Locals get a lift from residential upgrading

By Yuan Shenggao | (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-06-09

Print Print

Weifang Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone is moving to transform its residential environment in line with the nation's rural revitalization strategy.

According to local officials, residents of 91 shanty towns agreed on a plan to relocate within the zone by April 29. And the clearing of the shanty town sites has begun.

Officials said local authorities had taken great care to ensure relocated residents enjoyed significantly better conditions in their new homes.

They said the zone would accelerate construction of new apartments, so that residents could move into their new homes as soon as possible.

The zone is also encouraging property developers to construct high-end apartments, featuring quality design and efficient property management services, to settle those relocated residents. The construction of low-end properties is not allowed.

The zone plans to invest 15.74 billion yuan ($2.45 billion) in 152 urban construction projects to upgrade its living, education and business environment in this year.

It is adding more parks to upgrade local living standards, and providing more space for people to do physical exercise.

The zone plans to build different types of parks adapted to the different landscapes and needs of residents. These will range from "pocket parks" - small green areas, usually built on irregular pieces of land - to larger parks that occupy bigger areas and offer more recreational facilities.

Apart from adding more green space, the zone has also made investments in associated infrastructure like the city lighting system, intelligent parking lots and pedestrian sidewalks.

Ronghuali, an 829-meter-long street in the zone, has become a popular attraction because of its international style and is admired for its fashion stores.

"I know Kuanhouli in Shandong's capital Jinan, the Wide and Narrow Alleys in Chengdu in Sichuan province and Beijing's Taikoo Li Sanlitun and 798 Art Zone. I love their atmosphere," said Weifang resident Xuan Xuan.

"I never expected our zone to have that kind of street."

In upcoming years, there will be more cultural and leisure tourism destinations in the zone to satisfy the different tastes and needs of its residents.

Officials said their interests always come first in the zone, and its administration has paid a great deal of attention to helping residents to meet various needs, including healthcare, care of the elderly, education, employment and improving living conditions.

It also built some subdistrict-level and village-level museums to conserve documents containing family trees, social history and anecdotes that have cultural and historical value, as high-rise apartments gradually replace the old shanty towns in the rural area.

Officials said those museums were giving the young generations opportunities to learn more about the city's traditions and culture. They added that government spending on improving the living conditions for residents in the zone increased 22.2 percent year-on-year in 2017.

The zone has embarked on 59 projects to improve conditions since 2016 with a total investment of 3.2 billion yuan.

Zhuang Jian contributed to this story.

(China Daily 06/09/2018 page10)