On Thursday, July 28, we gathered at the Center for Architecture (and virtually!) to learn about the link between Urban Heat Island mitigation and "Green Gentrification." This was the 2nd session of a 3 part series in our COTE EJ x UDC collaboration. We heard from two experts in this area.
Isaac Kwon, Principal of Urban Partners, is a community and economic development consultant with 25 years of experience working in urban communities throughout the nation. He discussed how The Rail Park has measurably increased near by property values. He also shared how the demographic trends of Chinatown are showing that workers are living farther away, rather than being able to live and work in the community.
Sarah Yeung is an urban planner, a policy advocate, and founder of Sojourner Consulting, a community development service provider. Sarah shared more about how the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) and PolicyLink came together on a year long outreach project into the local community to imagine together what the community desired to see in Chinatown in the next 150 years. Part of the engagement process involved sharing the vocabularies of policy makers, designers, and neighborhood residents so they could understand each other. Another language barrier to overcome was English as a second language, and ensuring not only that there is a translation but taking the next step of understanding where non-native speakers might get their information and share it amongst each other. Another note was to acknowledge AAPI gentrification. When we lump so many communities together under one enormous continent of Asia, and we stereotype Asians as the "model minority," we forget the enormous diversity amongst the Asian communities and differing levels of access to resources. One other note is that gentrification mitigation methods such as Community Land Trusts do not function very well in a high real estate value area like Chinatown, and other methods need to be implemented.
If you missed the event, fear not, because it was recorded! [Link to watch and listen here]
And here is a link to "Chinatown Future Histories: Public Space and Equitable Development" project.
Special thanks to DIGSAU for sponsoring the event, as well as everyone who helped to make this event happen.
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