The Salon themed “Make the community slightly change towards happiness” was held at Ginkgo Tree Cafe in Peony Street on the morning of May 29, 2015. It was co-sponsored by our institute’s first planning institute and urban cultural transmission and historical Research center, aiming at taking the West Xikang Road Community as a pilot community for research. In the salon, public opinions were collected, and problems in community environment, infrastructure and business mode are discussed. The purpose is to improve the residents’ living environment, to enhance commercial cultural brand and to create a themed cultural street. Other purpose is to take this opportunity to recruit volunteer planners.
The attendees in this salon include Mr. Yao Dakai, the president of Chinese Institute of Engineers – USA in San Francisco, Mr. Chen Dayin, deputy general manager of Taiwan Kaixin Engineering Consultant Co., Ltd., Ms. Liu Shuai, Party Secretary of West Xikang Road Community, and representatives of Ginkgo Tree Cafe, Changchun RuiQiKeLiPeiCui Olive Oil Store, Tiny Times Cafe, Qing Yue Tang Teahouse, Utopia of Cat, Zhuo Can Cafe and other shops on Peony Street.
At the meeting, Mr. Yao Dakai and Mr. Chen dayin shared foreign and Taiwan experiences for building themed cultural streets. All participants freely expressed different ideas and actively proposed suggestions on community planning of Peony Street. As a naturally formed “Coffee Street”, Peony Street is of extremely strong vitality. Its business mode is of cooperation more than competition , which provides it with more human interest and cultural ambience. During the discussion, the attendees presented some existing problems in house rent and municipal infrastructure due to its location in Guilin Road business district as an old community. The problems are as follows. The randomly increasing of house rent makes the merchants helpless and passive. Lack of cell-phone signal makes customers step back from the street. The soil pits left after cutting down trees last year become mire on rainy days and turn the clean and tidy street muddy.The cracks of more than one meter on the roads in front of some shops are huge security risks to the passers. The waste disposal sites put the shops and residents in a dilemma. The night clubs and car washing stations damage the overall cultural atmosphere in Peony Street, embarrassing the residents with noise and frequent shortage of water. The ageing of pipelines makes water supply and drainage become a big problem … Although there are many problems, but the participants agreed that solutions are always more than problems, hoping that some problems could be solved through the communication in the Solon.
The cultural vitality of street block comes from creation. During the discussion, the participants suggested that the management authorities of the city should take some low-cost and high-efficiency measures to strengthen the whole community’s cultural and artistic cohesion such as painting graffiti on exterior walls of cafes, setting up creative street guideboards, installing theme-based streetlights, transforming the waste brick walls into small gardens, and placing stone tables and chairs for the residents to take a rest.
After the meeting, it is agreed to establish an industrial guild. The Wechat discussion group of Peony Street merchants should be a communication platform to contact with planners. All forces should be concentrated on the market challenges and on truly planning Peony Street as a themed cultural street. Besides, the volunteer planners can also contribute their efforts to create more possibilities towards happiness.
(Written by Pan Hongru Photo by Cui Linna)