Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on June 23, 2021
June 24, 2021
The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a municipal government press conference on the morning of today (June 23). Wang Weiren, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shanghai Municipal Government, gave a briefing on the progress of the development of the 15-minute community life circle in Shanghai and related arrangement for the 2021 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. Li Feng, Deputy Director of the Land and Space Planning Bureau of the Ministry of Natural Resources, introduced the “Technical Guide for Planning of Community Life Circle.” Xu Yisong, Director of Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources and Jin Lei, Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism attended the press conference and answered questions from reporters.
1. The construction of a 15-minute community life circle in Shanghai
Since Shanghai took the lead nationwide to propose the creation of a “15-minute community life circle” in its Master Plan 2035, the city has followed the overall requirements by General Secretary Xi Jinping on a city developed by the people and for the people to create a community life circle within a 15 minute walking distance that is friendly to living, business, travel, study, and child-raising. The city has been striving to ensure care for kids, education for students, benefits for workers, healthcare for patients, care for the elderly, livable space for residents, and support for the vulnerable group.
In 2016, Shanghai issued the nation’s first “15-minute community life circle guidelines.” In 2016-2019, the city launched and delivered four major urban renewal action plans themed on “shared communities, innovation parks, attractive landscape, and leisure network.” In 2019 , Shanghai started to select 15 pilot streets to comprehensively promote the “Community Life Circle Action”, with the aim to address two major shortcomings in space quality and community governance, focusing on space planning coordination, resources and policies, especially making full use of “urban assessment” and other spatial informatization approaches to identify the problems in the communities. Priority has been given to improving the level and service functions of facilities in the fields of education, culture, healthcare, elderly care, sports, leisure and employment. So far, the city has completed more than 180 projects. A group of communities such as Xinhua Road Neighbourhood in Changning District and Caoyang New Village in Putuo District have achieved remarkable overall results. The community space environment and the quality of service facilities have been improved as a whole. Residents’ awareness of joint construction and governance and community cohesion have been boosted significantly. The application of the informatization scenarios for community space governance also provides a positive boost to the digital transformation of Shanghai’s urban governance.
Meanwhile, in recent years, Shanghai’s actions and efforts in leveraging resources planning to lead and promote the “community life circle” have been also been generally recognized. In 2019, the Ministry of Natural Resources listed Shanghai’s “15-minute community life circle” as the national reform and innovation content of “multiple regulations in one” and incorporated it into the framework of “Ministry-City Cooperation” with the Shanghai Municipal Government. It has formulated the national industry standard “Technical Guide for Planning of Community Life Circle” and will take advantage of this year’s Shanghai Space Art Season to formally promote related concepts and actions to the whole country. Shanghai will simultaneously release the “15-minute Community Life Circle Action-Shanghai Declaration” at the opening of the Art Season to further strengthen the top-level design of the “Community Life Circle”, and implement the “Shanghai Master 2035" and “One Blueprint” to further expand the coverage of the city’s 15-minute community life circle to enhance citizens’ sense of gain, happiness, and security, and advance the development of Shanghai as a people’s city into a new phase.
2. Arrangement for 2021 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season
The Shanghai Urban Space Art Season events adhere to the Expo spirit of “Better City, Better Life”, with the concept of "Fostering City with Culture, Building City with Arts,” and the goal of “Urban Art, Artistic Life.” It has been successfully held three times since 2015.
The theme of the 2021 Space Art Season is “15-Minute Community Life Circle-People’s City,” and it will be held in multiple communities across the city at the same time. This year’s space art season will officially open on September 25 and last until the end of November. The art season will feature a real-life display of the “15-minute community life circle-people’s city”, and communities will be made exhibition venues.
The activities include a themed exhibition and experience activities in 21 sample communities. The themed exhibition will be held at Columbia Circle in Xinhua Neighbourhood and it will systematically introduce the 15-minute community life circle concept, Shanghai’s practice, and domestic and foreign cases. Twenty-one communities across 14 districts including Xinhua Neighbourhood and Caoyang Neighbourhood will hold the 15-minute community life circle sample exhibitions, inviting citizens to experience community services in real-life situations and participate in community building. It is worth mentioning that the art integration part of this year’s space art season will use community spaces as the exhibition venues, paying more attention to the daily life scenes of ordinary citizens. Not only the citizens living in these communities, but also every citizen who visits the exhibition, can become part of the exhibition through participation. Citizens will “encounter” arts in the community, thus triggering in-depth thinking about life, space, and the city, adding inspiration to daily life and warmth to urban expressions.
A beautiful urban space is the carrier of a good life, which can make people living here be proud, those who have been here love it, and those who have never been here desire to come. This is the soft power of the city. It is hoped that through the holding of this space art season, the concept of community life circle can be effectively spread, and efforts of building a 15-minute community life circle can be transformed into pragmatic actions that rely on the people, continue to benefit the people, and get firmly rooted in people’s needs. It will enable communities with convenient facilities, diversified services, resilient environment, and refined management to improve popularity, gather talent, and unite people, making them the reasons why people from all over the world yearn for this city and gather in this city. The process of developing the community life circle will be transformed into a community governance platform that gathers all kinds of suggestions and wisdom, leading to a powerful synergy to build a better city and create a better life, and provide a “Shanghai model” and “Chinese wisdom” for jointly advancing the construction of a “people’s city.”
