Working together for the vibrancy of Chinatown
The City of Calgary and the Chinatown community have been working together on new community initiatives to bring more vibrancy to this culturally significant neighbourhood and build a stronger relationship.
Through the Tomorrow’s Chinatown project, a collaboration to create the first Cultural Plan and a new Local Area Plan for Chinatown, The City and Chinatown community have been working together to plan a variety of improvements in the area. All work and investment in the area is to support the growth of this important ethno-cultural community and tourist destination, and the vibrancy of 3 Avenue South, considered the heart of Chinatown.
One of the first projects developed, thanks to input from the Chinatown and Calgary-Asian community, is a new online tool mapping Chinatown’s important spaces and places. All Calgarians are encouraged to submit content to this online tool and take part in framing the past, and shaping Chinatown’s present and future. Visit calgarychinatownculturemap.ca to explore the online map.
“The Chinatown Community welcomes the Tomorrow’s Chinatown project,” says Ed Tam, President of Calgary Chinatown Community Association. “We have shared our views and engaged in the process of consultation. We emphasize two-way communication in an open and honest dialogue where all participants share their common ground, discuss and seek a solution for their differences.”
Since the Tomorrow’s Chinatown project began in 2019, The City and community have been working together to improve their relationship and the success of Chinatown.
“The Chinatown Business Improvement Area has dedicated significant effort to these improvements to ensure a strong balance of safety, good access to this community, and interaction of our businesses, residents, and visitors,” says Grace Su, Board Chair of the Chinatown Business Improvement Area. “Chinatown welcomes everyone and strives to create a great visitor experience. We hope to continue in building trust and working collaboratively with The City to make Calgary Chinatown a culturally distinctive, vibrant community."
With work underway on the Eau Claire Area improvement projects, the City has a number of upcoming initiatives to support businesses and residents of Chinatown. These include:
- Intersection improvements along 1 Street S.E to improve access to Chinatown. Traffic signals will be installed at the corner of 3 Avenue and 1 Street S.E. and Riverfront Avenue and 1 Street S.E.
- Traffic speeds along 3 Avenue in Chinatown will be reduced to 30km/hr as a result of the detour.
- Traffic calming design elements including a raised crosswalk are being installed to support the lower speed limit.
- Work continues with the Calgary Parking Authority in looking for new and innovative parking solutions to support the continued vibrancy of the area and Chinatown businesses.
- On-street artwork on 3 Avenue S.E. is being planned for the spring of 2022, aligning with other construction work in the area. Work has started on defining the space and developing a process to identify artistic support for the proposed street art.
Through the Tomorrow’s Chinatown project, The City and Chinatown Community have many activities and initiatives planned for the rest of this year and into 2022 that will improve street vibrancy and attract investment to the area. In future updates we will continue to share additional updates on community wellness and activities, programs that have been launched, updates on community perspectives, and a business support program - all of which are currently being developed.
“These improvements in Chinatown are to ensure one of Calgary’s most culturally significant neighbourhoods is vibrant, safe, and thriving, both now and into the future,” says Jennifer Brown, senior business strategist, The City of Calgary. “We are working diligently with the community to build a strong and trusting relationship to ensure these projects are successful for citizens.”