Today is a good day, we are all heading out to see Vancouver Chinatown!
We got up early and went out quick to take the sky train then expo line to Chinatown and meet up with David Yurkovich who is a city landscaper that designed Carrall street. We got to the Carrall and Keefer intersection early and decided to freely investigate the area as we waited for him. I noticed that the streets are very green, bikers have a very protected lane thanks to bollards, and pedestrians can walk freely alongside them or rest while waiting for the light to change(Image below shows Lisa resting on the pedestrian seats).
Then David Yurkovich showed up and gave us a very brief tour about the design for the bike lanes. It was simple, he designed for protected bike lanes while keeping everything green and resourceful by having rain water drain into the trees providing natural shade for the bike lanes. The only problem was management as all drainage holes seems to be filled up by dirt or trash.
After that we went to see hop-in tour of Chinatown for free. During that tour I learned that the history of this Chinatown is very similar to ours as there was a lot of sojourners, miners, and haters. Many people came for labor on the Canadian Pacific Railroad and once that was done, the Canadian government wanted to keep the Chinese out with sedition laws. Besides the government going against Chinese Canadians, White Canadians also disliked them and destroyed Shang Hai alleyway which was the heart of Chinatown back in the days. Very similar to the story of Chinese immigrants in America to mine and build while suffering to Irish riots.
After the tour we went to see the city planners in charge of Chinatown district, Wesley and Helen. We learned about the situation of Chinatown and it's intense gentrification by large business. They showed us a map of the areas of Chinatown planned for demolishing and there were like eight or more areas being destroyed in the future for housing buildings. Then we learned about apartment complex owners changing the name of Chinatown's district to a different name to sell to other newcomers.
If I were to make a project to save Vancouver Chinatown, I would convince the Chinese restaurants scattered around the city to move into Chinatown instead. This would make Chinese food exclusive to Chinatown only, allowing economy to grow thanks to tourism.
Finally we see Doris, a youth from Chinatown. From her, we learned that most of the decisions made or seen by the community of Chinatown are from the seniors. They also tried inter-generational activities but struggled to get the youths to participate. My advice for Doris's struggle is do grants to rent a building and rename it to "youth center" where there are sofas and computers that also serve as a to hold meetings and do activities with seniors. Then have the youths plan with guidance of an adult to do activities with seniors. We continued to exchange informational and I asked about Chinatown's Night Market and was sad to hear it was no longer going to happen due to a redevelopment causing no power to the public at night. I was so bummed out because I saw pictures of it on google and it looked like a Hong Kong night market. Ugh.
This concludes this day's blog entry.
Trivia: The restaurant Dinesty has some very pushy and aggressive people.
-Andrew(Liang Fu) Wu