'Elevated' status for old buildings in Jing'an District

Jing'an District plans to install 50 elevators in old residential buildings this year.

Jing’an District plans to install 50 elevators in old residential buildings this year.

Years ago, few buildings under seven floors were built with elevators and, as the population ages, this lack of elevators has become a problem.

In 2012, Jing’an began installing elevators in a building on Yan’an Road W. By the end of 2018, elevators had been installed in four residential compounds, including one in the Xinfukangli residential compound on Xinzha Road.

The compound has 24 eight-floor buildings without elevators. No. 96 became the first to have an elevator in March 2018.

“We asked for a lift back in 2015, and it has cost us so much to make it happen,” said Yu Lan, 70, who lives on the sixth floor. She said the application was too complicated and required too much time and effort. People living on the second floor did not want an elevator because they saw no need.

“Luckily, the district government simplified the process. And neighborhood officials talked to our neighbors many times until finally everyone agreed,” she said.

The building has 17 households. The 14 of whom that live from the third to eighth floors paid for the elevator. Wang Fangxiang, 90, had been a prisoner at home for years, now he can breathe fresh air.

Ye Jianhua, 65, who lives on the fifth floor, said “We all have a card to scan to use to elevator, and even though people living on the second floor didn’t pay and should not have the access to the elevator, we allow them to use it if they need to. After all, we are neighbors.”

He said the elevators had been a success. “Most of us are over 60. It’s not easy for us to climb downstairs and upstairs. Now, we feel free to go anywhere.”

Yu said volunteers keep the elevator clean. “We are happy to do it,“ she said.

This year, more buildings in Xinfukangli will get an elevator. Across the district, there will be 50. 

“We hope that finally we can install more than our aim,” said Lu Xiaodong, Party chief of the district. “The process still needs to be more simple and projects need more financial help. We'll do all we can to make that happen.”

Jing'an has set aside 12 million yuan (US$1.8 million) to support installation of elevators.

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