Background and significance of “Technical Guide for Planning of Community Life Circle”
On December 20, 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized at the Central Urban Work Conference that the country must adhere to the people-centric development concept and insist that people’s cities are for the people. This is the starting point and priority of our urban work. On April 10, 2020, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized at the seventh meeting of the Central Committee of Finance and Economics that the country must better advance people-centric urbanization, make cities healthier, safer, and more livable, and become a high-quality living space for the people. On November 12, 2020, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized at the celebration ceremony for the 30th anniversary of the development and opening up of Pudong that the country must build a harmonious and beautiful ecological environment, and build cities into a beautiful home where harmony is achieved among all people, and between people and nature.
Cities are important places for humans to live in. If the city is regarded as an “organic form of life,” communities are the “urban cells” that constitute this “organic form of life.” In the era of planned economy, urban construction prioritized production over life. In the rapid development phase of cities driven by industrialization, urban development focuses on economic construction. In the new era of ecological civilization, more emphasis is placed on putting people first and improving the quality of urban life. The community is the basic unit of social governance. Especially after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the functions of communities have become more diverse, and their roles have become more prominent, laying the foundation for improving the modernization of the national governance system and governance capabilities. Only by building a community life circle, creating a multi-functional space unit that is friendly to living, business, travel, study, and child-raising, and activating the “urban cells” can cities be more attractive and dynamic.
As a modern metropolis, Shanghai put forward the concept of “Better City, Better Life” as early as the 2010 World Expo. In 2017, the Beijing City Master Plan and Shanghai City Master Plan approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council all proposed the goal of building a “15-minute community life circle.” In November 2018, when General Secretary Xi Jinping made an inspection tour to Shanghai, he pointed out that the “last mile” of urban governance lies in communities. In November 2019, when he visited Shanghai, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the important concept of “People’s cities are built by the people, and people’s cities are for the people”. He pointed out that efforts should be made to create a good environment friendly to business, living, leisure and travel to allow people to have more sense of gain and create a happier and better life for the people.
In order to better satisfy the people’s desire for a better life, give play to the role of the community life circle as a basic platform in the development of urban and rural communities and community governance, advance the transformation of urban development methods and citizens’ lifestyles, and build healthy, safe, convenient, comfortable, energetic and charming “people’s cities,” the Ministry of Natural Resources has organized scientific research units and design teams in Shanghai and other places to study and formulate the “Technical Guide for Planning of Community Life Circle” (“Guide”). It is hoped that through this industry standard, local governments will be guided to further plan for community life circles and improve the relevance, scientificity and maneuverability of the compilation and implementation of related contents for community life circles.
2. Drafting process
In November 2019, the Ministry of Natural Resources launched the preliminary study and preparation of the “Guide.” In the past two years, the guide-makers summarized the innovative and practical experience of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Xi’an, Wuhan, Shenyang and other places in the planning of urban community life circles, and at the same time, on this basis, gave full play to the advantages of “multiple regulations in one” by leveraging the practice and pilot experience of Shanghai and Chengdu in developing rural community life circles, while insisting on urban and rural integration, and advancing rural revitalization. On the other hand, the guide-makers extensively consulted experts, the general public and users through online and offline channels, and made corresponding amendments. The “Guide” was released on June 9 and will be officially implemented on July 1.
3. The main contents of the “Guide”
The contents of the “Guide” includes the main text, appendices and references. The main text consists of eight chapters, focusing on the general principles of community life circle, as well as planning guidelines, difference guidance and implementation requirements for urban community life circles and rural community life circles. The main contents include:
First, take a value-based approach. As a technical guideline for the planning of community life circles, the “Guide” follows five basic principles, including persisting in putting people first, implementing new development concepts, highlighting problem orientation and goal orientation, strengthening system governance, and shaping characteristic life circles in accordance with local conditions.
Second, cover urban and rural areas. The guide-makers propose planning guidelines for urban community life circles and rural community life circles in terms of configuration levels, service elements, and spatial layout. Among them, urban community life circles can be constructed in two layers of “15 minutes and 5-10 minutes,” and rural community life circles can be constructed in two layers of “township-town-village/group.”
Third, provide difference guidance. The service elements are divided into three types: basic guarantee, quality improvement and characteristic guidance, while different guidance and requirements are put forward from six aspects including community services, employment guidance, housing improvement, daily mobility, ecological leisure, and public security. Based on actual conditions, local governments can coordinate economic capacity and resource conditions, consider residents’ needs, evaluate main influencing factors, and refine the planning technical requirements of the “Guide”, so that the planning of community life circles can effectively address local situations and local needs.
Fourth, focus on implementation. As a spatial unit, the life circle is an important starting point in the implementation of land and space planning, and an important object to be assessed in the review of planning. The “Guide” comprehensively uses a full-life-cycle approach, clarifies the work procedures for current status assessment, drafting of overall plan and action plans, as well as dynamic monitoring. It puts forward the work priorities for new areas, urban renewal areas and old communities, and encourages cross-department coordination, public participation and social co-construction.