Keywords: IT industrial dominance, high-tech development, environmental governance, Taiwan, Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park, greening industry, information technology, industrial parks, environmental impact, human health, science parks, environmental management, environmental planning
Challenges of environmental governance in the face of IT industrial dominance: a study of Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan
The technology explosion of the 1980s coupled with the economic boom of the 1990s, led to the rapid worldwide expansion of the Information Technology (IT) industry. In Taiwan, the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (HSIP) has been viewed as a successful model to promote the high-tech development that led to profitable production and world-wide marketing of high-tech products. The high-tech development, with its 'smokestack free' image, R&D emphasis, and high-profit margins, is often regarded as a 'golden egg' in the region. However, economically successful high-tech parks have had negative environmental impacts on the host communities. The essay explores the dark side of high-tech development. I argue that success of high-tech development has contributed to a unique 'information technology (IT) dominant' structure. In such a structure, the State is in favour of IT promotion while the environmental and health concerns are often overlooked.