i’m about to rent a house in Taipei with my wife and little child. it will probably be at Shi-da area or at Xinyi area. is the air pollution differnt in this 2 areas? is there any other housing tips to reduce the pollution as much as possible (like higher/lower floor, etc.)?
Not really; they aren’t that far away from eachother.
Taipei really isn’t that polluted, compared with most cities I’ve visited in Asia. You could get an air purifier, but I wouldn’t worry about it that much. There’s not that much you can do, anyway. You’ll want somewhere not right on a main road, for the quiet, as much as anything.
Air pollution is Taipei is 98% caused by vehicle exhaust according to the EPA. Get away from cars and scooters and the air is better so Xinyi, which has wider roads and is closer to the mountains will be better.
Some tips: ozone is the main problem now and it is worse from 10am-3pm. It breaks up in the afternoon so avoid taking your kid out on a high ozone day until later. Evenings, the air is usually nice especially after a (frequent) shower.
Fall, which is coming, has the best air quality of the year. Usually dry sunny with breezes from the east blowing freshness over the city.
We do get a few nasty days because of sandstorms from China or just inversions that trap everything in the basin that Taipei sits in. Pay attention to the news. Keep your kid indoors.
Get an air filter and a de-humidifier. The main problem your kid will have in Taipei is mold and pollen. This is a really wet place and can be hard on the lungs. I have been told by doctors that asthma and other respitory problems are much less prevalent in the southern cities even though they have worse air pollution. The difference is they are dry. Keep your living environment dry.
Other than that, enjoy it. Taipei is surrounded by mountains with great trails, you can swim in jungle pools, there are lovely riverside family friendly bicycle paths (about 200km), it’s ridiculously safe, food it good, fruit is abundant, beer selection is wide, etc etc.
This has probably been covered in other threads in the past, but anyway, are those air filter machines really helpful at all? I’ve considered getting one in years past, but just never pulled the trigger on it. Is it a bedroom thing, a living room thing, or just what is the scoop with purchasing one for the home? What’s the point if you have windows open most of the time? Or is that not an issue?
As per the thread topic, I would vote for Nan-gang being the most polluted area in Taipei.
You might also want to consider living a little further out if air quality is a concern. The central areas can be very pricey too, so maybe somewhere quieter and cheaper like Wenshan, Neihu etc might appeal more. Have a good look around once you arrive and see what areas take your fancy and that feel clean to you.
…and watch out for neighbors cooking all the time, stir-frying fish and all, worst pollution you can imagine…
The “most polluted area” is the rivers.
The best air areas are definitely Nei Hu and the northern parts of Tien Mu. They’re also the cleanest and most modern.