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September 28, 2021

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Workers’ community on display

An old workers’ community in downtown Yangpu District will become a key exhibition site for the city’s biennial art season. The exhibition’s theme is the “15-minute community life.”

The Siping Community, one of the city’s oldest workers’ communities built between the 1950s and 1980s, will open to the public beginning today to showcase its “small, old and beautiful” community life.

Designed by professors from the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, the old community glows with fashionable art installations, pocket parks and public facilities.

Two 15-minute tour routes across the community have been opened for visitors to experience the convenient community life along with many colorful mural paintings and other forms of artwork.

The community, located on both sides of Siping Road, covers an area of 2.75 square kilometers. The region includes the main campus of Tongji University and the workers’ communities as well.

The university is cooperating with the subdistrict to conduct social exercises for students while improving the environment of the old neighborhoods, said Zhou Hongtao, a professor with the college and curator of the exhibition in Siping.

“Students are encouraged to enter the community to talk with residents and learn about their needs,” said Zhou.

“It has become an important session in their studies,” he added.

Additionally, more than 20 professors at the university have been appointed as community architects to help launch a renewal campaign in the community neighboring the university.

A new neighborhood center, renovated from a former shoe store, has been unveiled as the main site for the art season exhibition. Residents can discuss community issues, watch movies, read books, rest or play with their children at the two-story center on Fushun Road.

Banners made of towels hang along the street with the art season’s logo and slogan. Visitors can follow the banners to explore the old communities. After the end of the art season, the towels will be presented to residents as gifts.

“It will be interesting because the residents are expected to clean and hang out the towels again,” Zhou said.


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