fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Jeffrey Hou侯志仁

Jeffrey Hou侯志仁
Jeffrey Hou is Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle. Focusing on design activism, public space, and cross-cultural placemaking, he is an author and editor of several books, including Greening Cities, Growing Community: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens (2009), Insurgent Public Space: Guerrilla Urbanism and the Remaking of Contemporary Cities (2010), Transcultural Cities: Border-Crossing and Placemaking (2013). In a career that spans across the Pacific, he has worked with indigenous tribes, farmers, and fishers in Taiwan, neighborhood residents in Japan, villagers in China, and inner-city immigrant youths and elders in North American cities. 

Facebook, Busy Weekends, and Young Startups in the Sharing City

   I arrived in Taipei in late June of 2015 to begin my sabbatical leave and my Fulbright research focusing on the “sharing city,” part of a phenomenon that is going on worldwide. From Europe to Asia, activities such as food sharing, co-working, and all forms of commoning are redefining social relationships in cities as well as how urban spaces can be used, activated, and transformed. Specifically, I am interested in how these activities are organized and by whom, as well as the broader implications for city–making.     This time around, my research approach was quite simple. I happen to know quite a few colleagues in Taipei who are working on those projects and have many connections to other individuals and groups. With a handful of initial tips, I started to contact and interview a few people who then introduced me to a few more. Those contacts then suggested even more connections and leads.     Facebook also serves as an important research tool for me. Taiwan apparently has one of the highest rates of Facebook usage in Asia. Facebook, or, as Taiwanese prefer to call it, FB, is indispensable nowadays not only for staying connected with distant friends but also

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal