Art Street

Near Dong Hai University, in Long Jing Village, Guo Ji Jie, Yi Shu Jie
Taichung County, Taiwan

Submitted by: rory mcmulllan

A shopping street with an effective traffic calming system.

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Why It Works

Art Street in Taichung County is one of the most progressive areas for urban living in Taiwan. Art Street is situated at the summit of Da Du Mountain next to Dong Hai University overlooking Taichung City below. Art Street is a model of urban planning for people-friendly living spaces. The narrow, one-way street with raised cobbled intersections slows traffic enough to allow people to pleasantly walk along the street, encouraging a pedestrian friendly environment. This alone is very rare in Taiwan.

The focus of the area is a small square, which at ground level is mostly occupied by coffee and gift. The second story, with a surrounding outdoor walkway, features cheap rent studios that attract art studios, galleries and small artisan workshops that make, amongst other things, trinkets, custom-made spectacle frames, musical instruments and stereo systems. The square is designed with steps and a natural stage in the center, which is often used for events. On sunny days it is a popular meeting place for all the community, young and old. Children play in the square while adults sit on the steps and seats shaded by trees to chat.

The area has an active community of residents and shop owners who work together to put on festivals promoting the area as a local tourist destination. The popularity of the area has attracted fashion boutiques, restaurants and cafes. As one of the few areas in Taiwan with traffic calming and being in close proximity to both a large university and Taiwan's third biggest city, it is a very popular area for accommodation of students from around the world, so it is also sometimes called ‘International Street.’

What Makes Art Street a Great Place?

Art Street is 500 meters from Taichung Harbour Road, the biggest and busiest city thoroughfare, which links Taichung City with the harbour 20km away. City buses run up Harbour Road from the City every three minutes, and a bus stop is located at the junction of the Art Street area access road.

The area is residential. A one-way network has been used to prevent through traffic. Car parks are located all along the access road to the Art Street area. This junction is five minutes from Art Street.

Trees and flowerpots line the street. Special surfacing and lighting give the street an attractive and calming visual impression. The area attracts families and lovers during weekends, giving a safe and friendly feel.

The Street has special surfacing for traffic calming, and lighting with trees and flowers for about a 500-meter stretch. The whole street is popular during weekends, with many groups of all ages wandering along the road. Outdoor cafes and specialty stores line the whole street. The square is the main focus. All ages and income groups use the area as a recreational space.

The square and its cafes are popular meeting points. The area is popular with all age groups and has a friendly atmosphere. Local artists, musicians and dance groups often use the square for street performances. The local residents are proud of Art Street and encourage visitors from the city, particularly as they represent the main source of income for the shops and restaurants.

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