When it comes to the international major events such as the Olympics or the World Cup, all countries have always actively sought the right to host as it can bring economic growth of the city and boost the tourism industry. However, after the legacy of the event, how do the governments of hosting countries deal with those considerably invested venues and athletes’ villages? Just to let it be deserted? Or plan to properly repurpose it? This undoubtedly challenges local government's decision-making ability.
The Planning of Events-remained Venues Can be Very Different from Country to Country! Abandoning it as A Ghost City or Creating Sustainable Value on It?
Taking the international Olympics as an example, in 2016, Brazil invested 235 billion TWD to build 8 new venues. However, it is out of expect that most venues were completely abandoned after one year. Electricity of the stadium was cut off, the sports turf was withered, and even the audience seats were inexplicably disappeared. The originally novel sports village has suddenly become a ghost city. There is beyond dispute that the reality is far from Brazil’s initial ideal of booming economics through the event.
▲The differences of Brazil Olympics between before and after the events. (boredpanda)
On the contrary, some countries did properly plan the events-remained areas. The Sydney Olympic Stadium Transformed Park hosts various sports and cultural events. The materials and equipment of 8 temporary pavilions of the London Olympics were demolished for other purposes. The 31 venues of the Beijing Olympics are continuously operated by its government for events such as large-scale domestic sports and singers’ concert. The Beijing Water Cube National Aquatics Center serves as a venue for various exhibitions, announcement campaigns, and company conferences. These all realize the ideal concept of sustainable values.
The Taipei Universiade has Ended Successfully, But What are the Following Plans for the Remained Buildings?
Drawing the focus back to Taiwan, the 2017 Taipei Universiade can be regarded as the largest, the highest level, and the most noticed international event in Taiwan in recent years. Although there were various challenges from the very beginning of gaining right to host the event, Taiwan eventually brought a satisfactory ending to show the world. During the event, there have more than 60 venues been used, covering cities of Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Hsinchu etc. While, only 2 venues were actually built for the event, and the other 53 venues were merely rehabilitated.
After a year, how could these venues and the athletes’ villages be reused? The operation rights of new venues (Taipei City Tennis Center and Taipei HePing Basketball Hall) will be transferred to private enterprises (OT). The rehabilitated buildings such as the football field and other venues will be reclaimed by its affiliated institutions/schools, and will cooperate with the government for future trainings and competitions, expecting to gear Taiwan’s sports event to the international conventions.
As for the Taipei Universiade Village in Linkou, the hinterland has 16 hectares, which can accommodate 3,000 to 2,500 flats (about 12,000 beds). Moreover, the hardware facilities are quite complete, with a restaurant that can contain 45,000 people. There is also fitness center, swimming pool and entertainment center. It is also expected to create a "one card universal-to borrow and to return" service with libraries of Taipei and New Taipei City. This large-scale essence community will then go through the BOT tender, renting out 3,490 social housing units in total.
In addition to being a residential lease, the more important plan of Universiade Village is to utilize three of the buildings as “Linkou Startups Terrace”, where domestic and foreign new-generation teams, international business accelerators/incubators, and talent cultivation companies can be stationed. It occupies 59,188㎡ and extends 2 km of its hinterland from the center of the startup park. The extended space is planned to be a demonstrating area of the “micro-future city” startup field, which links the Taiwan entrepreneurial startup cluster to the world.
▲ There are three buildings (red) of Taipei Universiade Village be transformed into Linkou Startup Terrace. The remained housing of yellow area became social housing that open to rent. (Original URL)
Integrating with The Local Industrial Chain, The Startup Park Creates a Startup Corridor in The North Taiwan
It is worth noting that, unlike other old sites that have simply transformed into a co-working space or a new accelerator base, Linkou Startup Terrace was initially positioned as a world-class entrepreneurial cluster. Therefore, the selection of the startup teams not only targets on international startups, but also emphasizes on linking the surrounding hinterland, especially its life functions. It is used as a demonstrating field for the Taiwan's miniature future city.
Afterwards, in order to avoid problems of insufficient funds and resources for private enterprises, Linkou Startup Terrace is operated by the government. In the first year, it has launched four major schemes: “investment deduction, incentive subsidy, free admission for the first year, and like-GP services”. In the planning of its software and hardware facility, it is designed to meet more requirements of entrepreneurs comparing to other startup parks. The advantages of it include providing business residency, offices, experimental fields, conference rooms, co-working space, exhibition space, etc., which effectively attracts international accelerators, domestic breeding centers and new creations to station.
