A Community Vision Plan for Chinatown
UPDATE: The Chinatown Community Vision Plan has been selected by the Illinois Chapter of the American Planning Association to receive the 2016 Strategic Plan Award.
In 1912, the Chinatown community moved from the southern edge of downtown Chicago to its present location centered at Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue. The neighborhood has developed its own unique sense of place over the years, but Chinatown has never had its own plan to guide development in ways that align with community priorities.
The Chinatown Community Vision Plan will provide a framework for future decision making that aligns with long-term goals, and is the result of nearly two years of work led by the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC), 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) with the Chinatown community's residents, business owners, workers, and community leaders.
Planning Study Area
The boundaries of the study area for the Community Vision Plan are 18th Street to the north, the Stevenson Expressway to the south, Clark Street to the east, and the Chicago River to the west. Plan recommendations tied to place fall within this study area, which represents the commercial core of the Chinatown neighborhood. They also reflect the broader context of greater Chinatown, a much larger area that includes many adjacent neighborhoods, which are home to significant numbers of Asian-American residents (many of whom are Chinese American).
Public engagement—particularly for traditionally underrepresented populations—is an important element of a sound and comprehensive planning process. To give Chinatown residents and stakeholders a voice in the development of the Community Vision Plan, the project employed various different outreach tools and methods to better understand and address the needs of the community as a whole.
The Community Outreach Memorandum (available in the Related Documents section below) highlights the outreach efforts undertaken throughout the main public engagement phase of the planning process, and presents key findings of existing issues, challenges, and opportunities in Chinatown that were identified through these activities.
Community Town Hall Meetings
A community town hall meeting was held on December 9, 2013 at Pui Tak Center to share the key findings of the public engagement process and gather more detailed input from the Chinatown community to help guide the development of the plan.
Another community town hall meeting was held on December 8, 2014 at the Pui Tak Center to present the draft recommendations of the Community Vision Plan to the entire Chinatown community for its review.
City Planners and neighborhood residents map out Chinatown's future, WBEZ 91.5, May 28, 2015
Chinese language media coverage of signing ceremony on May 28, 2015:
芝加哥华埠远见计划预计明年实施 改善社区治安为首要任务, SinoVisionNet, December 12, 2014
华埠远见计划公布执行纲要, Epoch Times, December 12, 2014
City Leaders Unveil Chinatown Community Vision Plan Draft, Curbed Chicago, December 9, 2014
Chinatown Vision Plan Offers Road Map for Development, Parks, Jobs and More, DNAinfo.com, December 9, 2014
芝加哥华埠远见计划预计明年实施 改善社区治安为首要任务, SinoVisionNet, December 9, 2014
The Chinatown "Vision Plan" Will Be Unveiled Monday, DNAinfo.com, December 3, 2014
Chinatown Survey Results Help Shape 'Vision Plan' for Future, DNAinfo.com, December 10, 2013
芝加哥"华埠发展远见计划" 全民参与共建社区, SinoVisionNet, December 10, 2013
Town Hall Set for Chinatown 'Vision Plan', DNAinfo.com, December 5, 2013
芝加哥华埠远见计划启动 勾勒发展蓝图, SinoVisionNet, April 12, 2013
Have a Vision for Chinatown's Future? Send a Postcard from 2040, DNAinfo.com, April 11, 2013
- Project initiation (April, 2013)
- Community outreach and engagement (April – December, 2013)
- Study of existing conditions and opportunities (April – October, 2013)
- Preliminary recommendations (January – February, 2014)
- Development of draft Community Vision Plan (March – June, 2014)
- Plan completion and approval (July, 2014 – May, 2015)
- Community implementation of plan (begins May, 2015)
C.W. Chan, CBCAC Chairman (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-933-7373)
Stephen Ostrander, CMAP Senior Planner (email@example.com or 312-386-8696)
Berenice Vallecillos, CMAP Outreach Associate (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8623)