2 Burst results for "Chinatown Foundation"
"chinatown foundation" Discussed on The Current
"Urban planner in Jordan. He talked about the community spreading out what that means in terms of where people live of where people shop. What has that meant? When there are Chinese businesses and hubs malls in Richmond and burnaby? What does it mean for business here in Chinatown? I have to be a little more optimistic because I'm on the air so let's start with that the existential threat. Perhaps Jeff guys so chinatown. It's the heart and soul of the Chinese community throughout the lower mainland. You can't go to a mall in Richmond in burnaby and say this is Chinatown and this is where the Chinese population started. We have the buildings here. They're populated with seniors that socialize there. they play Mahjong. You know they come down to the streets and and and and have their lunch and then they go home. I think what we need is we really need to balance Few years back there was what was called the historic work area height review which many of the historic organizations were actively supporting to bring people living in Chinatown. And the whole idea is that you live you play and you work in Chinatown that up with a number of developments subsequently subsequently there's pushback on that but ultimately or ultimately you need people is on the street to make the streets safe at nighttime right now people come come. They go to the hockey game to football game. They have a beer dinner. Then they go home and I'm not talking condos or or social housing. We need a mixed community and and that was always what the discussion was to me though. It seems Andy. Maybe you want to pick up on this. That Stanley hit on the key. One of the key. The questions here. Which is is it for museum or is it a living neighborhood and how do you how do you try and find a space between the two right? Well I think first of all. It's really problematic. That neighborhood under glasses as problematic as a city of class that I think the city has changed and developed to a certain degree. Sorry I think through. which has I think a lot of people concerned about really the kinds of communities and in terms of connection and in terms of really an idea of of a of a greater whole within this? This idea of Chinatown. I frankly think Chinatown is actually an artifact from the future bat very much as an urban planner you see the ideas of mid rise walkable small business based neighborhoods and that's effectively. What Chinatown is and? That's effectively what most contemporary planners are aiming for and the fact that we're having trouble bowl or significantly challenges in terms of ensuring that these types of neighborhoods can thrive. I think illustrate. I think really the larger challenges that are happening in the city of Vancouver. I I think that the the idea that just sprinkle condos into the neighborhood. We'll fix the neighborhood. I think that that's been problematic. We have some some words upwards of eight hundred private condos sprinkled throughout the neighborhood In around the downtown eastside that I think really creates a bit of what is happening in in not only Chinatown about the greater downtown Eastside to another voice from our audience. Kevin Hong is the CO founder Executive Director of the foundation. Hi I'm Why did you set up your foundation? I think for us. We wanted to bring together the worlds of a a cultural heritage and social change. And currently we're working on issues around food security youth organizing and race and equity issues. What role does this neighborhood play? If as we keep hearing hearing the community itself is changing and the neighborhood is being forced to change by a number of different forces but in that what ruled Chinatown. Play I agree with Andy in terms of like like Chinatown holds. A lot for us in terms of what Vancouver will be like in Canada will be like and I think it's important for us to think about planning and land use. We do recognize that. There are certain land defenders right now out there. And how do we tie Chinatown to larger issues. Such as that when we're talking about land use so when we're thinking the property rights and money capital. I think Chinatown holds a lot of those complex issues. That if we're able to solve here we can actually apply to a lot of different parts Of the country. What is interesting is there's a lot but but a lot of the recent activism that's happening here is being led by first generation Canadian native people who perhaps don't have a long standing personal history with China Town but they see the importance of it? Why do you think that is I think There is this identity piece of round around where like myself speaking for myself Be Growing up here. I didn't really know the importance of Chinatown. All Its contributions to its history and our shared the benefits here around the food that we have like. We celebrate Vancouver as having the Best Asian food outside of Asia and that comes from the racial isolation the hard work of the people that came before us and for me to not have learned that history through the public education system and then being a part of the community with mentors and folks guiding writing me and showing me this is actually how the world was built and the that you benefit from. I felt a responsibility