The Tamsui North Shore Road Project
The unit of analysis in the following chapter centers on the social and political interactions among different actors in regards to a controversial road-building development, namely the Tamsui North Shore Road Project (淡北道路 danbei daolu).
The Tamsui project has come under attack from several parties: by environmentalists for its ecological impact, by the Taipei City government for its financial costs and for being unnecessary and by some local residents who believe that it will devalue their properties. In the course of the chapter the role and positions of the different involved groups will be evaluated and studied to discern the most influential parties and establish whether the ultimate decision concerning the road lay primarily with “legitimate” actors – such as governmental bureaus and officials – or with less traditional ones – such as social groups. A special focus will again be posited on the rules-based participatory methods employed and on the most recent developments, which could still determine a cancelation of the project. In fact, even though the road project was approved by the EIA committee in 2011, concerned citizens and activists went to the Taipei City High Court to appeal EPA’s decision in 2012. One year later, in 2013 they secured a victory and the EIA was annulled. In light of this, the New Taipei City government, among the major proponents of the road, subsequently applied for a further appeal of the High Court’s verdict.