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Art event to promote 15-minute neighborhood concept

By Cao Chen in shanghai | | Updated: 2021-06-23 18:09
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Photo taken on Nov 3, 2020 shows the view of the Lujiazui area of Pudong, East China's Shanghai. [Photo/Xinhua]

The concept of "15-minute neighborhoods" and related practices in Shanghai and other countries will take centerstage at the fourth Shanghai Urban Space Art Season that will kick off on Sept 25 and run through the end of November.

An exhibition will be held at Columbia Circle, a compound that used to be a community hub for Shanghai's American community and now a multifunctional complex with offices, retail stores, restaurants and cafes.

Residents can attend activities in 21 exemplary neighborhoods across the city to gain a deeper understanding of the concept.

According to Jin Lei, deputy director of the Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, artists will be invited to design public art works that meet the daily needs of citizens. The bureau has also encouraged districts to turn venues at schools, shopping malls, parks, subway stations, and other areas around the neighborhoods into exhibition halls for art shows.

"Normally, residential areas function as places for living. But with the concept of the '15-minute neighborhood', residential areas will serve as a micro-city where residents can access all of their most basic, day-to-day needs within a 15-minute walk of their home," explained Li Feng, deputy director of the Bureau of Land and Space Planning at Ministry of Natural Resources.

Shanghai released the country's first guideline on building "15-minute neighborhoods" in 2016. The concept of living in such communities later became one of the goals in the city's urban master plan in 2017.

Fifteen pilot subdistricts including areas in Changning district's Xinhua have carried out the practice in Shanghai since 2019, focusing on improving facilities and services in sectors such as education, culture, elderly care and sports around neighborhoods.

The practice is also in line with the city's plan of improving its soft power, which was put forward at the 11th plenary meeting of the 11th Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China held on Tuesday.

The plan aims to enhance the city's value in all aspects, including culture, governance and legislation, so as to attract global talent and build a modern society in the new era.

According to Li, a guide on walkable community construction initiated by the ministry and formulated by researchers from Shanghai and other domestic cities will take effect on July 1.

Based on the innovative practices in urban and rural life construction in cities including Beijing, Shenzhen, and Liaoning province's Shenyang, the guide is aimed at providing guidance to governments for building a neighborhood complete with community services, employment guidance, and public security.

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