Chinatown, 2017

Chinatown partnership meeting room

In February 2017, City as Living Laboratory invited a group of artists, scientists, and community stakeholders to conduct a workshop exploring the most pressing socio-environmental challenges faced in Chinatown. Facilitated by Michael Levine, Chairperson of CB1, the workshop panel was led by Wellington Chen (Executive Director, Chinatown BID), Kyla Cheung (Educator, Organizer and Cultural Worker, Charles B Wang Community Health Center), Stephen Fan (Urbanist & Designer), and Susan Stetzer (District Manager, CB3 )

With some preliminary research stemming from CALL’s previous walks in Chinatown, The workshop focused on three questions:

  1. As we see greater and more frequent signs of climate change and its impact on the environment, we will likely see more impacts on people’s health and migration as more places become less livable for humans. What signs of this have we already seen in our communities? What can we anticipate? Who will be most affected? What can we do to address these changes?

  2. Chinatown is densely populated with people, businesses, need for loading and unloading, goods on the sidewalk for temporary storage or for sale.  Given the old, narrow heavily used sidewalks and streets, demand for parking, conflicting need for open, green spaces, waste management, how do we plan for a green sustainable and accessible Chinatown while retaining the contextual character?

  3. Chinatown is densely populated with people, businesses, need for loading and unloading, goods on the sidewalk for temporary storage or for sale.  Given the old, narrow heavily used sidewalks and streets, demand for parking, conflicting need for open, green spaces, waste management, how do we plan for a green sustainable and accessible Chinatown while retaining the contextual character?

The detailed discussions arising from these questions formed the basis of a call for proposals to inform a larger initiative in Chinatown, which is currently in ongoing development.

Read the workshop Notes