(Xinyi Commercial Area, 1/7)
Xinyi Planning District is a 153 hectare area around Taipei 101 in Taipei. Whereas the political and historical centers of the city are still in its West, this area is its undeniable financial and commercial center.
If you have seen a photo of Taipei, chances are you have seen a photo centered on this area with Taipei 101 at its center. It is quite ironic that the area has become this iconic, as its quite exceptional in the city at large. First, the area is the only part of Taipei where the absolute height limit is canceled. Second, it is the only commercial development area with fully planed streets and urban design.
Xinyi used to lie at the outskirts of Taipei. Still part of Songshan district, the area was industrial and rural with repair factories, military villages and shooting ranges. It was this lack of development that made it a good place for urban planning starting in the 1990s. Since then, malls, high-rises, and skyscrapers have been built, hosting multinational corporations, apartments, and lots and lots of shops.
English Wikipedia determines the center of that area around 101 to have the highest density of deportment stores in the world. Taiwanese Wikipedia is more floral, arguing it to be “the most important shining project in the history of Taiwan’s urban planning development.”
Indeed, the shopping district is a magnet for people from all over the city and beyond. Especially at the weekend the streets between the malls are packed with shoppers and visitors. During the next days, we will join them to have a look at the street live.