A rezoning application for 105 Keefer Street is being disputed by a group called the ChinaTown Concern Group.
Organizer King Mong Chan says the plan to build a cultural center is just not enough.
“The cultural space that they are offering now is only 1000 feet, next to the alleyway and it’s only for a 10 year rental agreement. We don’t think that this development is appropriate for that site and something better for the community should be at that site instead.”
Despite encroachments by big development projects such as the Vine Street Expressway and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia’s Chinatown has maintained a sense of history and community for more than a century.
But it occupies a tightly confined space in Center City, which has forced new immigrants to settle elsewhere in the region.
“Even if people aren’t settling directly in Chinatown, it’s still the heart — the cultural heart and the symbolic heart — of the community,” said historian Kathryn Wilson. She gained an intimate knowledge of the Chinatown community during her years with the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
A proposed Chinatown development in Vancouver is coming under fire from community members for a third time
Vancouver-based Beedie Group has proposed a third version of a mixed-use development in the city’s historic Chinatown neighbourhood, but the Chinatown Action Group, a coalition of neighbourhood activists, is opposed to what it maintains is a too-low number of social housing units.
The proposed building would have 119 market residential units, 25 senior social housing units, commercial space and a senior’s cultural space.
CHINATOWN — Shortly after Chinatown resident Mei Lum succeeded in saving the 90-year-old antique shop that has been in her family for four generations, she decided to take it a step further by launching a community engagement initiative to chat with other local businesses about staying afloat and relevant in the ever-evolving neighborhood.
Lum, now the executive director of Wing on Wo & Co at 26 Mott St., on May 19 will kick off a summer-spanning series of conversations and workshops about changing Chinatown, beginning with a panel discussion with local businesses owners called “The (Re) Generation of Chinatown.”
Thirty years ago, if you wanted the best Chinese food in the area, you’d go to Chinatown. The DC neighborhood around Sixth and H streets, Northwest, offered a wealth of Szechuan and Cantonese eateries, many of which were regulars on our annual best-restaurants list. You could get your shopping done, too: Markets thrived, and families who’d moved out of the neighborhood would return to stock their kitchens.
Now? The food markets are gone, and if you want the area’s best Chinese food, you go to Rockville.
How did Chinatown become virtually devoid of anything Chinese? By losing most of its Chinese residents. In 1970, there were roughly 3,000; today, the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs sets that number below 600. Many are elderly residents of two low-income housing developments.
Since 2005, National Trust for Canada has been publishing an annual list of the country’s most endangered places.
The charity releases the list to raise awareness of the “value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.” In choosing the sites for the list, the organization measures a place’s significance, the severity of the threat it faces and how much work has been done to protect it.
This year’s list, released on Thursday, includes Vancouver’s Chinatown, which the organization says is at risk of losing its unique character.
“Relentless development threatens the physical fabric of this nationally significant urban cultural landscape,” the charity states on its website. It adds that “intense speculation” has raised rents and displaced long-time residents.