Xuhui District launches online supervision on historic building protection

Xuhui District has launched an online service platform where historic building owners can get approval more quickly to renovate or decorate protected buildings.
Zhang Yizi / Ti Gong

Xuhui District Administrative Service Center

Xuhui District has launched an online service platform where historic building owners can get faster approval to renovate or decorate buildings under protection.

After receiving online applications, officials with the district housing authority will inspect the historic buildings on site and offer guidelines and stipulations on the renovation process, skills and materials, said Ren Guanyi, office director with Xuhui District Administrative Service Center.

Information about the buildings will then be sent to law enforcement officers with the urban management authority and neighborhood committees for them to supervise the whole renovation process, he said.

"It can shorten the application process to as little as two months from maybe a year before with the old application process," Ren said. The platform can also help to protect  historic buildings from being damaged through unauthorized renovations, he added.

Once patrolling officers find a historic building being decorated or renovated, they can log onto the service platform to check whether the owner has got approval, Ren said. If not, the project will be suspended immediately.

Residents living nearby to any historic building renovations are also encouraged to tip off officials through the service platform. They can simply take a picture of renovations to historic buildings and send them to the district authority via their phones.

Xuhui has the largest number of historic protected structures in downtown. Its Hengshan-Fuxing Road Historic Reservation Area alone has over 1,600 historic buildings, most of them listed as protective structures, said Ru Guoming, director with the district housing bureau.

Meanwhile, through Xuhui government's innovative comprehensive online service platform, residents can receive a one-stop service on various certificates applications, complaints and legal consultancies.

Overseas professionals, for instance, can apply for both work and residence permits via the platform. The application process can be shortened to 10 working days from the usual minimum 12 days in other districts, according to another official with the service center.

Foreign applicants can go to the center at 969 Nanning Road to apply for either of permits, the official said.

With the smart platform, the district's police and human resources authorities can share information about the applicants as soon as they have submitted their application at the center — shortening the evaluation period, said Ren.

Special Reports