Setting high goals for future

The Changning government has introduced 52 indexes as benchmarks to measure the development of the district.

Ti Gong

A bird’s-eye view of the Hongqiao business zone from L’Avenue in Changning. The district government has introduced 52 indexes as benchmarks to measure the development of the district, which aims to become an international community of excellence.

The Changning government has introduced 52 indexes as benchmarks to measure the development of the district amid its long-term goal to become an international community of excellence.

The indexes, or goals by 2021, involve the population of local expats, social services, transport, urban construction and the environment.

Changning aims to attract at least 59 multinational corporations to set up their headquarters by the end of 2021. Forty-four multinational companies were based in the district, mainly in the Hongqiao Central Business District, as of the end of 2016.

It aims to attract about 650,000 overseas tourists a year by 2021, from 583,000 in 2016. The Hongqiao International Airport will handle 44 million passengers annually by then.

Changning has also set targets for the number of Michelin-starred restaurants, stores of international fashion brands, parks, museums, green transport and preserved historic buildings as well as residents’ expected lifespan.


Paths, parks and greenlands

The district will build 38 kilometers of pedestrian paths by 2021 and 100,000 square meters of new parks and greenlands.

The average life expectancy of the district is forecast to be a year longer than Shanghai’s average by 2021.

And it aims to increase the percentage of its foreign population to 10 percent within five years. Foreign residents will join 15,000 community activities annually by 2021, one of the indexes says. Currently, they participate in more than 9,000.

About 70,000 foreigners live in central Changning, accounting for about 30 percent of the city’s total foreign population.

“The district government aims to develop Changning into an international community of excellence with innovation, fashion, vitality and a green and comfortable environment,” said Weng Jianhua, deputy director of the district.

The indexes were jointly drawn up by the Changning government and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, based on the Shanghai 2040 Master Plan.

The indexes are highly recognizable, measurable and practical. They will be used for building Changning into an innovation-driven, fashionable, lively, green and livable international community of excellence.

The district also aims to make life better for its expats each year, focusing on the urban environment and services.

The government will invite expats to evaluate the services of local hospitals, schools, eateries, housing, safety and the environment.

To better serve expats, bilingual signs will be used for roads, tourist attractions, Metro stations, parking lots and other venues.

About 70 percent of signs for public health and sports venues are in English and Chinese, while around 30 percent of cultural venues have had bilingual signs.

The government also aims to issue 20,000 work permits to professionals from abroad within five years.

It has launched a “one-stop service center” for residence permits, foreigner work permits and related documents on Jinzhong Road in Hongqiao.

The center has issued dozens of work permits for foreign workers since it opened this year, said Xu Zejian, deputy Party secretary of the district’s human resources and social security bureau.

South Korean pilots Hwang Tae In, Kim Jae Cheol and Oh Eung Seok were the first three to acquire foreigner work permits in Changning District.


One-stop-shop for permits

The three received the certificates jointly issued by the Changning District Human Resources and Social Security Bureau and the Changning Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs.

Changning was among the first in Shanghai and the country to pilot the new unified work permit system.

Many expats cite Changning’s quality buildings, urban development, convenient transport and green landscapes for their deep affection for the district.

The city’s first international community, the Ronghua neighborhood, is in Changning.

As well as enjoying first rate infrastructure and convenient lifestyle, expats in the district hope it will build its own soccer and basketball teams, ballet troupe and symphony orchestra and offer foreigners more work and training opportunities.

Some suggest Changning preserve its historic blocks and old buildings, streamline government approval processes and provide more schooling and medical facilities.

Many foreign companies have, or plan to, set up regional headquarters here. They also want weekend concerts and more cultural activities for their employees.




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