Thursday, September 29, 2016

Planning Chinatown: Listening to the Community

Over the last four months, The City’s Planning Chinatown team has been engaging Calgary’s Chinese community and other stakeholders to understand how to preserve Chinatown’s unique cultural identity while shaping a vibrant and mixed-use area that can be enjoyed by all for years to come.

Earlier this summer, the project team went out into the community to gather input on the future of Calgary’s Chinatown. Through online engagement, a walking tour and pop-up events, more than 3,600 ideas from nearly 2,000 participants were gathered and analyzed.

“The team was thrilled with the level of involvement from the community,” said Allison Chan, Planning Chinatown project manager. “We spent the summer listening to those who live, work and visit Chinatown and have heard many different viewpoints about how Chinatown should grow and change over time. With such a large and diverse community it’s important to consider all opinions, they are both helpful and welcome.”

The ideas collected in Phase 1 were sorted into broad themes and formed a set of draft planning principles, which were then reviewed by stakeholders during Phase 2 of the project.

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve held four interactive workshops as well as an open house and heard from nearly 300 participants,” continues Chan. “The sessions were well-attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, who reviewed the guiding principles and shared honest feedback about the issues and opportunities affecting the community.” Although the group was diverse, a common theme emerged, Chan explains, “Almost everyone agrees it is vital that Chinatown retains its distinct cultural look and feel.”

The feedback will be collected and summarized in a report to Council on December 5, 2016. To learn more about Planning Chinatown and to stay connected, visit or subscribe for email updates.

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