Staff Reporters
Jun 4, 2020

How a public park in Taipei harnessed pedal power to avoid stagnation

DIGITAL MEDIA AWARDS: A crafty, functional water cycling project wins Gold in the category of Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages.

How a public park in Taipei harnessed pedal power to avoid stagnation

Taipei has just under 1,500 parks within its jurisdiction, and under state regulations, each park has to have at least one water pond to “enrich the diversity of nature”.

But a challenge arose. Taipei citizens don’t like to get close to ponds in parks, because stagnant ponds may smell bad, or breed mosquito larvae in the water. The government struggled to find a solution to circulate the pond water and make it flow using ‘clean energy’.

See the full winner list and read about more winners

This is where Friends of Daan Forest Park Foundation and Medialand Digital Strategy Limited came in with a nifty solution: converting the kinetic power produced while people exercise into energy to help circulate the pond water.

Say hello to the ‘water cycling’ device, a machine that pumps water from underground, increases the dissolved oxygen level, and circulates the pond water to prevent it from stagnating.

The idea was executed in Daan Forest Park in downtown Taipei, by way of the ‘Taipei ECO-Gym’. Five ‘water cycling’ hydrophilic exercise facilities were installed and to encourage people to produce more kinetic energy, a mobile-connectable function was designed. A QR-code was generated to every device which can then sync to the core electronic chip inside to calculate the volume of water being cycled.

Once the paddling starts, the volume of water being cycled shows in real time, and one’s personal cycling score can be saved and accumulated. One could even compete to be the strongest cyclist that helps to flow the most water, and this competition factor worked as an incentive for people to cycle more.

In six months, the machines managed to bring the pond back to life and nearly 10 million gallons of water has been pumped since July 2018. More than 100,000 citizens joined in and the initiative drew plenty of press coverage. You could say the Friends of Daan Forest Park Foundation ‘exercised’ its responsibilities well.

"This campaign simply shakes all marketers’ mindset to balance the level sophistication and campaign impact," a member of the DMA jury commented. "The Water Cycling device attracts participation so easily with such a simple mechanism and visible effectiveness. The campaign perfectly sent message that small efforts can make a difference, also brings dual benefits to citizens. Exercise and eco benefit."

The campaign won gold in the category for 'Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages' at the Digital Media Awards.

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