By Chang Ching-ya and Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter, with staff writer
The newly completed Central Park in Taichung’s Situn District （西屯） is to open to the public with a soft launch today, coinciding with the beginning of the Taichung World Flora Exposition.
The park, located within the Taichung Gateway economic and trade park （水湳經貿生態園區）, was designed by French landscape architect Catherine Mosbach in collaboration with Philippe Rahm Architectes and Ricky Liu & Associates.
The 67 hectare site, which was under construction for more than four years, is also where the three-day opening ceremony of the expo is to be hosted.
The park hosts 10,000 native plants and 10,000m2 of solar panels, the Taichung Construction Bureau said on Thursday.
The park was designed to be smart, low-carbon and innovative, it said, adding that smart street lights and a central monitoring system have been installed.
As a result of the trees planted and the ecological diversity that was introduced, Central Park, which previously housed Taichung’s former Shuinan Airport, has now attracted more than 20 species of birds, it said.
With the opening of the park, access to Jhongke Road, Dunhua Road, Jingmao Fifth Road and other thoroughfares surrounding the park, which were long blocked due to the construction, are now once again open, making transportation within Taichung Gateway and around Feng Chia University more convenient, bureau director Huang Yu-lin （黃玉霖） said.
Huang invited visitors to the expo to stop at the park, experience its facilities, and provide feedback to the municipality.
The Wheel, an eco-friendly house at the Taichung World Flora Exhibition, is illuminated yesterday at the Houli Forest Expo Site. Photo courtesy of Taichung City Government