Erenlai - History of the Shida Controversy

History of the Shida Controversy

by on Monday, 03 September 2012 Comments

( Mandarin Training Center in NTNU)

Unlike in most in most Western countries, the mixture of residential and commercial areas is a significant characteristic of Taiwanese Cities. Most foreigners who have lived on this island for a while are sure to have discovered this charm and convenience already. How should people live and work together in this kind of lively sleepless streets is another question.

The well-known Shida Road and surrounding areas probably are the first stop for many foreign students in Taipei City. Since the war between a residents’ group and businesses began, rumors and mistrust have spread through the area. Shidahood Association (師大三里自救會) seems to be trying to shut down every illegal shop in the area, the illegal status of is often attributable to a rather complicated history.

The story continues still, and no one can be sure how this chapter will end. We try to locate the actual historical casual relationships of this controversy, starting in the 1960’s.

 

The timeline of the Shida area controversy

9102_3Going back to the 1960’s, the origins of the Shida night market area can be traced back to some lower class Mainlanders who came to Taiwan with the KMT. They occupied the open spaces between Jinshan South Rd., Heping east Rd. and the north part of Shida Rd. It was known as “Longquan night market” because Longquan Street was the main street at that time.

In 1967, the government expelled all squatters, knocked down illegal buildings in the area and built Shida Rd. Some businessmen moved to the Nan Ji Chang night market (南機場) and the Zhong Hua business Center (中華商場, in the Ximen area), other trader and food stalls gathered on Shida Rd (now the park).

In 1987, due to urban planning and requests from local residents, Taipei City Major Hung decided to expel vendors and built a park on Shida Rd. A few stall-keepers moved into the lanes and alleys on the east side of Shida Rd. The businesses requested to keep their house numbers and continue running their businesses.

From the 90’s, because of NTNU Mandarin Training Center and the academic background of many local residents, new cafes and international restaurants became more and more common in the area.


(Every shop in Lane 13, Pucheng St. is closed now)

 

Enlarging the scale of business area

2007

Boutique shops began opening in the area. The number of clothing stalls was growing.

2008

A famous writer, Han Lianglu (韓良露) introduced and promoted the “Kang-Qing-Long” life area concept as a tourist attraction. This area stretched from Yongkang Street (永康街) to Qintian street (青田街) and Longquan street (龍泉街). The media began to promote culinary delicacies in the Shida area. The Longquan neighborhood tried to attract attention by holding a “shopkeepers’ beauty contest and a “best shop in Shida” contest.

2010

In January the Longquan neighborhood began cooperating with the Taipei City Market Administration Office and the Taipei City Office of Commerce. Under the guidance of the city government, they planned to found an autonomous night market committee, to redesign street signboards and undertake an environmental cleaning program. They were forced to postpone parts of their project due to the objections of local residents.

The Taipei City Office of Commerce promoted Shida as one of the top five business areas in Taipei. Local shops enrolled in the “Beef Noodles Festival” and other official tourism events. The Shida area became a new tourist spot.

In September, the Tourism Bureau and the South Village company which belonged to Han Liang Lu (韓良露) launched the “Spotlight on Taipei” program to attract international tourists.

SIGN

(Shida "night market" was only on the sign of MRT exit for months,
it has now been reverted to the original name.)

2011

The Longquan neighborhood office founded an association of businesses in the Shida area and built a billboard, “Welcome to the Shida Business Area”. They even changed the formal name of the bus stop from “Shida 1” to “Shida Night Market” and began indicating the night market at the MRT Taipower Building Station. This move enraged local residents.

At the end of 2011, the Shida business area won the ‘most popular award’ in a Taipei City Office of Commerce contest. Meanwhile, the number of shops had increased from 200 to 700 in just two years and extended further into nearby residential districts. There was a rapid deterioration in the surrounding living environment with pollution from overcrowding, smells, noise and rubbish.

On 26th October, due to the increase of clothes shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, residents from Taishun St. (east of the night market area) organized a public hearing to ask Taipei City Hall to ban illegal shops in residential areas, and formed the Shidahood Association (師大三里里民自救會). In response, Taipei City government formed a Special Shida Taskforce (師大專案小組) headed by deputy mayor Sherman Chen (陳雄文) and involving a wide array of government departments. They first banned all foreign restaurants on Lane 13, Pucheng St.

2012

In February, some shops organized the “Shida Business Area League” petitioning to the government for their right to work, through different forms of protest such as stand-ins, kneel down and turning off all the lights on the street for 30 minutes.

In May, the Shidahood Association posted an article on the blog criticizing that Shida Park had been left abandoned as a dangerous and licentious zone.

On July 15th, the legendary live house Underworld was forced to close under pressure from the Shidahood Association.

In August, Roxy Jr. Café which had been running for 18 years on Shida Rd. hung a first banner to counter the protest banners of the Shidahood Association. Yet, on 19th August they nevertheless decided to close up temporarily.

 

JR

("Legal businessman against fake neighbors' persecution" wrote by Jr. Cafe)

References

http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B8%AB%E5%A4%A7%E5%A4%9C%E5%B8%82

David Frazier, Dodgy dealings, TAIPEI TIMES, 2012.07.25

找出師大商圈四贏的藍海,聯合報社論,2012.02.27


Edited by Nick Coulson

 

 

Zijie Yang (楊子頡)

一個連自身存在都與所身處社會一樣荒謬的年輕男子,不太適應團體,不易尋得認同與歸屬感。曾參與06年廢墟佔領、寶藏巖公社抗爭;10年參與桑雅靜心劇坊學習舞踏;現為諾努客反核文化行動團隊活動企劃與鼓手,台灣大學社會工作學系系學生。

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