Jing’an consists of 13 sub-districts – Jing’ansi, Kajiadu, Jiangning Road, Shimen Road No.2, Nanjing Road W., Tianmu Road W., Beisan, Baoshan Road, Zijiang Road W., Gonghexin Road, Daning Road, Pengpu Xingkun, Linfen Road, and a town Pengpu. Everyone is trying to make Jing’an a better place. We invite a local resident or worker to present the best of each sub-district and town in this series.
Episode 5: Tianmu Road W. Subdistrict
Hu Huifen: Office Director of Tianmu Road W Subdistrict
Fangua Long takes on a new look
The sub-district develops around the Shanghai railway station, and to the north of it the old neighborhoods are in a state of disrepair, especially Fangua Long.
It covers an area equivalent to approximately 8.5 standard football pitches and is home to over 1,122 households.
Since the railway station was established in 1909, in the 1920s, Phangua Long was one of the wealthiest areas of Old Xhabe. However, it later came under shellfire and air strikes and was reduced to rubble.
In the 1940s, it became the city’s most densely populated slum, filled with refugees uprooted by the war. Most lived in shacks and pools made of bamboo, straw and mud, without running water, toilets, drainage or other facilities.
In 1947, the area produced a large pumpkin, known locally FunguaThus it got the name Fangua Long, literally Pumpkin Path Neighborhood.
After 1949, the local government initiated several rounds of renovation works to improve the living standards of the local people. In the 1960s, in particular, rundown shelters were renovated and multi-story houses were built with modern amenities including water, electricity and gas. Banks, bookstores, eateries, hair salons and other ancillary facilities were also established in the premises.
However, over the years, the neighborhood gradually fell into disrepair with cracked walls and leaking ceilings. Poor, shared toilets and kitchens often lead to disputes between neighbours. Local residents were eager to leave the area.
In the latest phase of the renovation, 14 dilapidated buildings will be demolished and replaced by six new apartment buildings, each unit equipped with an independent kitchen, toilet and balcony. A two-storey underground garage, a spacious garden in the middle and other lifestyle amenities will be installed.
The relocation has started and will be completed by the end of September. Residents will move back three or four years after the formation of a new Phangua Long. The local government will cover part of the rental fees for residents during that period.
Services for residents and companies
A new public service station opened this month near Jing’an International Center in Suzhou Creek, aiming to serve three residential complexes and 20 high-end office buildings that house about 1,300 companies.
A range of services are offered, including information on volunteering, health care, reading and business.
Not far from there, a service center is being built to serve local companies.
The more than 1,000 square meter site will be operational by the end of this year.
It will provide one-stop service for companies to register local offices, explain latest policies, recruit and train talent and incubate business ideas.
A bridge will be built between the companies and the authorities.
Other public service sites in the subdistrict include a volunteer service center on Hengfeng Road, a comprehensive civil affairs service center on Hutai Road, two community canteens on Chang’an Road and Songhuaxin Road, and 12 service centers embedded in neighborhoods.
Creating a magnet for businesses
To make the sub-district a magnet for businesses, a service team has been set up to improve the local business environment.
The team consists of officials from the district’s Commerce Commission, Science and Technology Commission, Human Resource and Social Security Bureau, Investment Promotion Office, Finance Office and other departments of the sub-district.
The team will regularly visit office buildings to offer a wide range of services such as administrative approval, policy consulting and talent recruitment.
The sub-district is also working to improve the capacity of 34 major business and commercial complexes, including Jingan International Centre, Skyline Tower and Financial Street Joy Centre. Favorable policies will be made to attract reputed companies to this sector.