Stanley Park is the first and largest urban park located in the borders of downtown in Vancouver. Before the British colonized the British Columbia, indigenous people were the users of this land. Later in 1886 was when the city incorporated it into a park. Stanley Park is a unique urban park because it promotes the use of urban space and evolution of a forest. The park is an environmental-friendly place for many people to go to as entertainment. It is also a place that is easy to access since it is close to downtown and has many different forms of transportation that will take you to the park. Going on a trip to see the formation of this park can help us to better understand how the city of Vancouver plans the urban areas of this place when doing its construction. Stanley Park also provides sustainability to the city since it promotes evolution and ecology. The park today serves as one of the famous tourist attractions that promotes a healthy environment to the city.
I am most excited to go and see this park. Besides from the beautiful scenery and the fresh air that the park provides, I also want to see how it successfully attracts so many tourists. I want to see the structure and formation of the park and how it is designed to preserve its sustainability. My goal for this trip is to explore as many of these urban spaces in the city. From this trip to Vancouver and Seattle, we can observe and collect many ideas and concepts on how cities are planned and how urban spaces work in other cities, and perhaps bring back and implement some of them into our own city of San Francisco. I think that it is very important to improve the overall environment and space usage in our city, thus meanwhile improving our community as a whole. Besides from my own personal interest into urban studies and planning, Campaign Academy has somehow taken a role on developing this interest for me. Because in Campaign, we discuss about issues that are relevant to striving for a better community and community advocacy. These issues are ones that exist citywide and also are a factor of how the city was developed. Urban planning is one main factor in city development, and I’m looking forward to learn more about this topic through this trip to Seattle and Vancouver.
Vancouver downtown was once ruled by Vancouver's raw Downtown Eastside or DTES and it was full of dumpster divers, druggies and the down-and-out.This was also one of the poorest country in Canada.After the shops,bars,wineries,and restaurant started to move into the west of downtown.The people there had a strong community activism, so they had the power needed to push away the poor.
In 1980 all the people who are rich would move to Richmond and Chinatown would just be a poor neighborhood.But now the streets are like Hong Kong, full of neon lights.The Dr.Sun Yat Sen garden and other store and restaurant is the reason why it is attracting the tourist.
- Andy He
Vancouver is known as one of the most Chinese/Asian cities in the world, and its Chinatown is, undoubtedly, extremely prosperous in history that truly shape the city into being what it is today. Vancouver’s Chinatown not only serves as a cultural center for individuals of Chinese descent, but also a critical historical landmark as well. It is self-evident that Vancouver Chinatown is extremely important, and the preservation of the area is crucial for the city. The city of Vancouver certainly understands this, and decided to revitalize Chinatown while keeping its historical beauty. This would further spread the rich history and Chinese culture contained in Vancouver Chinatown throughout the city. The project of revitalizing Chinatown is a long-term project planned by the city; Vancouver has been setting milestones for themselves since 2001, and this “project” is still undergoing today.
Vancouver’s Chinatown had gone through quite a long history from when it first started to develop in 1880. Chinatown first started as a place merely for Chinese immigrants and industrial laborers to settle, but it soon developed and blossomed into one of Vancouver’s biggest and most influential commercial and residential districts. There were many hurdles throughout Vancouver’s growth to what it is today. One notable example of this is the when the city tried to implement a highway to run through Chinatown. In the 1950’s, the city of Vancouver wanted to put a highway to run through Chinatown. This caused the community to react negatively. Consequently, the city was forced to abandon the thought and left Chinatown as it was.