to be part of the Tummy. Just finally more about that. What you you see is your responsibility to fight for what? What is Chinatown as a city of like a neighborhood of sanctuary and that so far so many people not just the Chinese that they found themselves in here they were able to create a life here and I think that is something special that we need to protect? Kevin thank you thank you. That's a long. He's the CO founder Executive Director of the foundation nation. This is the current on. CBC Radio One. My Name's Matt Galloway in Vancouver at the floater restaurant. I special broadcast. This is Vancouver's changing Chinatown. Carolee tell me about the activism that you have been led to. You're you're listening to Kevin talk about what he's doing. What got you thinking that you could have a role in helping to shape neighborhood? As well I think you know growing up in uncover and seeing sort of the future five ten years out knowing that Chinatown probably would be would be gone Thought it was is important to try and come up with sort of an idea of how might I help and so. We established The Vancouver Chinatown Foundation in two thousand twelve well. A registered charity and the mission was to revitalize Chinatown. Well preserving its irreplaceable cultural heritage. I would say as a subtext. We sort of said to ourselves a place where people want to live work and play so getting back to sort of some of the questions. People are seeing the talking about here. We didn't want it to be museum it. It was always a place where there was commerce. There was you know interesting things that you could do for entertainment retainment you could eat and so it was like for us. We organized around three pillars which were physical revitalization economic revitalization and cultural revitalization so almost all of the projects that we work on fall within those three pillars talked about live work and play. The living is a big part of that and to live in the neighborhood. You need to have somewhere to live in and that leads to conversations around development and The the place of of condos the place of intensification in neighborhood like this. Can you have all of that at the same time. Can you have a neighborhood that we'll have more places for people to live but also preserve the neighborhood character. Absolutely I mean I think that in the foundation nation we say that change is inevitable but change without preservation is just as bad as preservation with no change so oh sorry provide development with Teens I'm confusing myself. But it's this fine line where you're trying to preserve and develop and I think that everybody has a different sense for what the right balance is awesome. I think that that's what we're talking about in this room. We all understand the importance of our cultural heritage but how much development is right for the neighborhood and so I think think that it's gotTa keep within the spirit of what Chinatown was meant to be heard was Jordan. Can you do that. Can you do both again. This this is it's a it's a conversation that's happening here. But it's happening in these communities across the country where people worry about neighborhood character and they say that the big threat to neighborhood characters giant building but yet we want people to live in the neighborhood and we want people to be walking and have this is on the street as you say. I think the word condo developers have become kind of bad words. Sort out there. And and you know a lot of ball. Half of my membership or property-owners Chinatown and you know lot of them have been in the community for a long time. It's a very important community. were were were small community in the big picture of the city And Yeah I think we can do plan development and it's all a matter of balance I think and you can you can plan that development elephant and not demolish the neighborhood. Feel the character of the neighborhood. What's interesting you say that because as as I've been here actually in this this office across the street for thirty years we talk about heritage in Chinatown and we all have a definition of heritage based on the time that we came to Chinatown in the time that we grew up? So so if you were here in the eighties and you said this is Chinatown. Herod Heritage You would not see this building here. You will not see any of the buildings across the street. You would have seen to two two buildings. The whole area was produce and the main area. Which Chinatown was pender street? So it depends on your on your vision and your time line of how how you see. Chinatown and Chinatown. Had A big growth spurt in the eighties and it developed well. I think there was a good balance at that time. And I think moving forward we have a resilient community community and I think you need to support the businesses need consumers. Just the last point on this. Do you think it's likely in the heated heated nature of these sorts of conversations that a word like condo will cease to be a dirty word. I don't know I don't think so. I WanNa take you on one more. Stop of the tour that I went on with Judy Len Maxwell we were at a beautiful heritage building the Chin Association an amazing easing amazing sight. And you walk up these steep marble stairs into this room. The door opens up. And you hear a very familiar sound..
