Taoyuan is cleaning its water, improving the city’s absorptive capacity and reducing flooding, and attracting visitors to a beautiful waterfront with a project to remediate the Laojie River.

In 2011, the Taiwanese city of Taoyuan initiated a project to remediate the 36.7-km Laojie River and its surrounding waterfronts in an effort to improve the river’s water quality and resilience capacities and provide green public spaces for an area that will continue to grow as a commercial and transit node. The completed first phase of the project reduced the amount of flood-prone land by 192,500 m2, allowing the region to successfully ride out the flood of 2012 without major damages. In an effort to revitalize the river’s shorelines, adaptable and low-maintenance native plants were added to the area, protecting the land and making the riverfront more attractive and inviting for residents.

73% reduction in pollution levels in the Laojie River due to the remediation project

Cities100 – 2016

The Laojie River remediation is one of several adaptation projects in the city seeking to conserve water bodies and increase the amount of green public space in the city. Together with other leading projects such as the restoration of the Nankan riverfront and the revitalization of Taoyuan’s city ponds, the river remediation project is helping Taoyuan climate-proof its future.

The challenge

Addressing water pollution, poor water drainage networks, and a lack of inviting green spaces, the remediation of the Laojie River and its surrounding waterfronts is helping Taoyuan achieve its goals of climate adaptation while cultivating a physical landscape that will help the area grow into a commercial and transportation hub.


Economic The present value of land along the remediated river is 14% higher than it was before the improvement process began.

Environmental In addition to decontaminating the river and creating absorptive green spaces, the project seeks to end illegal wastewater discharge and improve environmental education.

Health 20 km of bicycle paths will be created along the river under the project, providing visitors with an attractive area in which to exercise.

Social The improvement of the river is leading to a spike in tourism, as visits per month have risen steadily between 2012 and 2013.

About Taoyuan

Taoyuan is a special municipality in northwestern Taiwan. Taoyuan developed from a satellite city of Taipei metropolitan area to be the fourth-largest metropolitan area, and fifth-largest populated city in Taiwan. Since commuting to the Taipei metropolitan area is easy, Taoyuan has seen the fastest population growth of all cities in Taiwan. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, which serves the capital, Taipei and the rest of northern Taiwan, is located in this city.

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