How Can Chinatown Stay Welcoming for Everyone?
As Chinatown grows and experiences economic success, many of the opportunities are not equally shared, and opportunities for low-income residents to live, work and play in Chinatown are decreasing. The Philadelphia Rail Park Phase I opening occurs at a pivotal moment for Chinatown. Public projects reutilizing post-industrial infrastructure for parks modeled after New York City’s High Line Park have the potential to exacerbate and/or accelerate the displacement of residents and other inequities. There is a clear need for these types of projects to be successful hubs of civic engagement and equitable development for all people. In particular, for PCDC and Philadelphia, an equitable development approach to preserving opportunities for low-income communities connected to the Rail Park is necessary.
PCDC is teaming up with PolicyLink to develop strategies to capture equity. We are excited to have Community Organizer Akeem Dixon and a PolicyLink Project Manager James Crowder lead the facilitation of meetings and activities. This project will include a longer-term strategy to support local stakeholders and low-income residents to guide and control future development and value distribution. It will ultimately result in a stronger and more vibrant community. PCDC organized an Advisory Committee of diverse stakeholders in Chinatown. The first Advisory Committee was held on March 14th with around 30 attendees. The meeting started the conversation around equity in Chinatown. The Advisory Committee will, as a group, identify opportunities for low-income and working class residents to remain in and benefit from Chinatown.