During his speech, he mentioned that Taipei City Government’s first step in reinvigorating the East District is to improve the hardware and environment before improving the East Metro Mall and beginning to organize activities to draw crowds. For instance, by hosting the press conference here today, although not everyone will purchase products, at least some of them will. Lastly, the most daunting challenge is the positioning of the East District business district. After people are drawn to the area, if it does not stir up their interest, they will not come back again. Mayor Ko also lit up the main lantern of the Taipei Christmas party at the Dinghao Square in East District, Taipei and the 3,000m-long streetlight decorations with singer-songwriter Waa Wei to kick off the 2020 New Year’s Eve activities.
According to Mayor Ko, in an attempt to revitalize the East District, a series of projects are being implemented in the area including paving roads in the parks, improving the condition of sidewalks, as well as installing decorative art and lights. He also instructed the Department of Transportation to implement the neighborhood transportation improvement plan in this area first with no budget limit because establishing sidewalks in the alleyways will facilitate the flow of local pedestrian traffic. He believes that pedestrian traffic flow represents cash flow, and therefore, the cash flow in Taipei City can be estimated by observing the number of passengers passing through MRT stations in Taipei City.
Mayor Ko indicated that Ximending has proven to be a success due to one very important factor: a large number of youths in the area that in turn culminates in the development of the hip culture. People do not necessarily come here to shop, but rather to experience the youthful, exuberant vibe of the locale, much like how Xinyi District is considered a socialite district due to the profusion of department stores in the area, and Dadaocheng District is regarded as a historic street block. He reiterated that each business district must have its unique attributes to draw crowds and generate repeat visits. Consequently, the positioning of the East District business district should be contemplated, and potential possibilities remain to be explored over the next couple of years. If the uniqueness of the business district can be identified, an influx of people will be generated to facilitate economic developments in the region.
Thereafter, Mayor Ko put on fancy accessories such as a fluorescent hat and gloves to visit the East District in style, where he joined the parade with the local shop owners and lit up the business district. He was welcomed by the warm hospitality of the shop owners and citizens, who all eagerly wanted to take a group photo with their favorite mayor. Ko mixed into the crowd and toured the streets and alleyways of the East District to appreciate the distinct characteristics of different shops in the region.