Work leading up to this project
The Vancouver Chinatown revitalization committee was formed in 2001. The purpose of the committee is to encourage the community and the City to work together to develop short term and long term strategies.
Here are some of the key milestones since 2001:
- In 2002 the Chinatown Vision was adopted by Council as a blueprint for Chinatown's revitalization
- In March 2004 City staff developed a five step plan Chinatown community plan that encourages private sector investment to improve conditions for those who live, work, and visit the area
- In December 2006 a progress report was presented to Council giving an update on the status and development trends of the revitalization plan
Retail and marketing
Chinatown has many commercial, cultural, and tourism services. One of the Chinatown economic revitalization goals is to expand its retail business income.
With funding from the Vancouver Agreement and help from the City, the Chinatown Merchants Association and the Chinatown BIA have launched a series of marketing initiatives. These marketing initiatives include:
- Creating a logo to strengthen Chinatown's marketing identity
- A bilingual campaign to reposition Chinatown as friendly to English and Chinese customers
- A three year marketing plan to guide the local business community
Chinatown is an important commercial and cultural destination for local residents and international tourists. Attracting more local, regional, and international visitors to the area is important to Chinatown's economic revitalization.
Tourism promotion initiatives include:
- Shopping tours for residents from International Village, City Gate, and Strathcona
- A resource kit designed for tour guides, to describe the products and services offered in Chinatown
Residential intensification is a key goal of the Chinatown revitalization plan. New residents will create more demand for commercial services, creating business opportunities and filling empty storefronts.
Attracting new residents to Chinatown improves public safety and encourages conservation of heritage buildings by filling vacancies.
History of the area
In the 1880s Chinatown began to develop in False Creek around Carrall and Pender Streets. The community was established by Chinese immigrants who moved to Vancouver to work as industrial labourers. As the community grew, Chinatown became one of Vancouver's first commercial and residential districts.
In the 1950s the City considered running a highway through Chinatown. Vancouver residents wanted to preserve the area and avoid a highway. This strong negative reaction from the public convinced the City to abandon the idea.
In 1971 the provincial government designated both Gastown and Chinatown as historic districts.