Ko emphasized that the most important quality of an administrator is being highly driven. He reminisced that placing the train carriage at the location was supposed to be a simple operation, but not many people realized at the time that there is a parking lot underneath the site. Therefore, many issues such whether the parking lot could withstand the weight of the train or whether the exit of the parking lot would get in the way of the platform took numerous discussions to iron out.
The mayor commented that he realized engineering is not really one of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DOCA)’ strong suits. That’s why it was imperative to consolidate the city government’s specialized departments. For instance, engineering-related organizations were brought together to assist the DOCA, and after several attempts of trial and error, he is glad that colleagues from the DOCA managed to complete the project within 8 months.
He also took the opportunity to thank Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA)’s Kaohsiung Railway Workshop for refurbishing the train carriage, and Sung Hung-kang from the TRA’s Rolling Stock Department for facilitating the return of the train carriage after it was refurbished. According to the mayor, he later discovered that the success of a project is attributed to the collective efforts of citizens, NGOs, and government agencies.
Ko mentioned a new concept known as wall-less museums. He remarked that the museum should not only be a building complex showcasing exhibits to the public by charging admission. Rather, it should offer culture, history, and stories. Initially, the city government selected 5 locations in Taipei to implement wall-less museums, and the first one to succeed is Xinbeitou, so he is very grateful for the District Director’s endeavors.
The mayor suggested that DOCA is currently in charge of implementing the wall-less museum initiative. Starting from Qixing Park, sites spanning Xinbeitou Historic Station, Beitou Park, Taipei Public Library (Beitou), Ketagalan Culture Center, Thermal Valley, and Heart Village will all be renovated. At present, the phase one project of Heart Village has already been completed, and it is time to contemplate how phase 2 will be carried out. After overhauling the hardware one by one, they must be complemented by activities, therefore the annual hot spring festival helps to draw in the crowd. Different venues are managed by different departments and offices in the city government; hence the most crucial task is the integration of resources overseen by the DOCA.
He stressed that the Beitou District Office must create a platform to bring together local resources, and is only possible through cross-departmental/office collaboration. The mayor hopes that the concept of wall-less city museums can be accomplished by consolidating the strengths of different departments, offices, and the private sector.
Citing the Xinbeitou Historic Station as one of the more successful examples of a city museum; the mayor noted that other successful examples include Dadaocheng, Bangka, and Zhongshan Metro Mall (formerly known as northern city). In addition, the linear park is slated for completion by the end of the year, as well as the nearby Chifeng Street. Another good example is southern city along the region of Wen-Luo-Ting. He revealed that he visited No. 22 Park prior to coming here and realized that there is a serious lack of teamwork, and therefore integration is urgently needed. When he returns to the city hall, he will assemble a project team to remedy the problem.
Lastly, Mayor Ko stated that Xinbeitou Hot Springs is a very important wall-less city museum in Taipei City, and he expects to see stunning parks built in the region that oozes historical architecture. Although the area is steeped in culture and stories, there is a need to attract tourists if the industry is to make a lucrative profit. He asserted that an important quality of administrators is patience, thus it is crucial to identify and cater to the needs of the region because the small contributions of each region will ultimately lead to a nation’s progress and advancement.