The Liuchuan is one of four rivers running through Taichung, the third most populated city in Chinese Taipei, located on the central-western part of the island. The Liuchuan Canal was originally known as the Dadun River before the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945), when it was transformed to resemble a river flowing through Kyoto, with willow trees on both sides. This led to the current name, which means “willow creek”.
However, more recently, local residents usually just referred to it as a “ditch” due to the heavy pollution that resulted from Taichung’s rapid industrialization in the 1980s. A surge of illegal housing was built alongside of the canal embankments and the canal became the recipient of an increasing amount of untreated household wastewater. As the illegal housing was demolished in the 1990s, people moved out of the district, feeding a westward urban development spread that left the old centre depressed. The canals then received even less attention, apart from complaints about their smell.
Both phases were delivered thanks to funding providing by the Environment Protection Agency.
On phase one of the project:
Taichung Waterfront Report, by the Taichung City Government
Presentation of the Luchuan and Liuchuan canal remediation and improvement projects by Hsien-Yi Lee, Deputy Secretary-General Taichung City Government, at the Water Edge Symposium 2016
Article published in Compass Magazine in February 2017: “The re-emergence of Taichung’s famed Liuchuan Canal”, by Li Cheng-ching, Lin Wei-chieh
Article published in the Taichung River Restoration Network News in 2017: “The metamorphosis of urban river landscape”, by Su Yu-wen http://trrn.wra.gov.tw/SystemEN/NewMessage/DealData.aspx?s=C2D4C634FAC9C487
Project description by AECOM