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“Facelift” project in E China mirrors whole-process people’s democracy

By You Yi, People’s Daily

After three months of work, the renovation of Shucheng Road in Xiaoyaojin sub-district, Luyang district, Hefei, east China’s Anhui province, was completed.
The renovation unified the appearance of the facades of dozens of stores along the road. However, the sign of a storefront there was nearly 1/3 smaller than its neighboring ones.
Though the sign is smaller, the shop that owns it still sees booming business, which has placed shop owner Wang Xingqi on a busy schedule.
Why is Wang’s storefront sign different? The story starts with a phone call received by Zhang Xugui, a member of a supervision committee for resident affairs of the Sipailou neighborhood that administers Shucheng Road.
Shucheng Road is an old road that stretches less than 500 meters, where the sands of time have left deep marks on storefronts and walls, and communication cables were hanging messily above the road. This not only looked bad, but also created potential safety hazards.
Therefore, at the requests of residents, the Xiaoyaojin sub-district included Shucheng Road in an urban renovation program and decided to give it a “facelift.”
After soliciting opinions from residents, social workers of the sub-district finalized renovation plans, and soon the renovation commenced.
Zhang, a resident representative of the supervision committee for resident affairs, is a warmhearted woman. During the renovation, she often visited the jobsite for supervision and better communication between residents and constructors.
One day, when Zhang just arrived home from the jobsite, she received a phone call from resident Li Changbi, a septuagenarian who lives on the floor just above Wang’s store.
Li told Zhang that Wang’s storefront sign was close to his window and it would be noisy once raindrops fell on it. Besides, he and his wife also considered it dangerous, as thieves could probably climb upstairs from the sign.
Opening Li’s window, Zhang found what he said was true. Therefore, she told Li’s opinions to the neighborhood committee, and on the second day, she went to Li’s home again with Qu Yantao, who works for the urban management office of the Xiaoyaojin sub-district and was in charge at the jobsite.
After a close look, Zhang found that Wang’s storefront sign covered nearly half of Li’s window, though it was lined up with its neighboring ones.
She suggested that Wang change the sign, explaining that the noise that might be generated on rainy days would bother Li and his wife. Besides, it was indeed unsafe as thieves could probably climb upstairs from it, Zhang added.
Qu assured Wang that it would only take a couple of days to make a new sign, which would only vary in size, but not in color, material, or style.
Finally, Wang accepted the suggestion and decided to have the sign changed.
Today, all storefronts along Shucheng road have gained a new look. Though Wang’s sign is smaller, his store is stillbusy.
The supervision committee for resident affairs of the Sipailou neighborhood was established in December 2021. It consists of the secretary of the discipline inspection committee of the neighborhood and two resident representatives.
“As a member of the supervision committee, I am the liaison between the neighborhood committee and residents. I must inform the neighborhood committee of residents’ opinions, well handle their demands and help them solve problems,” Zhang told People’s Daily.
According to her, a dozen benches and some fitness equipment were recently installed in the residential complex where she lives under the joint efforts of residents and the supervision committee, so that senior residents don’t have to take a stool with them when taking a walk outside.






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