"chinatown foundation" Discussed on The Current
"Are not as you can tell in a radio studio. I am in Vancouver's Chinatown to talk about the future of this neighborhood and others like it we have a sold out crowd with us here at the floater restaurant alongside three guests with me on stage. Andy Yan professor of urban planning at Simon Fraser University carolee chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation. And also the operator of several businesses in this neighborhood and in Jordan real realtor and the president of the Chinatown Business Improvement Association. Thanks again for being here and being part of this discussion judy. Lamb Maxwell is is a tour guide in Chinatown and story as well and she told me when we were out in Chinatown earlier today. How this neighborhood was started so chinatown emerged? Because Chinese people weren't allowed to live anywhere else so they were segregated to this part of the city of Vancouver so this is the margins of the city was mostly men laborers that started chinatowns around the world. there were problems in China so a a lot of the men left their families behind went abroad to make some money with the intent of eventually returning home. Many did not but They were the ones that started chinatown. So how many were laborers. And then eventually people were working on the railway. The most popular businesses among the Chinese restaurants Laundries Andries Corner Stores Guard markets and various entrepreneurial businesses. Such as Taylor's this Chinatown started in eighteen eighty. Five breath Andy. And if you listen to that story how common is it to why these communities built up. Not just not just here in Vancouver but but right across Canada right across North America while I think it touches upon really how I think chinatowns began as neighborhoods where people particularly those of Chinese descent of found their first starts and they then they started off as a foundation to achieving their Canadian dreams. This and I think that for many generations. I think folks were lucky enough to be able to do that. And I think that. That's a remarkable testament to due to words I think the role of these neighborhoods in helping a number of families find their initial starts in Canada. But I think that Over time of course that does change and within that change. I think that that is another reality through which we are facing today as as we see the diversification advocation of the Chinese Canadian community we see different communities. Come in and out of the neighborhood that I think that it's a testament towards how Chinatown Hound is this neighborhood of beginnings. Tell me more about how that changes because again. It's not just here and it's not just in Chinese communities you have little Italy's you you have little Jamaica's you have LINEAS areas where the Polish community would gather and when the community expands the hub changes so. Tell me a little bit more about how you see that change in those neighborhoods. I think that the hubs certainly has changed. But then I think it's also acknowledging the fact that that Chinatown that was one of the few laps remaining working class low low income working class neighborhoods in the city and and as such. It's one of the few places that you've heard me say this before a sanctuary. It's one of the last neighborhoods of sanctuary. Let me see in in not only the city of Vancouver but Metropolitan Bank hoover and I think that that is one of the big challenges moving ahead. I think that a lot of this is very much the kinds of expansions of of of the community into communities as I should say into the many different parts of the region but then at the same time I think you also have to acknowledge the rather unique space and place in terms of history in terms of connections for both Chinese Canadians. And also those who aren't Chinese Canadians and I think that has provided a very unique foundation. That isn't necessarily found in a lot of other neighborhoods in the city. What have other Chinese communities and chinatowns across North America could done to stay vibrant as those neighborhoods as the culture has changed? I think that in part of it has been really a series of political political organizing. It's really looking at how to create a destination of businesses. That people people from across the city and around the region can come to and I think that it's been able to find a level of renewal towards small businesses. Give me an example of Um. I'm well actually one of the interesting examples is actually in San Francisco And really what. The Chinatown Community Development Corporation in San Francisco has been able to do to really facilitate the role of arts communities to enter vacant spaces and to ensure a level of vibrancy. Bad that I think that that is another element to understand the role of the arts in the vibrancy of the community in in the city and really allow allow for that opportunity to get people connected. Carolee why is it important that at a time when the Chinese community or communities are spread it as as they are now. Why is it important to preserve this community? Because it's part of our Canadian in history. I mean if there was any other part of Canadian history. I don't think we would actually be even asking that question so it really does go so for me. Back to the building of the railroad. It was important act of like I guess the most important infrastructure project like nation building project. In the history of our country that was actually facilitated because of these Chinese railroad workers. Can you imagine if they hadn't come over to work on this project very well could be part of America. You know because it was a lot easier connecting British Columbia to Washington state than going Over the rockies and think about how different that would have been for our country America would have control the entire west coast all the way from Alaska to Mexico and so because of that history. A neighborhood like this. You believe it is the physical legacy of that struggle and sacrifice so so for me you know. I think that there is a ah a change in chinatowns across the country. I do personally feel this. One here in Vancouver is special. Judy talks about how you know the beginning. The of Chinatown was eight hundred. Eighty five that coincided with the finishing the completion of the railroad. These people had nowhere to go and live. They didn't have enough money necessarily early to go back to China so they got this little piece of land on the edge of swamp as part of our audience. Listening to this conversation we are are joined by Stanley Kwok architect. Urban planner has been involved in major projects in the city. Including Expo. Eighty six redevelopment of false creek as well and the mastermind of Crystal Mall which opened in Burnaby in two thousand one Stanley. Hi.