A community is very important for a place to sustain, for it is a place where people live, grow, and love. The place, development, and history is what builds a community. Like all communities, cities, and destination they all have their own story or history which fascinates me. For traveling there is no fear of being lost, instead it is the chances of discovering a special place. Anywhere I go the first place I would love to go to is to try the food around local areas. Eating different cuisines are always something enjoyable and new. As for Seattle, I would like to understand Seattle’s plan: open space Seattle 1200 by visiting Kerry park because it is said to have one of the best views in Seattle. I want to be able to observe and enjoy the city’s beautiful landscape/scenery. For everything tiny detail of a building or even a special coffee shop around the corner is significant to a community. So, in addition to visiting a park, another location I want to visit is the original Starbucks because I want to see the historic design and original look of Starbucks.
For Vancouver, Chinatown is number one on my list. Through my research I had heard that Vancouver’s Chinatown is pretty similar to San Francisco’s Chinatown, so I want to go there and to visit it. I want to explore Vancouver’s Chinatown, it is one of the cleanest modern day Chinatown and it also attracts a lot of visitors. In addition, I want to learn about the history of Vancouver’s Chinatown because it is said to have tales that unfolds the drama and the life of the immigrants where, thousands of Chinese residents were clustered in one area and due to crowding there are also single rooms. So I want to be able to compare Vancouver’s Chinatown vs. San Francisco’s Chinatown. Another location I want to visit is the central park. In Vancouver they also have a plan called Vancouver-Clark Comprehensive Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan: to meet the park and recreation needs of the community. The reason why I want to visit central park is because it is one of the oldest park in the city and it was designed for children with disabilities.Therefore, the key to sustainability is community and one of the best part about traveling is the opportunity to get a glimpse a community outside of where I grew up.
Columbia City is a very sustainable part of town in Seattle. It is sustainable because there is a low-necessity for vehicles in Columbia City, which means an increased population of pedestrians and safety tips focused on pedestrian safety. While it presents itself as an environmental friendly, it also contains a variety of people. With its newly installed light rail train, it attracted even more people. Transportation in Columbia City mostly involves walking and sometimes biking. Although Seattle and its neighborhoods may be culturally diverse, just like San Francisco, there is a clear difference between San Francisco and Seattle because of the pedestrian safety rules held by the cities. Columbia City, however, is quite different from the average San Francisco neighborhoods.
Despite the fact that both cities are suffering from drought, experiments for pedestrian safety have been widely promoted in both of them. In Seattle for example, metro buses have been installed with turning warnings as well as a carpooling system. This experimental effort by both cities seemed to have worked out, as seen in SF’s vision zero.
Columbia City is sustainable not only because there is a low-necessity for vehicles but also because of its attractiveness towards lower-income people.. While it presents itself as an environmental friendly, it also contains a variety of people. With its newly installed light rail train, it attracted even more people. Transportation in Columbia City mostly involves walking and sometimes biking. Urban planning as well as urban designing play a big part in this part of Seattle. It is not the main part of the city, but it is very much the most environmental friendly and stable neighborhood of Seattle. Just because it is not receiving enough attention doesn’t mean it is not good enough for it. Perhaps it is because of its high crime rate, and low enforcement, Columbia City is receiving so little attention. Even so, enforcement is something both Seattle and San Francisco is lacking.
Columbia City clearly presented itself as a sustainable neighborhood that is capable of adapting to future changes. The neighborhood is ever growing, and the metro system of Seattle is playing a big part in the development of Columbia City. While it’s popularity have been increasing, it was not always like that. Unlike downtown, Columbia City is consist of stores and homes instead of skyscrapers and offices. The town is pedestrian friendly, with its numerous parks and clear crosswalks. Columbia City is very close to downtown, and also not that far away from Chinatown-International district.
Seattle Chinatown isn’t a place, only known for having Chinese culture, but is a place known for having many Asian cultures, hence the district being named the Chinatown-International District, or the ID, which most locals would call it. The neighborhood has a diverse culture of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, and many other other Asian ethnicity.
In the International District, Hing Hay Park is the local park and the gathering place for the locals. Much like our own Portsmouth Square, here in San Francisco Chinatown, it provides the same benefits. It’s an open space where many people can almost do anything they want. Seniors in Hing Hay Park do many things ranging from Tai-Chi to Chinese Checkers and to even more.
