Improving People’s Livelihoods
Beijing is a supersized metropolis. So, whilst the construction and management of the city are constantly improving, a greater number of effective means and techniques of governance are needed to tackle both new and existing problems. To this end, the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality have achieved many positive results by exploring a range of options.
On August 20, according to a press conference held by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform for soliciting solutions to address the demands of “Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Improve People’s Livelihoods” for 2018, a campaign to solicit solutions was launched on August 17. Innovators and entrepreneurs are able to check the solicitation demands and submit solutions via the “Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Improve People’s Livelihood” online platform on the official website homepages of 10 government agencies, including the Beijing Association for Science and Technology. Thirty issues related to the daily lives of Beijingers were released including transportation, environmental protection, shared parking and rural sewage treatment.
In 2017, the government stated it would persist in focusing on issues that people are most concerned about and solicit solutions from innovators and entrepreneurs, which is how the “Encouraging Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Improve People’s Livelihoods” campaign came into being. Six government departments, including the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Management, released the requirements for 25 livelihood issues and collected 119 solutions. The six departments selected 18 outstanding solutions and corresponding award-winning solutions. Of the 18 outstanding solutions, 11 have been applied to people’s livelihoods, three have launched pilot programs with research support or active promotion, and four require further in-depth research. These programmes provide new ideas for government departments and new approaches for solving issues related to people’s livelihoods. Whether it is stairlifts to help the elderly in old communities or wireless transmission technology designed for back roads and lanes, the solutions all aim to provide citizens with more caring urban services and provide innovation that benefits the public.
The promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship have brought benefits to people’s livelihoods in many aspects. According to information published by the Municipal Commission of Development and Reform and the Municipal Committee of Housing and Construction, a total of 100 old communities in the city will be renovated this year. Supporting facilities will also be updated to improve living conditions by optimising functions, including providing elevators and parking spaces, upgrading outdated facilities and better property management. These obstacles to the management and improvement of old communities will be removed through renovation and bring substantial improvements to the lives of residents. On the same day, China’s first alliance for the protection and utilisation of old factories and urban cultural development was established in Beijing to provide a cooperation platform for preserving and using old factories in various locations. Beijing has long taken the lead in China in terms of utilising the space and cultural heritage of old factories. At present, the city has 242 vacant old factories. Transformed factories cover an area of 6.01 million square metres (sq.m), whilst those still under transformation cover an area of 1.38 million sq.m. These old factories are home to cultural memories of the city and will not disappear; instead, they will serve as witnesses to the city’s culture and assume the new purpose of fostering cultural innovation. This year marks a crucial year for Beijing in enhancing and deepening its rectification and improvement campaign. Special actions have focused more on the synchronous advancement of both rectification and improvement efforts, meaning that by the end of July, Beijing had achieved exciting results in the campaign. Regarding vacated land, 885 hectares have been covered with greenery, which is equivalent to adding the area of three Summer Palaces to Beijing; and 3,568 alleys with illegal remodelling and 366 lanes have been rectified and updated. The urban environment of the city is constantly being improved, which enhaces the quality of life of its citizens.
Beijing is a city brimming with innovation and energy. By continuing to utilise and transform the achievements brought about by innovation, the city is improving the lives of its citizens, and people are becoming more enthusiastic about the city in which they live.