A Comprehensive Community Plan for Chinatown
In 1912, the Chinatown community moved from the southern edge of downtown Chicago to its present location centered at Cermak Avenue and Wentworth Road. While the neighborhood has developed its own unique sense of place over the years, from the 1928 opening of the On Leong Merchants Association Building (now known as the Pui Tak Center) to the ongoing construction of a boat house in Ping Tom Park, Chinatown has never had its own plan to guide development in ways that align with community-led priorities.
Building upon the celebration of its centennial in 2012, Chinatown's businesses, community organizations, and residents will now have the opportunity to help shape its future.
The Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) and 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis are partnering with the CMAP's Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program to develop a comprehensive community vision plan for Chinatown. The Chinatown Community Vision Plan will:
- Define the community's vision for the future of Chinatown.
- Pinpoint the issues and opportunities that need to be addressed to achieve that vision.
- Identify short- and long-term strategies to achieve the community's future vision for Chinatown.
The community planning process will identify and address Chinatown's existing challenges and future opportunities, seeking to build upon assets to help the community reach its full potential. An important interim product of the community vision plan is the "existing conditions and opportunities report," a comprehensive analysis of Chinatown which integrates the information gathered through research by CMAP staff and the first phase of community engagement. CMAP will then draft the community vision plan, identifying short- and long-term strategies that address the issues and opportunities identified by the community to achieve its vision for the future of Chinatown. Residents and stakeholders will be given the opportunity to thoroughly review the existing conditions report and draft plan and provide feedback on its recommendations, including through community-wide meetings.
The community vision plan will provide a framework in which decisions affecting the future of Chinatown can be made with some certainty that today's choices—whether large or small—contribute to achieving the long-term goals and vision of the community.
Planning Study Area
The boundaries of the planning study area for the community vision plan will be 18th Street to the north, the Stevenson Expressway to the south, Clark Street to the east, and the Chicago River to the west.
Recommendations tied to place will fall within this planning study area. However, the planning process and community vision plan will study the neighborhood and make recommendations for the planning study area, within the context of what has been called the "Greater Chinatown Community Area." This reflects the fact that many persons whom are integral to Chinatown and the Chinese American community live outside of the planning study area.
On-line Survey Opportunity
An online survey was developed to reach a wider range of stakeholders who may not have been able to attend the workshops and meetings. Survey participants had the option to choose to take the online questionnaire in English or Chinese.
A community town hall meeting will be held on December 9 to help define community values, issues and priorities that the Chinatown Community Vision Plan should address. The plan will cover a range of topics including but not limited to community services, parks and open space, transportation, and economic development. Join us at this workshop and bring your family, neighbors, and friends. There will be Chinese translation available during the meeting.
Community Town Hall Meeting
Monday, December 9, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Pui Tak Center
2216 S Wentworth Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616 [map]
The public will have several opportunities to participate in the planning process. Community residents and other stakeholders had the opportunity to express their vision for Chinatown via "Postcards from the Future," through which individuals described what they hope Chinatown will look like in the future by writing a postcard from 2040 and placing it in brightly-colored boxes located in popular locations around the neighborhood. Download a postcard from 2040.
At the same time, CMAP will conduct community engagement activities at regular meetings of a wide variety of key community organizations to introduce the project to residents, learn about their vision for the future of Chinatown, and identify the issues and opportunities that need to be addressed to achieve that vision.
Government, business, and civic leaders from Chicago's Chinatown gathered at the Chinese American Service League on April 11, 2013 to launch the Chinatown Community Vision Plan. Download the bilingual press release here. To view a bilingual news coverage video of the project launch posted by SinoVisionNet please click here.
A public workshop to learn about the Comprehensive Community Vision Plan for Chinatown and gather input from the community was conducted on July 7 directly after the 9:30 a.m. mass service at St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church. The workshop was open to all stakeholders living, working, regularly shopping or visting the Chinatown neighborhood. The project team is currently conducting a workshop activity throughout the month of August with ESL students at Pui Tak Center.
If you would like to host a workshop at your business or organization to help us gather community input, please contact Sophie Chong (email@example.com or 312-208-6464).
Have a Vision for Chinatown's Future? Send a Postcard from 2040, DNAinfo.com, April 11, 2013
芝加哥华埠远见计划启动 勾勒发展蓝图, SinoVisionNet, April 12, 2013
Sophie Chong, CBCAC ( 張小姐) Public Affairs Consultant (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-208-6464)
Stephen Ostrander, CMAP Senior Planner (email@example.com or 312-386-8696)
Berenice Vallecillos, CMAP Outreach & Engagement Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8623)