This park can be beneficial in urban planning for Chinatown’s open space because it can provide a similar park with a different type of neighborhood. We can see how the type of neighborhood shape how a park or open space is used. We know that Portsmouth Square is the “Living Room of Chinatown” because of the cramped and harsh living conditions of a single-room occupancy. Now, I want to know their parks and what possible nicknames can fit the park perfectly.
The International District is a neighborhood as old as San Francisco Chinatown and this is why both neighborhood have many community organizations to insure that their own respective neighborhood is sustainable for future generation. For example, our Chinatown has Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) while Seattle’s International District has Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). These two non-profit organization focuses on similar things like affordable housing and community engagement. Affordable Housing is important to insure that people of the community are able to stay in their community and lower possibility of the neighborhood being gentrificated. Community Engagement is essential at keeping people to continue to care about their community and help them not ignore any community issues that can affect them.
Something else that is important for sustainability is to have local businesses. San Francisco's Chinatown contains a large amount of shoppers, especially looking for cheap groceries. I hope to see how many of the locals actually shop locally and shop from what type of stores. Another thing is what type of stores are there? Are there more restaurants than groceries stores? Are there more local owned stores than privately owned stores? These two factors shaped the way the commercial aspect of Chinatown and sustainability of a neighborhood.
The main thing I want to learn during this trip is how different cities varies in their methods of urban planning. The way I want to discover the differences between San Francisco's and Seattle's is through personal observations and through conversation with the people of the community. Personal observations can be easily made from walking around the neighborhood and through conversations made with talking with these community-organizations like SCIDpda.
- David Trang
I’m going to be writing about an urban renewal incident in Richmond, Virginia, as it reflects much of what I learned in both Campaign Academy and CATs Fast Track(I have come to realize over time that these two programs cover extremely similar topics), and I may have a bias for Canada.. Richmond, in a rather folklore-sense was built upon seven hills, much like Rome. Within the valleys of these hills is Fulton, a “thriving African American neighborhood, with businesses and shops, professionals and blue collar workers living side by side.” You may be wondering—who are these “blue collar workers”? Adjacent to Fulton was Montrose Heights and Fulton Hills. neighborhoods that thrived with businesses, shops, and homes much like Fulton. However, this is where the similarities end. Fulton Hills and Montrose heights are white communities, and much like white communities throughout history, they looked down upon the African-American valley. Not only literally since they were, you know, looking down from the mountains but because they were looking down upon the African-American race. Possibly because they viewed them as incapable, or incompetent. People have unlimited justifications for their biases.
In the 1970s, urban renewal movements swept through the Fulton neighborhood. Similar to the stories in chinatown, families were displaced, the elderly were moved, the community as a whole was weakened really. And guess what, Fulton’s two white neighbors managed to avoid urban renewal untouched. Perhaps this was a matter of probability, and the black neighborhood just happened to be on the unfortunate, receiving end. Or perhaps not, as it has been demonstrated time and time again in history that poor, minority communities are often intentionally targeted with acts of gentrification, abuse, and manipulation. Some people left the neighborhood, but many of them stayed. And waited. Houses were torn down, but residents sat quietly through the empty fields in silent protest. As pent-up frustration and anger collected itself, a community group eventually formed in Fulton in hopes of reviving it to its past prominence. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Besides community efforts, the city itself seemingly acknowledges its mistakes. The Planning Department and Historical Richmond Association show zero intent of hiding it, and local musicians have written about it.
Today, Fulton Hill is an urban neighborhood composed primarily of a working class. The city is slowly being renovated and rehabilitated, and white residents are slowly moving into the neighborhood. So everything is all fine and dandy, right? Well yes—and no. The city itself is doing fine, but it is has also been heavily gentrified. Is this not what we’re scared of for San Francisco’s Chinatown? It is a relatively poor community that faces constant threat of destabilization, standing its own only through the efforts of the people and the community. It may seem fine now, but so did Fulton at the time. This is why I bring up the story of urban renewal in Fulton Hills. The story of Fulton Hills is very similar to Chinatown today, and by studying Fulton, perhaps we can truly prevent gentrification in Chinatown.
