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Taipei Shows Soft Power as a Healthy City in 2020
"Healthy City 2.0—Moving Towards Sustainable Development"

This year (2020), the COVID-19 global pandemic has heavily impacted healthy cities and sustainable development in many countries. In response to the three major dimensions in the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs)—economy, society, and environment—and the impending super-aged society, the Department of Health, Taipei City Government gathered all of the city's agencies today (Nov. 19) at the GIS NTU Convention Center to attend the 2020 Taipei Healthy City Seminar. Themed around "Healthy City 2.0—Moving Towards Sustainable Development", various important actors from different sectors were invited to the event to share their progress and conduct exchanges with experts and scholars. The event opened with "Healthy Cities during the Pandemic" as a means to interconnect and share experiences on healthy city development, fostering overall health, enhancing environmental safety, building sustainable environments, and developing a culture of friendliness. The event aimed to utilize interdisciplinary cooperation to lay roots deep within communities for joint collaboration towards the vision of creating a livable and sustainable city as well as developing a blueprint for healthy cities. At the event, Mayor Ko Wen-Je appeared in video to encourage attendants and emphasize that no department can solve the city's problems alone. In the post-pandemic era, it is imperative that the city government's teams, district offices, and other grassroots organizations work alongside community residents to improve the lives and health of the general public.

Health in All Policy
Pushing Interdisciplinary Cooperation to Improve Public Health

In 2015, UK medical journal The Lancet and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the concept of "planetary health", pointing out how global climate change directly impacts the health of human civilization. Subsequent international development of healthy cities must include ecological factors alongside city governance and health inequality as elements for overall consideration. On the other hand, during the 2018 WHO Healthy Cities Summit of Mayors, European nations—who have long invested efforts in fostering healthy cities—proposed 6 core healthy city aspects ( 6 p's), i.e., people, place, partnership, prosperity, planet, and peace, based on the UN's SDGs, as to promote public health and well-being.

Mayor Ko Wen-Je emphasized that in order to address the issues of climate change and a rapidly aging population, we must begin by transforming our culture. Thus, our mission of "serving the public and innovating the city" encompasses health, culture, safety, sustainability, and prosperity in a strategic map that combines the city government's key policies. By leveraging interdepartmental cooperation in conjunction with the resources of industry, government, academia, and the public, as well as integrating the concept of "human-centric health consciousness", it is possible to solve public health issues and work together to build a healthy city that is livable and sustainable.

Health for All
Digital Innovation for Health Protection

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health, economy, society, environment, and lifestyle of all human civilization; it has reduced work opportunities and income for minorities and sparked general fear and social uncertainties. Taipei City has established a precise model for fighting the pandemic with a response phase that includes measures such as contact tracing and space partitioning, closing borders, and home quarantine. In the recovery phase, Taipei is assertively promoting new measures such as relief packages, stimulus vouchers, and transformation. The prosperity of a zero-contact economy requires gradual use of technology for the pursuit of improved life quality and precise healthcare for all ages.

Out of Taiwan's 6 special municipalities, Taipei is aging most rapidly and is projected to become a super-aged society by the end of 2021—4 years earlier than the rest of the nation. Huang Shier-Chieg—Commissioner of the Department of Health, Taipei City Government—stated that Taipei City founded the dementia-friendly model community to increase the social participation of seniors and people with dementia, strengthen their healthcare and knowledge, and enable seniors to enjoy friendlier lifestyles. The community strategically promotes humanities, caring, technology, and respect by utilizing social prescribing and the Safeguarding Memories—Friendly Community Website platform in connection with Taipei City Hospital's Virtual Hospital and app. Health centers of all 12 districts in Taipei City have cooperated with fire and police departments as well as senior organizations within communities to form "village patrols", in order to enhance horizontal cooperation between grassroots professional service providers, build a social safety net, and improve neighborhood traffic. Universal design concepts are adopted to improve the accessibility planning of Taipei Metro so that seniors can safely and conveniently access stations.

Furthermore, Taipei is a friendly city that encompasses a wealth of cultural diversity. Novel concepts such as urban innovation and public space design have redefined new and old cultures as well as reshaped cultural brands. Creation, Highlight, Activation, Revolution, and Marketing are combined into the "CHARM" strategy to reinvigorate Taipei's commercial districts. In response to the challenges from the acceleration of climate change, Taipei is moving towards green energy and plastics reduction by promoting recycling programs to recover resources and develop innovative circular models. Additionally, natural environments along the city's outskirts have been utilized to build the first urban wetland ecosystem. Also, in an effort to provide citizens with a healthy smoke-free environment, Taipei City Government has introduced a wider crackdown to reflect choreographed efficiency and Taipei's new lifestyle of health, livability, and sustainability.