The sites that we had visited during Gordon's Land Use Tour are all significant places that marked the history of Chinese people. Out of all the land use sites, the Future Central Subway Station made the greatest impact on me. The construction of the Metro T Line can bring more convenience to people shopping for groceries in Chinatown. Many people, especially of Chinese ethnicity, transport from the area of Visitacion Valley or areas that are nearby to Chinatown to shop for groceries. Often, I see a lot of Chinese people taking the metro and then transfer to the number 30 bus line in order to get to Chinatown. Others would take the 8X bus line, which is also fast since it's an express line, but the Metro T Line would be faster. I think that having a stop for the metro in Chinatown is a great way to reduce the travelling time for these certain people. It also creates convenience for people so that they don't have to transfer and wait for buses. Although I take the Metro M Line to transport back to home, the Metro T Line can also bring me to the Balboa Park Station, which is somewhat near where I live.
Chinatown looks the way that it does today because people fought for what they want. Affordable housing, open spaces like parks, Orangeland, etc. are all things that people fought for. Different organizations helped residents living in Chinatown to fight for beneficial things that can improve their quality of life. There are a lot of affordable housings in Chinatown, such as the Mei Lun Yuen and Ping Yuen. These affordable houses provided many low-income residents a shelter to live under, with a rent that they can afford and won't affect their daily lifestyles. This actually attracted many low-income families to live in Chinatown. Besides from affordable housing, open spaces in Chinatown also brought people together. Each day, I see senior residents hanging out in Portsmouth Square. As Gordon mentioned: "Portsmouth Square is like their [residents] living room in Chinatown." I feel that people in Chinatown have close relationships with one another. Sometimes, I see residents saying "Hi!" or "Good Morning!" to each other when they see each other on streets. This is something that you might not see in other neighborhoods. To me, I think that this is a special characteristic that Chinese people have. From Gordon's tour, I learned that community planning and organizing has a lot to do with people's opinions. Basically, building a community is to satisfy the needs of residents living around the area. That's why it is important to gather different opinions and try to work the best that you can to do community organizing. Having a good community can help improve the quality of people's lives, so that they can enjoy more of their lifestyle.
- Shirley Tsang