Xicheng Bents on Build­ing Live­able Dis­trict

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Xu Qing­tong Edited by Mark Zuiderveld

The dis­trict has built its “15-minute pub­lic read­ing net­work” by in­te­grat­ing li­braries, lend­ing book sta­tions and read­ing spa­ces while util­is­ing dig­i­tal, self-ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties.

Xicheng, as one of Bei­jing's func­tional core dis­tricts, boasts a wide range of cul­tural tra­di­tions and re­sources. In re­cent years, it has en­deav­oured to make it­self an in­ter­na­tional choice for liv­ing. It has tailored di­verse pub­lic read­ing spa­ces based on dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, in­creased green leisure space for res­i­dents, con­tin­u­ously en­hanced its re­gional cul­tural ap­peal and built a more com­fort­able and wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment to live in.

“Shux­i­ang Xicheng” is one of the four ma­jor goals of pro­mot­ing Xicheng's cul­ture. It has con­structed the 15-minute pub­lic read­ing net­work by in­te­grat­ing the dis­trict's li­braries, book sta­tions in com­mu­ni­ties and dis­tinc­tive read­ing spa­ces and the util­is­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of dig­i­tal and self-ser­vice equip­ment, in­clud­ing self-ser­vice book bor­row­ing and re­turn­ing ma­chines, a cloud read­ing plat­form and a dig­i­tal doc­u­ment down­load plat­form. The dis­trict spares no ef­fort in build­ing a read­ing- cen­tred com­pound pub­lic cul­tural space, to build a unique read­ing space tailored to res­i­dents.

Or­a­cle-pleas­ant Read­ing Space, lo­cated in the East Se­cond Build­ing, No.1 Yard, Xi­axie Street of Xicheng, is the first com­mu­nity read­ing space in China con­verted from a pub­lic li­brary. It mainly en­gages in com­mu­nity read­ing through its nearly 30,000-vol­ume col­lec­tion and its com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice sys­tem that com­bines pub­lic lend­ing, book read­ing, an au­dio space, chil­dren's space and cof­fee drink­ing. This 6,400-squareme­tre read­ing space har­monises green­ery, flow­ers, cul­tural creative prod­ucts and var­i­ous dec­o­ra­tions and fuses en­vi­ron­men­tal

friend­li­ness with in­ge­nu­ity, turn­ing it­self into “the most beau­ti­ful com­mu­nity book­store.” For adult read­ing, the book­store has an area of up to 200 square me­tres, ar­tis­ti­cally fur­nished, warm and dec­o­rated with all kind of cul­tural creative prod­ucts. The chil­dren's read­ing space oc­cu­pies 70 square me­tres, where chil­dren can en­joy read­ing and shar­ing sto­ries.

The book­store presents a new read­ing model that not only fa­cil­i­tates read­ers en­gag­ing in pub­lic read­ing and book lend­ing, but also pro­vides ser­vices like book sell­ing, rec­om­mend­ing new ar­rivals, read­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and cof­fee and tea ser­vice. Read­ers are free to read at leisure, with ac­cess to the en­tire mu­nic­i­pal read­ing net­work with only a li­brary card, or en­joy cus­tomised ser­vices upon mem­ber­ship.

From 2015 to 2016, the Or­a­cle-pleas­ant Read­ing Space saw its read­er­ship dou­ble in the past three years. This Au­gust alone, 320 li­brary cards were is­sued, and its cir­cu­la­tion reached 18,000. More peo­ple are set­ting foot in the space, at­tracted by its re­fined en­vi­ron­ment, ser­vices, se­lec­tion of books, as well as around 260 “com­mu­nity-cen­tred” ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing movie-watch­ing sa­lons, read­ing sa­lons, chant­ing sa­lons, life ex­pe­ri­ence ex­changes and sto­ry­telling gath­er­ings.

More Xicheng res­i­dents have found a joy in read­ing in re­cent years, thanks to a wide range of fea­tured read­ing spa­ces. They in­clude: Or­a­cle-pleas­ant Read­ing Space, rooted in com­mu­ni­ties and in­ven­tor of the con­cept of an “au­dio book­store”; “Zhuandu Read­ing Space,” a new ad­di­tion to the Pagoda of Monk Wan­song that specif­i­cally fo­cuses on books re­lated to old Bei­jing; “White Cloud Read­ing Sta­tion,” which leans against wa­ter in the White Cloud Tem­ple and pro­vides in­te­rior space for book ex­changes, and “Se­cond Study” in Xuanyang Post House of Jin Zhongdu City Wall Ru­ins Park known for its par­ent-child read­ing.

These dis­tinc­tive read­ing spa­ces have en­riched res­i­dents' cul­tural life. Read­ing ser­vices are avail­able within 15 min­utes

“Spar­ing land for green­ery” has been a lead­ing prin­ci­ple for Bei­jing's ur­ban lay­out. With Xicheng Dis­trict's in­creased green space through de­mo­li­tion and spa­tial ef­fects as a re­sult of dredg­ing, it has built for it­self a com­plete eco­log­i­cal sys­tem. It stressed block plan­ning, re­sorted to its abun­dant his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural re­sources, and has ac­cord­ingly built di­verse cul­tural land­scapes such as ur­ban parks, out­door mu­se­ums and mi­cro-parks based on dif­fer­ent ge­ogra­phies. Xicheng now boasts sev­eral dis­tinc­tive, cul­tur­ally pro­found mi­croparks, in­clud­ing the Jingyun­yuan Mi­croPark with an at­mo­sphere of Pek­ing Opera, the Yi­jun­yuan Mi­cro-park, and the Long­tou Well Mi­cro-park with its vin­tage gar­dens. Dongchun­shu Hu­tong pro­motes its op­eras, art, as well as its own charm.

Whether through read­ing spa­ces, or the in­creas­ing num­ber of green spa­ces, Xicheng has proved it­self ca­pa­ble of mak­ing the city more beau­ti­ful and suit­able to live in. In the fu­ture, it will pro­ceed in its cul­tural de­vel­op­ment, im­prove its ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment and help build Bei­jing into an in­ter­na­tional and har­mo­nious city.

Jinzhongdu Relic Park

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