Habitat for Humanity Vancouver is a non-profit organization that wants to build adequate, affordable housing with the help of low-income families, volunteers and donors in order to eliminate the cycle of poverty. The organization believes that every human deserves to have a decent, safe place to live in without worrying about the cost. In addition, they believe that everyone is valuable. This makes low incomers who feel confident enough to become homeowners and cannot meet the qualification for the traditional mortgages apply as Partner Families. Partner Families collaborate up with the organization so that they can purchase houses from the organization. The expectations that the families need to have to become Partner Families are accepting the beliefs that the organization has and living in unsuitable houses with unsafe environment or unaffordable rent. Once the organization accepts the families, they have to complete a task before they have the opportunity to buy a house. The Partner Families need to take part in constructing the houses that Habitat for Humanity Vancouver build for approximately 500 hours of their own time to build their own houses and houses for other families. After Partner Families complete their duty, the organization will sell the habit homes to the families with no down payment and no interest mortgage so that the families can pay for the houses.
Based on my research, I am excited mostly on the part about the fact that Habitat for Humanity Vancouver collaborates with many low-incomers to make affordable houses because of the success rate. I did not know that an organization could be successful by allowing low-income families build their own affordable houses. They do not hire construction workers to make houses for people who need cheap houses. However, I know about an organization in San Francisco that is similar to Habitat for Humanity Vancouver called Chinatown Community Development Center. Chinatown Community Development Center is a non-profit organization that buys and builds affordable housing for low-income families and seniors because there are many speculators that are purchasing houses and evicting tenants who lives in the houses. Once they remove all the tenants, they renovate the houses into expensive houses so that they can sell them for a value higher than the original value for profit. Chinatown Community Development Center tries to prevent displacement for seniors and low incomers by making houses that cannot be in the market. In addition, they try to improve housing conditions, which is the same goal that the organization have in Vancouver. This shows how there are many organizations that use different variety of methods to obtain affordable houses for the same purpose. Beside organizations, there are programs that travel with groups of people to another country to help build homes for civilians without homes. This indicates how people care about sustainability in society by creating programs and organizations in different places. Thus, the information about the organization in Vancouver, which relate back to the organizations and programs in San Francisco makes me feel full of curiosity.
- Stephanie Chan
My topic will be related to the Chinatown Revitalization project and the mini projects that branches off it. The Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization , as the name suggests , is to preserve Chinatown's unique heritage while bringing new life to the community. Vancouver Chinatown have faced many different community conflicts. As of right now the city staff of Vancouver is trying to find short term revitalization options. Some options includes tourist attractions , possible ways to gain profit , partnership with shop merchants and Chinatown property expansion. But in order to reach these expected goals , the city staff came up with a strategy plan to follow along with. Step one is related to research and consultation which includes Surveying local store businesses , holding public workshops to get information and feedback from the residents of the affected area of planning including the public too. And finally discussion about the stakeholders and other community organization’s outputs. The second step of the revitalization of Chinatown revolves around drafting the action plan. In order to do this the city hired AECOM to research, outreach to the community, and develop a strategy for Chinatown's revitalization. The third and final step is to present the action plan to the community and finding partners and sponsors while doing so. Luckily steps 1-2 is already completed. Now currently the city approved of a chinatown related grant and was awarded 1.16 million dollars afterwards. On January 2015 , Chinatown Society Heritage Building became partners with the city regarding the project. Currently There is no updates as regarding the reform and modern modernization of Vancouver’s Chinatown except that it’s deadline for the CSHB has extended its grant’s deadline.