In-depth | A shabby community in Ningbo turns into a beautiful garden with the joint efforts and creativity of the local residents

2020-08-28 17:19:20 source: Nie Weixia, Li Hua



"Every day when we come back from shopping, we gather here to chat and enjoy the flowers. On holidays, we make black rice and rice dumplings here and give the neighbors to taste. With the 'Shared Garden', the community’s environment becomes more beautiful and life is more enjoyable." Wu Miaowang, 75 years old, lived in the Qianlong Community of Ningbo, said it used to be a community corner that breeds mosquitos, but now it has been transformed into a lively "shared garden".

 

In Ningbo, like Qianlong community, through the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity", residents use their hands and minds to turn many run-down and disorderly urban "corners" into popular places, bringing new changes to the old community and increasing happiness of the masses.

 

微信图片_20200827161706.jpg


"Shabby Corner" turns into a beautiful scenic spot

 

"With the blue floor and the brown wooden steps, the colorful activity room has been transformed creatively by our community residents, making the ‘garbage corner’ beautiful and attractive." Xu Qiaoying, who lived in Jiangbei district of Ningbo, comes here every day, looking forward to the opening of the activity room. "Three months ago, I wouldn't have come here at all.” Ms. Xu said. It used to be a “garbage corner” - a dilapidated old house surrounded by broken flower pots, old furniture, and foam boxes.

 

微信图片_20200827161820.jpg


Qianlong community of Ningbo recently became an internet-famous place. In the past, the 100-meter-long road at the entrance to the community primary school was bumpy. Hence, the community invited teachers and students from Ningbo Urban Construction Design Institute to design. And all residents in the community participate in transforming the road together. Now, the road has been painted in 3 waiting areas in red, green, yellow, and flowers have been in blossom on both sides of the road. Inside the district, lotus, carp, and other patterns have been painted on a sky blue road. Besides, the roadside distribution boxes and pipelines have been elaborately painted with rainbow colors. So cute is the road that people cannot help but go back and forth on it again and again.

 

微信图片_20200827161824.jpg


In the Haigang Community of Zhenhai district, there is a garbage house built in the 1980s that was once filled with clutter. Through the collective wisdom of residents, it has now been transformed into a community waste sorting service station. From "garbage classification knowledge training" to "trash to treasure making", various activities are held every day from Monday to Friday.

 

"Unexpectedly, the corner of our old community is so delicate." In Ningbo's Taiyang community, Feng Weinian, 67 years old, showed reporters around five or six newly built “Shared gardens” “adopted” by residents. The “Shared gardens” shows the ingenious ideas of creator: flowers and Boston ivy on the wall "hide" the bare messy pipelines on the old corridor; the concrete road with potholes in front of the corridor is covered with fake grass carpet; the abandoned house is transformed into a colorful activity room for the elderly; the entrance of the corridor, which used to hung randomly, is transformed into a window showing the life of the residents. Moreover, the residents raised funds to buy flowers and plants to decorate the bare ground next to the leisure pavilions…..

 

微信图片_20200827161853.jpg


"The corners the old residential areas, which used to be cleaning dead angles, have now become popular." The person in charge of The Ningbo Municipal Civilization Office said that the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity" has inspired the artistic creativity of the masses. In the hands of the creative people, the corners have become spaces full of artistic atmosphere, lighting up the "corners" of the city. So far, the initiative has been piloted in 21 communities, with the government spending 2 million yuan to encourage the construction of creative projects.

 

Together to create a home park

 

微信图片_20200827161856.jpg


"In Ningbo, there are 699 old residential areas built before 2000, with many problems such as aging infrastructure, dirty sanitation, and backward service functions. Although in recent years, the investment in the renovation of old residential areas has been constantly increased, and the renovation of hardware facilities has been reinforced, the difficulty of the renovation is still great due to a large number of old residential areas,” Xia Yi said frankly.

 

On June 19, Huangli community in Ningbo held a special activity of crowdfunding. The project of the “Lixi Corridor” leisure square is under construction. And the residents take the initiative to participate in this project and the activities of maintaining a green car, railway wooden sleeper, and watering flowers and plants in "Caomuju" as well as other daily maintenance.

 

Lixi corridor has always been a headache for residents. It was overgrown with weeds and was the "leftover material" of the city that no one cared about. Although the government tried to remediate it, it produced little effect. Different from the past model, this time the community has directly handed over the leading power of governance to the residents. From fundraising, project approval, planning, to plant selection, all the residents have participated in the whole process.

 

Similarly, Haishu district has taken the "adoption system", encouraging residents to use their brains and hands to renovate and beautify the corners.

