Braving Summer Heat, New Taipei Transformed Bike Path into Water Slide
New Taipei City prided itself on its substantial riverside parks. To ensure residents better access to the renovated greenspaces, the City government established a total of four pedestrian bridges over rivers within the past four years. However, the outdoor facility faced severe challenge at the turn of weather. Following the beginning of summer, the combination of scorching heat and strong sunlight made the walkway forbidding. The decrease in tourists during summer time brought up the question: how does the riverside facility remain attractive under the pressure of high temperature? “During an inspecting routine on the bridge underneath the sun, my colleagues and I began to imagine what it would feel like if the inclined bike path turns into a water slide and we could slide our way back to the ground.” pointed out by the section chief Sung Ming-xun, who worked at the High Riverbank Construction Management Office. In other words, the idea is more like a joke in the beginning. But the Office decided to give it a go.
It took 2 weeks to build up a water park at the riverbank under the New Moon Bridge. The process included to design and produce facilities, to ensure stable power and water supply and to place the installations at the right place followed by an overall test.
The park featured inflatable facilities such as a swimming pool, a water-spraying maze, a small size slide and more. Among all of these, one particular facility stirred up a local media fanfare - a 135-meter-long water slide. It marked the longest of its kind in the nation.
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu hosted the inauguration ceremony for the park to show his support. In addition, he also enjoyed the slide in person. Mayor Chu praised the implementing agency for its creativity and asked for the extension of service. The water park opened to the public for 9 days, between August 12 and 20. It attracted approximately 20,000 visitors.
In conclusion, New Taipei City possessed multiple water play attractions, including the well-known Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf and the Bitan area (Xindian Creek). However, most sites were located in the outskirts of the city. The service of the water park and the innovation it revealed were both refreshing and cool to urban residents.