Changning leveraging digitalization to improve life quality

Wan Lixin
Shanghai's Changning intends to leverage digitalization in upgrading the core functions of the downtown district, with focus especially on its high quality development.
Wan Lixin
Changning leveraging digitalization to improve life quality

Customers wait at a stylish cafe on Yuyuan Road in Shanghai's downtown Changning District.

Shanghai's Changning District intends to leverage digitalization in upgrading its core functions, according to a municipal press conference on Thursday. It will focus especially on the downtown district's high quality development.

As the city's major link to the Yangtze River Delta region, and the gateway to the overseas market, Changning is a district with distinct advantages, showcasing Shanghai's reforms and opening up.

For instance, the positioning of the district's Hongqiao area as an international hub, following four decades of development, was elevated as part of a national strategy in 2021, according to Zhang Wei, district Party secretary.

Zhang identified three priorities in proceeding with the district's high quality work, in line with the grand national strategy.

First, as the only downtown district in the Greater Hongqiao area, the district is, by adopting a number of heavyweight policy initiatives, trying to promote optimum layout of its industries, with a view to steadily upgrading its function as a gateway.

He revealed that thanks to the strategic growth momentum, Changning's gross domestic product witnessed a growth of 15.3 percent during the first half of this year, the highest among all city districts.

Zhang reiterated that as the Hongqiao of Changning evolves into Hongqiao of Shanghai, then into Hongqiao of the Yangtze River Delta region, and then further into Hongqiao of the world, the emphasis today is more on organic integration, or coalescing in a holistic manner.

Changning leveraging digitalization to improve life quality
Ti Gong

A newly unveiled greenbelt along the Outer Ring Road in Changning.

As a downtown district limited by its scarcity of land resources, Changning is also considering more efficient use of such resources, so as to make more room for quality development.

The second priority lies in harnessing fresh impetus born of digital transformation. Zhang pointed out that in the first six months this year, revenue from the software and information sector grew 59 percent compared to the same period last year, the highest rate among districts in Shanghai.

In terms of digital development, it was revealed that Changning will aim for in-depth integration of digital technology and the real economy, particular in sectors such as manufacturing and medical services.

The third priority is projecting the district's charisma through new, panoramic landscaping, as inspired by the vision of building "15-minute community life circles."

Exemplifying this vision is the steady elevation of the quality of life in areas along the Suzhou Creek, and the synchronized opening up of Zhongshan Park, and the campus of the East China University of Political Science and Law, both centuries old.

Officials stressed that ultimately, quality development means affording high quality life for residents in conjunction with such initiatives as the building of beautiful streetscapes, or the construction of "15-minute community life circles," in exploring a more sustainable mode of urban life.

Changning leveraging digitalization to improve life quality

Sculptures at the Columbia Circle in Changning.

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