit that built those streets, and because the people there are proud of how they live.

The point of a creative cluster is to afford more people the opportunity to know the place they live in, and go on from there to find their own values and lifestyles. This is an indispensable part of urban development.

If a city is to develop sustainably, it cannot rely solely on rapid transit systems and other physical infrastructure. It also needs a confident citizenry.

The touristic appeal of Taipei City is growing. More and more backpackers from Singapore, Hong Kong, and even mainland China are coming here and exploring Taipei with a lot more curiosity than that typically displayed by traditional tourists. These backpackers provide a niche where creative clusters can thrive. But comprehensive planning and packaging is needed.

Q: How is the Taipei City Government going about guiding the development of creative clusters?

A: In its work pertaining to creative clusters, the Department of Cultural Affairs concentrates mostly on the marketing side. We organize guided tours, push for the installation of streetside display cases, and make maps, for example. With streetside display cases, the idea is to get every shop to become a miniature art museum, so that beauty just naturally becomes a part of the street scene.

Our main focus this year is on four areas: Beitou, Wanhua, Dadaocheng, and the Wen-Luo-Ding area around Wenzhou, Roosevelt, and Dingzhou roads. Each of these places has its own unique local culture and historical background, and each attracts a different sort of creative person to work there.

For example, the defining feature of both Wanhua and Dadaocheng is a juxtaposition of the old and the new. Southern Wanhua, where creative forces are relatively weak, presents the biggest challenge. Our approach there is to treat Youth Park as a unique green asset, and to implement a comprehensive plan to attract creative workers to the area.

We also intend to foster the development of creative workers. We are going to find unused space where we can set up a “Taipei Academy of Creativity,” for example. Creative workers have to continually improve their managerial methods, and what the government can do is to set up a platform and improve the overall business environment.

Q: How do you go about attracting creative workers to take part in the building of a cluster environment?

A: Design workers can play different roles in urban development, which is why “social design” has been chosen as the theme of the Design & City Exhibition. When human-centered concerns constitute the motivation and purpose of design, and when we begin to focus on important issues relating to urban living, such as environmental protection and reuse of resources, then design can be a source of strength for residents in their quest for aesthetic living.

The Department of Cultural Affairs is planning a set of systems that will allow design workers to express their identification with the local community, and their ideals for it, whether it be through something so small as redesigning a neighborhood bulletin board, or something as significant as proposing creative solutions to a community’s environmental issues.

Q: A lot of creative clusters are located in areas zoned for mixed residential and commercial use. How do you strike a balance between the quality of residential life and development of commerce?

A: Taipei neighborhoods have always featured mixed residential and commercial use. It would be very difficult to have a purely residential neighborhood. And besides, purely residential neighborhoods don’t necessarily make for a livable city.

As I see it, when you promote creative clusters, you are working with intangible infrastructure, whereas with a shopping district you’re dealing with physical infrastructure. We are trying to get beyond the old emphasis on things like “foot traffic” as the benchmarks for measurement of local development. Instead, we want to develop ways to operate sustainably.

As we go about our task, we are steadfastly against engaging in price competition. We don’t put out a lot of advertising all over town, nor do we publicize shops that are already really well known and have long lines of people waiting to get in.

Ideally, once there are creative clusters scattered throughout Taipei, foot traffic will no longer get concentrated in a few specific areas. The key is to get every area to develop its own distinctive character.

Long experience has shown that doing a good job with “public interest” concerns is profitable, but if we forget our responsibilities as members of a community, we will meet with pushback. Controversy has arisen in the shopping district near National Taiwan Normal University in part because people doing business there have taken a “just passing through” attitude. They don’t see themselves as members of the local community. So we would strongly encourage design workers to develop in the direction of becoming “social enterprises,” by which I mean that they should include public interest concerns among their lines of business, or use commerce as a means to resolve societal problems.

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