Tianping neighborhood center provides spice of life for residents
Eighteen neighborhood centers throughout Xuhui District are where people come to embrace their community.
Series activities are held here, including talks with top scientists, photo exhibitions about local development and volunteer services.
The neighborhood centers also serve as venues for residents to discuss how to manage their community, free movies, live performances and free classes.
On a recent afternoon in the Tianping neighborhood center, Professor Zheng Shiling of Tongji University, Ni Fudi, Party secretary of the Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, and Zhang Wei, a research fellow at the Shanghai Library, attended a photo exhibition reflecting changes in the community and its long-term vision.
Zheng, a famous architect and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced several architects who have a deep affinity for the community and its landmarks.
"The buildings and the people are both our treasures that enrich the soul of this piece of land," Zheng said. “The history of the Tianping community is very rich, and the atmosphere of the community matches the overall planning of Shanghai 2035 that states: 'People will be glad to see the buildings, stroll down the streets and feel the warmth of the city’.”
Photos are not only the memories of history, but also the witness to history. Behind the photos are stories vividly documenting the great achievements of Shanghai’s urban development that represents the important concept of “people’s city built by the people and for the people.”
No. 320 on Yueyang Road in Tianping is the cradle of life science research in China. It was here that synthetic bovine insulin, comparable to the achievements of “two bombs, one satellite,” was completed. Professor Ni has been working here for 36 years. He introduced the development and scientific research achievements that took place here through a group of photos.
Zhang, a member of Shanghai Library’s research arm, presented the new features of the library’s former site through the photos, which he said are a good medium for historical and social research, urban landscape displays and cultural development.
As a Tianping resident, architect Xue Jinfeng is the fourth generation living at 18 Gao'an Road. For this event, he collected photos from his mother and sister.
Xue took part in the renovation of several local neighborhood subcenters, providing him with a deeper sense of belonging.
"Not only inheritance, but also warmth and the feeling of home,” he said. “We can measure it with our feet and feel it with our heart, which enhances communication and allows us to slowly taste the beauty of the community.”
“Inviting experts, celebrities, architects and residents to tell stories helps interpret Tianping from different perspectives, while the photos capture life in the community," said Luo Xin, chief reporter for Dragon TV. “Through the exhibition, the image of Tianping is clearer. Not only does it give residents a fuller understanding of Tianping, it also provides community workers with new inspiration for urban micro-transformation and refined governance."
The photo exhibition is just one subject on the schedule of the neighborhood center at 66 Wulumuqi Road S.
Every day, the public space is full of public lectures and various classes, including handicrafts, photography and English.
“It’s like a cultural space hidden in the community," said Yang Hua, director of Tianping's Party construction office. "Many residents come here early in the morning and don't leave until the evening. We hope that through our services, we can make residents happy and enjoy every day.”
A platform for the governance of the community is also nurtured here. Representatives for residents, community planners, officials from government departments and state-owned enterprises and local experts meet to discuss public issues, a “golden key” to solve the problems of grassroots governance.
The center also provides one-stop community services at residents’ doorsteps, addressing daily necessities such as elderly and baby care, dining, haircuts and general maintenance, as well as more advanced spiritual needs like reading clubs.
Cai Hongbei, deputy director of Xuhui District's Civil Affairs Bureau, said that in addition to the plan for the construction of the neighborhood center, a district-level international neighborhood center will be built as a flagship service carrier for the district.