Residents coming up with ideas to improve community life
From a community-based cafe permeated with the aroma of coffee to a green space which provides an ideal place to relax, daily life is being improved thanks to innovative ideas from residents.
A guideline on residents' involvement in the planning of communities was released on Friday by Shanghai's civil affairs authorities. It encourages residents to play an active role in building beautiful communities.
Communities in the city have experienced significant changes in recent years with the implementation of a variety of upgrade programs, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.
The guideline released by the bureau specifies the areas concerning community planning, projects involved and assessment, funding, incentives to stimulate residents' and volunteers' enthusiasm to make their living communities a better place, and a working mechanism on community planning.
The planning covers a wide range of areas such as the renovation of old facilities, greenery upgrade, public space functions, the improvement of neighbors' relationship and the installation of elevators. It also classifies the roles of social workers, community planners and residents.
"Our research found that every community has some residents who like forwarding suggestions," said Tang Youcai, a professor at East China University of Science and Technology who participated in the drafting of the guideline.
"They may be headaches for some, but they can be those changing the communities," said Tang.
The guideline aims to respond to the public's concerns and tackle problems in communities, and lift residents' sense of gain, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.
Shanghai United Foundation has launched a program as part of the plan, empowering the fulfillment of 100 dreams collected from residents in 100 communities.
A resident in Nanxiang Town, Jiading District, hoped to establish an academy of classical learning to promote intangible cultural heritage to youngsters. While another in Yangjing Subdistrict, the Pudong New Area, raised the idea of a nature science study club at the community.
At the Xinhua Road Subdistrict of Changning District, a community-based cafe and a beautiful greenery area have been created based on residents' ideas.
"At the cafe, residents meet and socialize, brainstorming ideas to make the community a more liveable place," said He Jia, a member of a social organization turning residents' ideas into reality. "The lawn is illuminated at night with bazaars and music activities."
A "one-square-meter action" was launched at the subdistrict, encouraging residents to change the communities with creative ideas.