 

The "Shared garden" at the entrance of the community is one of the creative corners of Zhang Guoan and his wife. There are white fence, green plants, colorful flowers and different shapes of small bonsai, a piece of stone reads "Apartment of the Sun", several white porcelain vats with koi fish in it, which attract people's eyes. "In the past, I had to go out to enjoy the scenery. However, now, there is beautiful scenery in front of my house," Zhang Guoan said proudly. Zhang and his wife spent much effort in clearing up the “Shared Garden” and spent money to buy various bonsai to decorate it. The couple got up early in the morning to water the flowers and trim the grass and keep the yard clean.

 

"In the past, there was no place for residents to chat, but now these 'Shared gardens' have become places for residents to stop to admire flowers, to watch fish and to chat." More residents are taking part in the daily management and maintenance of the Shared garden, Feng said.

 

The person in charge of The Ningbo Municipal Civilization Office said that in 21 pilot districts, many of the creative projects involve community residents at all levels currently. In the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity ", many abandoned buildings and corners are developed and beautified to become shared spaces.

 

Explore a new way for community autonomy

 

微信图片_20200827161900.jpg


The initiative of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity" turns a garbage corner into a beautiful scenic spot, turns an idle space into a public space, and solves problems of lacking activity spaces and sanitation problems for the residents in the old community. At the same time, with the help of this action, the residents in the community changed their attitudes from "indifference" to "worry about everything", and took an active part in the mode of co-construction, co-governance, exploring a new way for long-term community autonomy.

 

With the change of the community environment, some habits of residents are also changing unconsciously. There is less littering in the neighborhood. And the atmosphere of helping each other in the neighborhood became stronger. In order to maintain and manage the "Shared Spaces", residents have set up a "corridor micro-autonomous group" spontaneously, with volunteers patrolling each corridor at regular intervals every day. The common problems in some old communities, such as illegal dumping of garbage, illegal car parking, are gradually being improved.

 

In the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity", Ningbo residents have developed a sense of ownership through their participation in transformation. They are not only "designers" and "creative artists", but also project managers. Under the leadership of communities, such mass self-government organizations as "corridor micro-autonomous group" and "volunteer service team" have sprung up. A road of community autonomy, namely "self-management, self-service, self-supervision, and self-education", has initially taken shape.


(Compiled by Xu Yuhong, translated by Yu Fei)

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"Every day when we come back from shopping, we gather here to chat and enjoy the flowers. On holidays, we make black rice and rice dumplings here and give the neighbors to taste. With the 'Shared Garden', the community’s environment becomes more beautiful and life is more enjoyable." Wu Miaowang, 75 years old, lived in the Qianlong Community of Ningbo, said it used to be a community corner that breeds mosquitos, but now it has been transformed into a lively "shared garden".

 

In Ningbo, like Qianlong community, through the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity", residents use their hands and minds to turn many run-down and disorderly urban "corners" into popular places, bringing new changes to the old community and increasing happiness of the masses.

 

微信图片_20200827161706.jpg


"Shabby Corner" turns into a beautiful scenic spot

 

"With the blue floor and the brown wooden steps, the colorful activity room has been transformed creatively by our community residents, making the ‘garbage corner’ beautiful and attractive." Xu Qiaoying, who lived in Jiangbei district of Ningbo, comes here every day, looking forward to the opening of the activity room. "Three months ago, I wouldn't have come here at all.” Ms. Xu said. It used to be a “garbage corner” - a dilapidated old house surrounded by broken flower pots, old furniture, and foam boxes.

 

微信图片_20200827161820.jpg


Qianlong community of Ningbo recently became an internet-famous place. In the past, the 100-meter-long road at the entrance to the community primary school was bumpy. Hence, the community invited teachers and students from Ningbo Urban Construction Design Institute to design. And all residents in the community participate in transforming the road together. Now, the road has been painted in 3 waiting areas in red, green, yellow, and flowers have been in blossom on both sides of the road. Inside the district, lotus, carp, and other patterns have been painted on a sky blue road. Besides, the roadside distribution boxes and pipelines have been elaborately painted with rainbow colors. So cute is the road that people cannot help but go back and forth on it again and again.

 

微信图片_20200827161824.jpg


In the Haigang Community of Zhenhai district, there is a garbage house built in the 1980s that was once filled with clutter. Through the collective wisdom of residents, it has now been transformed into a community waste sorting service station. From "garbage classification knowledge training" to "trash to treasure making", various activities are held every day from Monday to Friday.

