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The Publicness Debate and Boundary Dialectics of Toad Hill Informal Settlement Conservation Movement in Taipei, Taiwan
1  Graduate student, Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract: Increasing anti-eviction social movements in Taipei are raising the question of the right to housing and the right to the city, Toad Hill settlement conservation movement is one of the focuses. Toad Hill settlement is an informal/squatter settlement that combines Huan-Min military dependent village and informal settlement in the margin of Taipei basin. Along the hill-shaped landform, it remains pre-modern lifestyle, architecture form, and history layers, which could also regard as a historical settlement. The formation of Toad Hill settlement lies in the post-war urban development context, playing the role of social housing provision. This study aims to bring out the publicness debate of urban renewal in the informal settlement. Another concern of the study is to identify the boundary dialectics when the settlement is on the way to transgress into urban life.    The first part of the paper is framed with discussion on the publicness debate of the possible revitalization in the historical settlement. In the name of public interest, the land management authority tended to implement new development plan in 2013, putting the settlement into demolition crisis. For this reason, a group of citizen initiated to conserve the overall informal settlement and fight against the forced eviction. From the public participation of citizen, the publicness of heritage, the publicness in urban planning, to the right to housing, the conservation movement opens up the publicness and legitimacy debate of the informal settlement. In addition, the intervention of the conservation movement put the settlement, both the internal social structure and the relation between the settlement and the city, into the process of re-territorializing. For this reason, the second part of the paper focuses on identity and sense of place to examine the boundary dialectics of the settlement. With the method of participatory observation and qualitative research, researcher has engaged in Toad Hill settlement conservation movement for two years starting from June 2013. The tendency shows that the boundary dialectics of an informal urban settlement may develop alternative renewal routes for a historical area. And the conservation movement, especially the process of proposing the citizen version planning vision, lay the foundation for a social sustainable city.
Keywords: informal settlement, conservation, publicness, participation, boundary