Taipei’s Urban Regeneration

Treasure Hill. Photo by Wunkai It’s a scorchingly hot afternoon in Taipei and cicadas are buzzing loudly outside the Treasure Hill Temple. A man in cycling gear stops to take a swig of water before turning towards the temple’s statue of Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of mercy. He clasps his hands and bows three times, […]

The Sacred Food Court

Seats of imperial power are often regarded with a certain reverence — they provoke admiration, astonishment, even fear. That’s certainly the case in New Delhi, where British colonialists built a series of massive, belittling monuments to their rule, or in Washington, DC, where the Mall is increasingly seen by its National Park Service administrators not […]

The Treehouse of Roosevelt Road

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the fig tree that has taken root atop a dilapidated building on Temple Street in Hong Kong. 800 kilometres to the northeast, across the Taiwan Strait, there is something even more spectacular: an enormous tree that grows straight through an otherwise ordinary shophouse. You can find the […]

Creative Urbanity in Taipei

Treasure Hill, Taipei. Photo by the Kozy Shack When Chou Yu-jui was growing up near Yongkang Street, an old part of Taipei near two of the city’s universities, it was a quiet neighbourhood of wooden Japanese cottages, small shops and back alleys filled with potted plants. Ten years ago, it started to change. Small cafés, […]

Photos of the Week: Mailboxes

Hong Kong mailboxes by Hamachi & Toro Taipei mailboxes by Poagao Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Photos of the Week: Well Seated

This week’s photos were taken in Taipei and Neihu by Poagao, a writer, photographer and filmmaker who immigrated to Taiwan from the United States in the 1980s. Check out his Flickr photostream. Every week, we feature striking images from our Urbanphoto group on Flickr. Want to see your photos here? Join the group.

Locals vs. Tourists

Montreal We’ve always known there is a gulf between the city as experienced by tourists and the city lived in by locals. Now we have a fun visual representation of that divide. Using various types of data from Flickr, one user of the photo-sharing website, Eric Fisher, has created maps that indicate the spots photographed […]

The Many Chinese Words for “Lane”

Suoyi Hutong, Beijing There’s several different names in English for small, secondary streets that run between blocks or behind major roads. Alley and lane are the words most often used in North America, but there’s significant variation in the UK, where regional words like vennel, chare, wynd, twitten and jigger are common. It’s a similar […]

Street Flourishes

Hong Kong is a city with very utilitarian streetscapes — everything on the street, from paving to furniture, is standardized, cost-efficient and bland — so visiting Taipei was a bit of a relief. Streets there are far more haphazard and eclectic. Part of that has to do with the wide range of street furniture (like […]

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A Perch on the Edge of the World

There are two types of architectural birdcages in Macau: casinos and balconies. One of this southern Chinese city’s most famous casinos, the gloriously kitschy Lisboa, could coop up a giant parrot, and across town, a massive aviary greets visitors at the city’s newest gambling complex, in the Four Seasons Hotel. This is the only place […]

Taipei’s Japanese Bungalows

At some point or another, most of Asia was occupied by the Japanese, usually with disastrous consequences. But Taiwan is a bit different. From 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was a full-fledged Japanese colony, a legacy that continues to manifest itself in many subtle aspects of Taiwanese culture. Not the least of this is the urban […]

Don’t Hate

I first passed by this paste-up late at night in Taipei’s Ximending district. When I happened to be nearby a couple of days later, I was doubly impressed: whoever made it knew that by placing it here, it would illuminated each afternoon by a thin sliver of light, a ready-made art space in an otherwise […]

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Stencil Art in Taipei

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Scooter’s Eye View

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