The power of flows and the flows of power: The Taipei Station District across political regimes

Lai-Yung Kang, University of Pennsylvania


Energy and information in their various forms flow across social space. The shifting pattern of those flows is shaped by the ways in which human beings exercise power over and with one another. And in turn, the flow of power is shaped by the movement of energy and information. This study of the Taipei Station District traces these complex relations: power of flows and flows of power. The core narrative is grounded in a series of political regimes which built and rebuilt the district and the networks connecting it to the island and the world beyond. The district and the network were repeatedly the site of tacit resistance and overt conflict between rulers and ruled. Groups struggled over the design and planning of flows. The dissertation describes the incidence and form of this sometimes tacit and sometimes overt conflict in and around the station district. After an introduction to theories informing in the dissertation, Part Two describes the sequence of political regimes and their network and place-building projects. Part Three deepens the narrative by presenting cases detailing the transformative maneuvers of street-naming, street-name revision, and street control at the station district; space, power, and censored accessibility and locomotion at the Po Ai Special District; the “Snails without Shells” movement triggered by speculative housing markets; and the protest of China Bazaar residents against the state's downtown renewal plans that demolished the market and put the railway underground. Part Four proposes a theoretical interpretation of the power of flows and flows of power.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Architecture|History|Geography

Recommended Citation

Kang, Lai-Yung, "The power of flows and the flows of power: The Taipei Station District across political regimes" (2002). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3043893.