Andy Yan: Where goes Chinatown, so goes the City of Vancouver

ANDY YAN, May 25, 2017

With the proposed rezoning of 105 Keefer and the prospective mass rezoning of the entire neighbourhood, Vancouver’s Chinatown faces a critical crossroads in its 130-plus-year existence — which paths will be chosen by Vancouver City Council over the next series of months. Planning and development in Chinatown is not the exception, but it has historically set the rule for the entire city.
The fight against the freeways in Chinatown in 1960s and ’70s is a founding myth of modern Vancouver. While seen by some civic and industry leaders of the day as a necessary means of economic revitalization and keeping the city “competitive,” an inner-city freeway proposal was defeated by a broad bottom-up coalition of citizens. These activists fought from the streets of Chinatown and Strathcona to the chambers of city hall and established a different urban vision for the city beyond freeways. Vancouver has been drawing livability dividends from that citizen-driven decision ever since. Read more…

A group of protesters gather outside of Vancouver City Hall on Tuesday to show their concern over a large development at 105 Keefer Street in Chinatown. MARK VAN MANEN / PNG