Skip to main content

History

        Chiayi City has been developed for a long period of time, and there are many relics from Dutch Formosa, Kingdom of Tungning, and Qing Dynasty. The face of Chiayi City was greatly changed due to the deforestation of Alishan Forest. According to the statistics, 10% of the population of 20 thousand in Chiayi City in 1935 worked in the forestry. A great number of wood factories stand along the Alishan Forest Railway, and the houses are all made of wood. The city is filled with the smell of building materials, which earns Chiayi City the title of “Wood City”.

        The Alishan Forest Railway and wood factories were opened in 1912. The government forbad the deforestation in Alishan in 1963 after the awareness of environment protection rose up. With the 50 years of wood making, wood has become the most familiar product of Chiayi. It caused the start of the business chain, life zone, wood factories, wood business operators, wood shops, wood firms, wooden building architects. The communities, knowledge, techniques, experiences, cultures and lives related to wood production are all part of the city. That is why Chiayi City is also called “City of Hinoki” or “Wood City”. With the titles, Chiayi City has come up with better strategies to run the wood brand.

        To honor the wood city, we have to trace back to the memories of old Chiayi City along with the flow of the culture; to show the core value of the wood city, we have to perfect the city and rebuild the history.

To Honor Chiayi Wood City

        City Government made “Chiayi Wood City Reproduction and History Reappearance Project” and founded Special Affair Center, so as to show the historical magnificence of Chiayi City, which was known as Wood City. The center is served as the assistant for the City Government departments and bureaus to execute the project based on 4 areas which include promotion, integration, support, and monitor. Mayor Huang Min-hui complimented the project team on the work during the press conference held by Cultural Affairs Bureau in Chiayi Old Prison.

        Chiayi City had been known as Wood City for 50 years from 1914 to 1963, Mayor Huang pointed out. Inheriting the name, Chiayi City should not only emphasize the prosperous history, but manage it with a fabulous tactic to handle the value of it. We will bring Wood City back to the stream of history, look over the current situation of industry, and organize the cultural resources related to local wood industries. Thus, opportunities created by the old wood industry would be offered again to enhance economy through combining innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

        To fulfill the honor of Wood City, the team of City Government made 4 programs including: first, cultural wood resources; second, space planning and implementation for the assets, which locates in East Market and Chiayi Old Prison; third, reservation and talent cultivation; last, wood area construction plan.

        Cultural Affairs Bureau emphasizes that Center of “Chiayi Wood City Reproduction and History Reappearance Project” took Chiayi Old Prison as the base to practice the idea “Plant the Participation in Culture.” The whole project is conducted with 9 sub-plans on 4 areas. Wood City is not only for wood making, but for integrating wood relative industries, such as rotten cottage repair, and bringing in youth entrepreneurial resources. In addition, 2 spots will be made use of in this project. Chiayi East Market and Homeless Shelter are decided to be rebuilt as placemaking studios.

        Cultural Affairs Bureau and Special Affair Center will have discussions with stationed units over the development of Wood City reproduction. Relative issues will be connected to the reappearance of Wood City according to the idea of “Concerns and Innovation for Wood Industry.”

        To be profound, “Integration” and “Support” of the project are ought to be the highlight, said Chen Zheng-zhe, professor in NHU and the director of the project. A special consultant team which consists of specialists on wood industry, and representatives from different departments and bureaus was founded. The team starts an execution meeting every two months. The project is expected to bring out the ultimate interests and to fortify the partnership between NGO and GO.