Renewed communities make living more convenient for city dwellers

(Xinhua) 13:10, December 02, 2023

BEIJING, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- For many people, the term "community canteen" may evoke the image of a plain-looking eatery featuring cheap desks and stools, with counters for serving meals. But in Shanghai, this image is defied at the Bright City Kitchen located in Changning District.

This refreshing eatery looked like the amalgamation of bistro, bakery and coffee shop. To Shanghai resident Mr. Lu, the canteen has become a new favorite spot for an afternoon coffee break for him and his wife. "Sometimes when I need to drive in the afternoon, I come here for a wake-up coffee after lunch," said Lu, who recently retired.

From canteen manager Wang Zhenyu's perspective, the canteen's popularity can be attributed to its more diverse services, reasonable prices and soothing environment. "Many of our customers said that the environment was the reason why they chose to dine here," said Wang.

The canteen provides all three meals of everyday. The dishes, which cost less than 20 yuan (about 2.8 U.S. dollars) on average, are never the same in each day of the week. For elderly people aged 60 and above, they can enjoy a 12 percent discount.

The diversity of products attracted retirees and youngsters alike. Around noon, young people who work nearby always tend to show up for lunch. "The canteen plays an important role in providing livelihood services to elderly people, but its services can be enjoyed by all," said Wang.

While community canteens in the country boosted residents' accessibility to quality meals, many residential communities are embracing information technology to provide greater convenience to them.

In Zibo City, located in east China's Shandong Province, residents in the local Zhangdian District were surprised to see a new plaque at the entrance of their apartment buildings.

Each plaque features the building's number and a QR code. By scanning the QR code with a smartphone, one can immediately get all sorts of information, such as the means to contact babysitters, legal assistance workers, repair workers and medical institutions.

"Before having this plaque, we had to contact our property management personnel to ask for relevant information," said local resident Zhao Cheng. "Now we can call up for the services whenever we need them."

Qinglongshan residential community in Boshan District of Zibo has built a property smart service platform, that not only realizes the integration of community services such as repair, access control and parking, but also allows residents to enjoy various property services online.

By installing smart devices such as access control modules, garbage sorting and recycling machines and charging stations, the community was able to solve some of the most pressing problems that faced the residents, said Li Wei, a community worker of Qinglongshan community.

With these efforts, the residents comfort level and sense of belonging have been greatly improved, said Li.

By 2025, Zibo will build no less than 300 smart communities and establish a sound primary-level governance mechanism.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Hongyu)


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