Shanghai opened an office to accept proposals from the public on Friday, creating an important platform to invite more people to participate in the administration of the city.
The move echoes President Xi Jinping's concept of a "people's city", which was raised during his visit to Shanghai last year. The president called for the building of a smooth channel for the public to express opinions.
"The establishment of the proposal collection office is not just setting up an institutional office," said Wang Jianhua, director of the office."The key is to play an important role in collecting suggestions from residents in the future and to gather the wisdom and strength of residents in the development and construction of the city."
Tang Xiaotian, a professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said:"The biggest significance of the establishment of the office is to make the expression of public opinion orderly and the convergence of people's wisdom standardized."
Since the city set up a special department for collecting suggestions in December 2011, Shanghai has seen a growing passion for participating in the administration and discussion of the city affairs from grassroots society, and has received over 300,000 suggestions since then.
Over 1,300 suggestions have been forwarded to the city's Party committee and the municipal government, with many sent to related departments and put into practice.
According to Wang, the proposals included aspects of urban and rural reconstruction, transportation, environmental protection, labor and social security.
"Many of the proposals put forward by the public were not for personal interests, but for public interests," Wang added. "At present, a good suggestion to help refine a good policy and regulation that will finally lead to improve a certain work, has become the norm."
The office plans to take advantage of the internet to make access, intercommunication and feedback much easier. New technologies such as big data analysis will be applied.
Yu Guowei, a resident who had seven opinions rated as excellent suggestions in a year, also pointed out that the establishment of the office has made a great breakthrough in communication with the people.
"Originally, people expressing proposals weren't able to see whether such opinions have been put forward before. The platform provides people guidance and direction." Yu said.