Ziwei’ao: A New Model of ‘Future Countryside’ Toward Prosperity

From Ningbo International Speedpark to Meishan Bay Ice and Snow World, from the spirit of competition to the spirit of craftsmanship, the Beilun District of Ningbo boasts both natural and cultural resources for tourism development. Today’s feature report is focused on Ziwei’ao, a stretch of picturesque land between mountains.

Anyone who visits Ziwei’ao would be most impressed by the colorful flowers and the beautiful lake amid lush vegetation and sweet birdsong.

Close to the ancient town of Guoju and located in the lower section of the “Rising Sun” scenic route of Beilun District, the Ziwei’ao in Fumin Village is famous for its lucid waters and lush mountains. In recent years, the scenic spot has made continued progress in the construction of beautiful countryside and has been rated as a 4A-level Scenic Area of Zhejiang Province and a demonstration countryside scenic route of Ningbo. The area is now a golden key to attracting investment, boosting development, and achieving rural transformation and common prosperity in Guoju Sub-district and even Beilun District as a whole.

Since 2016, Guoju has invested 40 million yuan in 30 construction projects as an effort to improve the infrastructure of Fumin Village and further promote the construction of beautiful countryside. Such projects include the upgrading of Ziwei Avenue, construction of Ziwei’ao waterside trail, sewage treatment project, and water environment improvement. In addition to infrastructure projects, other facilities, such as a village history museum, the Sanduo meeting hall, a village auditorium, and a cultural center, were also built with the aim of transforming Fumin Village into both a popular tourism attraction and a pleasant home and workplace for locals. In 2022, the village was listed on the second batch of provincial-level pilot future villages, injecting new impetus to rural revitalization.

Today, Ziwei’ao in Fumin Village has taken on a new look thanks to the efforts to achieve rural revitalization and common prosperity, goals as part of a nationwide campaign promoting new development in the new era.

Geographically isolated, Fumin Village had long faced problems like lack of publicity, weak economy, and a shortage of professional personnel. To lift the small village out of underdevelopment, the local government decided after full investigation to develop tourism and the cultural industry by making use of existing resources. Since then, guesthouses, specialty shops, art studios, and other types of commercial facilities sprung up one after another as a major driver of local economic growth.

At the same time, new village governance mechanisms such as “village governance livestreaming” and “project-based village regulations” were implemented. Through online and offline investigation, public opinions were voiced and problems arising from economic development solved, achieving joint village construction for shared benefits. In this April, the “village governance livestreaming” attracted 22,500 viewers and helped resolve more than 20 livelihood-related issues, which set a good example of integrating village administration with mass participation and supervision. One fifth of local villagers working outside in cities were encouraged to return home for job opportunities.

Wasted land in Fumin village have now been transformed into 10 spots for sightseeing. These spots, including a viewing platform of Ziwei Lake, Xunmeng Pavilion, Caiwei Valley, and Zhuangyuan Well, constitute a scenic route connecting the Ziwei’ao waterside trail and Ziwei’ao reservoir in the village. To boost the cultural industry, the village organized a wide range of activities such as art festival, the Youth Art Valley, and training courses on farm work and rural art. Teachers from the Art College at Ningbo City College of Vocational Technology and Pan Tianshou College of Architecture, Art and Design at Ningbo University were invited to establish Feng Siyong Studio and Young Master Studio. Such efforts have effectively promoted local development and delivered tangible benefits to the villagers.

To realize coordinated development of economy, culture and ecology, Fumin Village has explored new ways of rural revitalization thanks to pioneering efforts by Party members, developed art-related industry through collaboration between art schools and local government, and improved village governance via digital approaches like the livestreaming of village affairs.

Instead of roaring machines and polluted waters, the road to common prosperity in Fumin Village is paved with pleasant bird chirp and crape myrtle flowers all over the mountainside. The lush green countryside represents a sign of hope and vitality along the Rising Sun scenic route of Beilun. Convenient transportation has provided Fumin a new opportunity to transform from an economically weak village to a pioneer in building future countryside. A subway passing through the village is expected to allow more people to stop by to enjoy the natural beauty of Ziwei’ao.

From dilapidated houses to brand new buildings, from a backward rural area to a provincial-level demonstration site, Ziwei’ao and Fumin Village as a whole have been making remarkable progress in achieving economic prosperity and cultural development.

“As one of 11 themed tourist routes of Beilun, the Rising Sun line is going to play an exemplary role in boosting the integrated development of tourism and the cultural industry in the modern coastal city of Ningbo as well as promoting digital governance and common prosperity,” said head of the Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports of Beilun District. “Common prosperity is the ultimate goal. Adhering to the principle of green development, we strive to trailblaze a Beilun path to economic development for shared benefits in the process of developing industrial zones along the route. Integration of tourism and the cultural industry is our principal means of economic development. We will fully tap the potential of diverse cultures along the tourist routes to build a well-known cultural brand that better presents Beilun to the world. Digital governance is a necessary tool. With the help of intelligent technology, we aim to build a comprehensive administration system for all scenic routes of Beilun.”

From natural landscapes to historic sites and sea ports, the planning and development of the scenic routes shows the determination of Beilun District to become a coastal gateway to the world. In this process, Ningbo has transformed from a small inland port to a modern coastal metropolis while practicing the philosophy of coordinated development of economy, culture and ecology with Chinese characteristics in the new era. Such scenic routes will lead to common prosperity and harmony between man and nature.

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