In addition to the large hinterland of the park and the well-planned facilities, more importantly, the Linkou Startup Terrace will be connected to other industrial clusters of the north Taiwan. Breaking the single point thinking of the past, and replacing it by going it alone, it is planned to connect with the Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), Center for Innovation Taipei (CIT), Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA), Hsinchu Science Industrial Park and ITRI's newly-created settlements, creating the largest "startup corridor" in Taiwan. It is expected to set AI and the Internet of Things as the core in order to boost the development of smart cities, self-driving cars, biotechnology and other industrial fields.
In addition to the large hinterland of the park and the well-planned facilities, more importantly, the Linkou Startup Terrace will be connected to other industrial clusters of the north Taiwan. Breaking the single point thinking of the past, and replacing it by the Anti-fight-alone Strategy, it is planned to connect with the Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA), Center for Innovation Taipei (CIT), Asia Silicon Valley Development Agency (ASVDA), Hsinchu Science Industrial Park and ITRI's newly-created settlements, creating the largest "startup corridor" in Taiwan. It is expected to set AI and the Internet of Things as the core in order to boost the development of smart cities, self-driving cars, biotechnology and other industrial fields.
Overview of Linkou Startup Terrace
Taipei Universiade Village (59,188㎡)
The maximum can be NT$30 million for accelerator in 3 years
For the first year of stationing is free, and for the second year is halved
- Investment Deduction
Startups which meet the criteria of New Town Development Act, including research development, information, and incubation service, can have tax deduction
- General Practitioner Service
Professional services and secretary teams are stationed in to assist the new startups
More discounts, larger space, long-term stationing, and accommodation offers
Creating North Taiwan's startup corridor, and facilitating international accelerators to settle down
▲The Induction incentives and thr potential future benefits that proposed by Linkou Startup Terrace.（Via 中時電子報）
Learning from Others’ Experience, Hardware Needs More Supports from the Soft Power
It is necessary to create an industrial cluster which links to international resources for the new startups to station in. Other countries have similar cases in the past, and the operation is very successful. Block 71 was originally an abandoned industrial area in Singapore. In 2011, it was co-operated by the National University of Singapore, the Media Development Authority of the Singapore Government and the financial institution SingTel Innov8. At that time, due to the Singapore government's efforts to participate in the decision-making process, it not only created a friendly environment but also effectively solved entrepreneurial obstacles. Therefore, the participation of startups and the relevant ecosystems in Block 71 continued to expand, and even became a new and innovative community of Singapore and Asia.
Seeing others’ successful stories, what opportunities do we have in Taiwan Linkou Startup Terrace? At present, the hardware equipment meets the international specifications of the accelerator and has the innate condition to become the largest startup accelerator base in Asia. Secondly, a series of international startup events will be held, such as the newly established training camps in Asian countries, which will enable new market bases to expand from Taiwan to the new southbound countries. Previously, ASVDA was making efforts to establish an overseas branch campus of Draper University Entrepreneurship School, while Linkou Startup Terrace was regarded as the first choice to land on.
In terms of the soft power, the “one-stop service” covers services such as convenient collection management, professional consultant teams, customized services, resource chain, and regular tracking. In order to assist the international teams to set up in Taiwan and complete the visa application process, the terrace offers a series of professional assistances. It aims at reducing time for foreign new ventures to enter new markets and making the business model be settled down more efficiently. Accordingly, the service can further increase willingness of international startups to station in. Up to now, 26 new startup teams have been approved by Linkou Startup Terrace. Moreover, 6 cases of the international accelerator applications have been subsidized, which include Greenbank Technology from entrepreneurs of Taiwan Microsoft and Foxconn Technology Group.
There have been cases in which sports events have been held in the past, but afterwards the buildings became a disused public property, and were criticized as a waste of public fund. From the case of Taipei Universiade Village turning into a new startup park in Linkou, it can be seen that Taiwan has not only gained valuable experience in hosting international sports events, but also has a complete supporting policy for the follow-up planning and transformation of remained hardware equipment. It is expected by people that Linkou Startup Terrace can consolidate the North Taiwan's startup corridor, and make the industry do a comprehensive upgrade and transformation.
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