Wang Mu, 28, a stay-at-home mom with a four-year-old son, said she has seen a big improvement in the availability of shopping, healthcare and leisure activities near her home in the past few years.
"Life is becoming easier as more convenience stores have opened in the neighborhood and a range of delivery services are more available," she said.
A resident of Shuangjing in Beijing's Chaoyang district, she previously needed to go more than a kilometer to shop in a big supermarket. "It was very awkward in that since the distance is a long way to walk but too close to take a car," she said. "Plus, if I want to go there, I need to go by car. The cost of parking is sometimes even higher than what I bought."
Now, Wang often goes to a nearby convenience store that opened last year to buy vegetables, milk and other daily necessities.
"When I need common over-the-counter medicines, I use my cellphone to order online and delivery services get them to me in 20 minutes," she added.
In July, Beijing rolled out measures to build neighborhoods that offer residents convenient community services within a 15-minute walk, according to a document released by the city's commerce bureau.
By the year 2025, Beijing will have completed the construction of such neighborhoods in all districts in the city, said Guo Wenjie, deputy head of the bureau.
To help achieve the goal, more than 2,000 domestic and overseas business brands that provide neighborhood services will be introduced to the capital, with over 50,000 brick-and-mortar stores upgraded with digitalized services, Guo said.
They include grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, bookstores, housekeeping businesses, beauty salons, parcel lockers, laundries and repair shops.
Over the years, Beijing has worked to improve community-level service facilities. Many large commercial complexes are built with a core shopping mall to serve the surrounding neighborhoods. They can provide jobs and meet various consumer needs for nearby residents.
With only a 10-minute walk, Wang and her son can reach Chaoyang's Hopson One Mall, a shopping center that offers many types of services including dining, leisure activities, preschool education, sports, a cinema and bookstores. It was built by Hopson Commercial Real Estate Co, one of China's leading property developers.
"In addition to convenience stores, the shopping mall near the community meets most of my needs, especially those that involve my son's need to play, eat and learn," Wang said.
Northern Beijing's Changping district, which is less developed commercially than Chaoyang, is also working to build more convenient communities within a 15-minute walk to needed services.
A new, large-scale commercial complex named Beijing Hops On, also being developed by Hopson, with a total commercial area of 460,000 square meters, is under construction. It is scheduled to be opened by year's end and is meant to serve over 3 million people in 212 surrounding residential communities.
In order to better integrate with nearby communities, it will not only be a shopping center, but will include office buildings, retail, dining, fashion, extreme sports and a park.
As one of the park-oriented development projects in Beijing, the complex plans to build an outdoor park with a total area of 30,000 square meters.
The park will incorporate four mini-malls which will include different themes, such as sports, culture and art, entertainment and life.
To attract more young residents to go out and have fun, an extreme sports area will be built with such facilities as a world-class pump track for cyclists, an indoor rock-climbing gym and a large indoor diving center.
The project is projected to offer 15,000 jobs.
Li Jie, 36, a resident of Changping, said he is looking forward to the project's opening since his apartment is nearby. He has been watching the changes as construction advances day by day.
"It's a great mix of many stores that will satisfy daily needs and a large commercial complex that will bring many more choices and fun to our lives within walking distance," he said.