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Shanghai Creates Better Lives and Bright Future for Citizens

September 30, 2019

Shanghai is creating better lives for the citizens. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago, Shanghai, the first-born of our republic, has written a brilliant chapter and drawn a heartening picture in the course of development. Tens of millions of Shanghai citizens have demonstrated formidable determination and great endeavors to stride forward and create a better future. General Secretary Xi said, "A first-class city must have first-class management. " Shanghai has made epic accomplishments in urban construction and social governance in the past seven decades.

In the early days of new China, community building in Shanghai mainly focused on community services, including social welfare to help the impoverished and those in difficulty and measures to make life convenient mainly by the civil affairs department. In this period, communities gradually developed their own unique modern administrative system under the centrally planned economy that the power was highly concentrated. The Regulations on the Organization of Urban Sub-district Offices passed in 1954 centrally specified the nature, mission and setups of sub-district offices in Shanghai. Shanghai gradually improved its urban administrative system consisting of government authorities at the city, district, sub-district and neighborhood committee levels.

Since the reform and opening-up, Shanghai's economy has enjoyed a rapid growth and the city has been changing with each passing day. On the other hand, social problems were constantly emerging. This required the new community systems to change and improve with the times. With the launch of a large number of municipal relocations, Shanghai saw a large influx of migrants and the transfer of affiliation of quite a few laid-off workers from state-owned enterprises into communities. The communities then took over responsibility for providing social security for them. Shanghai issued the initiatives of creating civilized communities. The cultural and ethical advancement committees at all levels took the lead in implementing the initiatives, with the focus on the promotion and improvement of the overall environmental quality and cultural and ethical standards of the communities in terms of greening, sanitation, public security, and education. In 1995, Shanghai proposed the governance model of "two-level government, three-level management", an innovative urban management model in keeping with the times.

In the new era of the 21st century, Shanghai has begun to streamline the community organization system. It explored the formulation of community development plans, adjusted the functional positioning and coordination mechanisms of various community organizations, and proposed to build and improve a new community system featuring "two-level government, three-level management, and four-level network". In 2009, Shanghai held a social advancement work conference for the first time to discuss how social advancement work could accommodate the development needs of megacities.

In 2014, Shanghai issued the Opinions on Further Innovating Social Governance to Strengthen Grassroots Organization Building and six supporting documents. These policies cover sub-district system reform, improvement of residential area governance system, improvement of village-level governance system, grid management, participation of private actors, and management of community workers. The emphasis is placed on social governance and grassroots organization building, and institutional reform has been carried out for grassroots governance institutions and mechanisms, grassroots teams, comprehensive grassroots management, and grassroots service support. Shanghai has basically created an innovative socialist grassroots social governance model with Chinese characteristics that conforms to the model and common practice of global urban governance.

Looking ahead, Shanghai is striving to build an excellent global city, a world-class modern international metropolis, and a city of innovation, humanity and ecology. Under the leadership of the stronger Communist Party of China, Shanghai will build a people-centered, service-oriented, and law-based government and develop itself into an environment-friendly and sustainable city, a safe city able to prevent and handle crimes effectively, and a government that strengthens the rule of law in itself and takes the law as criterion, and a vibrant city with an organized and active public participation. Shanghai, which is at the forefront of China's reform and opening-up campaign and a forerunner of innovative development, will continue to show the world the latest achievements in China's urban social governance innovation and provide the world with the latest “Shanghai Solution” in urban construction in China.

 

Writer: Lu Yao