Chinatown Neighborhood Plan

PCDC Sets Vision of Health and Equity for Next 10 Years of Chinatown

Chinatown Neighborhood Plan Executive Summary

Download The Full Plan Here

The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) is pleased to announce the release of the Chinatown Neighborhood Plan, a vision for the next 10 years of Chinatown community which seeks to strengthen Chinatown as a vital residential neighborhood, a destination commercial district and a home away from home for immigrants across the city and region.

The plan is funded by Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, a long-time supporter who also funded the implementation of the previous neighborhood plan, which leveraged over $5 MM in public investments in Chinatown and saw the transformation of the local commercial corridor into a regional cultural destination. It was one of two neighborhood planning processes in Philadelphia in 2017 which were supported by the foundation, which seeks to support long-term, resident-driven neighborhood revitalization. Denise McGregor Armbrister, Executive Director, said, “We are pleased to have been able to support PCDC in their engagement and organizing of residents and other stakeholders in the creation of the plan which will help to improve the quality of life in the Chinatown neighborhood.”

Interface Studio, a local planning consultant firm, facilitated the development of the plan.

Today’s Chinatown faces significantly different challenges than the Chinatown of 13 years ago, when the previous plan was created. In the past few years, the community has seen significant attrition of its low-to-moderate income population and local workers. From 2002 to 2014, the percentage of workers who lived and worked in the neighborhood decreased by nearly half. However, in that same time period, the number of people working in the main commercial area of Chinatown quadrupled from 4,303 to 12,712 people.

The plan looks towards peer AAPI neighborhoods in hot market cities for inspiration and lessons learned in the challenge to allow growth while preventing displacement for low-to-moderate income immigrants. The plan declares, “Although change is constant, displacement is not inevitable. Intention must be put into action.”

The plan uses a framework of health and equity to preserve affordability and a sense of belonging, as well as to create public space, create affordable housing, ensure community benefit from major projects, increase connectivity within and outside the neighborhood, support small businesses and manufacturing, and improve community wellness and health, and build community voice and engagement.

The plan is the result of a 10 month community engagement process which sought to capture the goals and values of a diverse, immigrant-based neighborhood, including service providers, local institutions, local businesses, nonprofits and City representatives. The process engaged more than 1,300 people through a variety of surveys, activities, one-on-one and group interviews, and public events. The entire process was conducted in both English and Chinese.

The plan release was celebrated at Chinatown Connections, a community parade and festival which advocated for safer routes to schools and parks in Chinatown on Saturday, November 11th from 12-4 PM.



PCDC is a grassroots, non-profit organization which since 1966 has sought to preserve, protect and promote the Chinatown community. As one of the oldest CDCs in the country, PCDC has a long and successful track record of ensuring community-driven planning and development. In 2004, PCDC created the Chinatown Neighborhood Plan, whose implementation led to over $5 MM in investments in Chinatown. In 2016, PCDC was the community host of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Every Community Counts design charrette to overcome the Vine Street Expressway in Chinatown.


Established in 1998, the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation supports the development and implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans in New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $80 million in over 50 communities.

For more information please visit: