Current Issue

Sweetened Imposition: Re-examining the Dilemma of the Adaptive Reuse of Former Sugar Factory Sites as Cultural Creative Parks in Taiwan

Hui-Wen LIN
IJCCI volume 2, issue 2, March 2015

This paper examines the methods and strategies for the reuse of industrial heritage sites from the perspective of the value of cultural heritage. The focus is on four cultural creative sites situated in former sugar factories built during the Japanese colonial period in southern Taiwan. This paper draws attention to the reuse of the four industrial heritage sites as cultural creative sites in terms of heritage conservation. A report entitled Creative Taiwan: Cultural Creative Industry Development Plan was submitted by Executive Yuan in 2009 outlining the goal of recreating Taiwan as the central hub for creative industries in Asia. This has led to renewed interest in the reuse of industrial heritage sites. The cases examined in the report show reuse strategies that neglect hierarchical procedures and lead to the detachment of industrial heritage sites from their history, heritage management, reuse, and community-driven approaches. Since the Cultural Creative Policy was hastily imposed to fulfill preservation goals, it is urgent to examine the approaches to industrial heritage sites. This research argues that the government policy of encouraging creative industries to flourish has resulted in cultural creative parks managed by government and entrepreneurs, with diverse and contradictory approaches to reuse. Through the lens of adaptive reuse of former sugar factories, examples of legislated and non-legislated heritage use and diverse strategies and attitudes are presented. This paper explores the role of creative industries when adopting a reuse strategy in the context of industrial heritage and argues that creative industries can be a trigger in the search for new opportunities for obsolete industrial buildings, but that this process can also lead to detachment from the participation of local residents. This research also analyses how private enterprises can be more proactive than the government in stewardship and the revelation of historical value. This research highlights the debates on the dilemma between economic development and conservation of industrial heritage.


Keywords: Industrial heritage, Adaptive Reuse, Cultural creative park/district, Development dilemma

Category: Glocal Perspective