 

"Unexpectedly, the corner of our old community is so delicate." In Ningbo's Taiyang community, Feng Weinian, 67 years old, showed reporters around five or six newly built “Shared gardens” “adopted” by residents. The “Shared gardens” shows the ingenious ideas of creator: flowers and Boston ivy on the wall "hide" the bare messy pipelines on the old corridor; the concrete road with potholes in front of the corridor is covered with fake grass carpet; the abandoned house is transformed into a colorful activity room for the elderly; the entrance of the corridor, which used to hung randomly, is transformed into a window showing the life of the residents. Moreover, the residents raised funds to buy flowers and plants to decorate the bare ground next to the leisure pavilions…..

 

微信图片_20200827161853.jpg


"The corners the old residential areas, which used to be cleaning dead angles, have now become popular." The person in charge of The Ningbo Municipal Civilization Office said that the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity" has inspired the artistic creativity of the masses. In the hands of the creative people, the corners have become spaces full of artistic atmosphere, lighting up the "corners" of the city. So far, the initiative has been piloted in 21 communities, with the government spending 2 million yuan to encourage the construction of creative projects.

 

Together to create a home park

 

微信图片_20200827161856.jpg


"In Ningbo, there are 699 old residential areas built before 2000, with many problems such as aging infrastructure, dirty sanitation, and backward service functions. Although in recent years, the investment in the renovation of old residential areas has been constantly increased, and the renovation of hardware facilities has been reinforced, the difficulty of the renovation is still great due to a large number of old residential areas,” Xia Yi said frankly.

 

On June 19, Huangli community in Ningbo held a special activity of crowdfunding. The project of the “Lixi Corridor” leisure square is under construction. And the residents take the initiative to participate in this project and the activities of maintaining a green car, railway wooden sleeper, and watering flowers and plants in "Caomuju" as well as other daily maintenance.

 

Lixi corridor has always been a headache for residents. It was overgrown with weeds and was the "leftover material" of the city that no one cared about. Although the government tried to remediate it, it produced little effect. Different from the past model, this time the community has directly handed over the leading power of governance to the residents. From fundraising, project approval, planning, to plant selection, all the residents have participated in the whole process.

 

Similarly, Haishu district has taken the "adoption system", encouraging residents to use their brains and hands to renovate and beautify the corners.

 

The "Shared garden" at the entrance of the community is one of the creative corners of Zhang Guoan and his wife. There are white fence, green plants, colorful flowers and different shapes of small bonsai, a piece of stone reads "Apartment of the Sun", several white porcelain vats with koi fish in it, which attract people's eyes. "In the past, I had to go out to enjoy the scenery. However, now, there is beautiful scenery in front of my house," Zhang Guoan said proudly. Zhang and his wife spent much effort in clearing up the “Shared Garden” and spent money to buy various bonsai to decorate it. The couple got up early in the morning to water the flowers and trim the grass and keep the yard clean.

 

"In the past, there was no place for residents to chat, but now these 'Shared gardens' have become places for residents to stop to admire flowers, to watch fish and to chat." More residents are taking part in the daily management and maintenance of the Shared garden, Feng said.

 

The person in charge of The Ningbo Municipal Civilization Office said that in 21 pilot districts, many of the creative projects involve community residents at all levels currently. In the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity ", many abandoned buildings and corners are developed and beautified to become shared spaces.

 

Explore a new way for community autonomy

 

微信图片_20200827161900.jpg


The initiative of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity" turns a garbage corner into a beautiful scenic spot, turns an idle space into a public space, and solves problems of lacking activity spaces and sanitation problems for the residents in the old community. At the same time, with the help of this action, the residents in the community changed their attitudes from "indifference" to "worry about everything", and took an active part in the mode of co-construction, co-governance, exploring a new way for long-term community autonomy.

 

With the change of the community environment, some habits of residents are also changing unconsciously. There is less littering in the neighborhood. And the atmosphere of helping each other in the neighborhood became stronger. In order to maintain and manage the "Shared Spaces", residents have set up a "corridor micro-autonomous group" spontaneously, with volunteers patrolling each corridor at regular intervals every day. The common problems in some old communities, such as illegal dumping of garbage, illegal car parking, are gradually being improved.

 

In the action of "Lighting Up Urban Corners With Creativity", Ningbo residents have developed a sense of ownership through their participation in transformation. They are not only "designers" and "creative artists", but also project managers. Under the leadership of communities, such mass self-government organizations as "corridor micro-autonomous group" and "volunteer service team" have sprung up. A road of community autonomy, namely "self-management, self-service, self-supervision, and self-education", has initially taken shape.


(Compiled by Xu Yuhong, translated by Yu Fei)

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