Vancouver's Chinatown Economic Revitalization Strategy

Last week Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver City Council voted unanimously today to implement the first-ever and long overdue Chinatown Economic Revitalization strategy. For years the city has let Chinatown denigrate into a state of disrepair. It hasn’t been until recent years that Chinatown has started to show signs of economic and social revitalization or what hipsters like to call it gentrification.

The Chinatown revitalization strategy is a three-year plan includes such measures as a tenant recruitment strategy, restoration of heritage buildings, and the cleaning up of public spaces.

The goal is to improve the retail mix in Chinatown, protect and enhance cultural and heritage assets, and to increase the appeal of Chinatown’s public spaces.

The plan also seeks to increase seniors housing and revitalize laneways with dynamic temporary street events.

The 11 high-level Chinatown Vision directions are:

1. Heritage Building Preservation
2. Commemoration of ChineseCanadian and Chinatown History
3. Public Realm Improvements
4. Convenient Transportation and Pedestrian Comfort
5. A Sense of Security
6. Linkage to the Nearby Neighbourhoods and Downtown
7. Youth Connection and Community Development
8. Attractions for Vancouverites and Tourists
9. A Community with a Residential and Commercial Mixture
10. Diversified Retail Goods and Services
11. A Hub of Social and Cultural Activities

The revitalization of Chinatown is already underway as businesses and entrepreneurs are investing in the community and its potential. Many mid-rise towers are already slated for development as well (The Flats, Main & Keefer and 633 Main) adding more people to support the retail mix.

It would be great to see North America’s second largest Chinatown return to its former glory.

Image by Canadian Pacific