The Eco-Mobility Festival held every two years has a simple, clear mission statement: “One Month, One Neighborhood.”  From October 2017, that neighborhood will be in Kaohsiung and the one-month experiment is meant to answer some fundamental questions about the future of transportation in our ever-more crowded cities.

Kaohsiung’s port was once on the ‘top three biggest on earth’ list, but new docks in China took most of the top spots by the early 2000s. The neighborhood around the port area, however, didn’t give up the ghost as container ship arrivals decreased, instead re-inventing itself as an art/culture/leisure/tourism hotspot.

“Hamasen,” is a neighborhood at the far south of Gushan District — near Kaohsiung’s National SYS University and the ferry for Cijiin — and is the oldest neighborhood in the city. In the early 1900s, colonial Japanese authorities decided it was too much effort to ship fruit, sugarcane and other agricultural items from Pingtung and Kaohsiung to Keelung for transport to the “mother islands,” and so decided to dredge Kaohsiung Harbor so bigger ships could dock.

The dredged soil created the land we now know as Hamasen (Hamaxing), with the name coming from the Japanese term for railway line – Hamasen (濱線).

So what is Eco-mobility? In short, any way of getting around that doesn’t burn fossil fuels. A closed-off area encompassing Hamasen will be trying over the course of October 2017, to prove that there are sensible solutions available for non-polluting transit.

E-buses/vehicles, pedal power, demos of new tech, samples of former eco-mobility festival concepts and more will be on display in Hamasen, which you can now reach by taking the electric-powered light rail system to the newly-opened Hamasen station.

Enjoy! And remember, keep those combustion engines away — as this ‘one neighborhood’ will show for ‘one month’ that it is possible to turn the page on old ideas and embrace the new … even in Kaohsiung’s oldest modern community.


photo source: EcoMobility World Festival 2017