Thursday, October 10, 2013
Here is the beginning of the Executive Summary:
For many Asian Americans, Chinatown is an essential part of our heritage and history. But Chinatowns on the East Coast are on the verge of disappearing. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) embarked on a three-city land-use study of Chinatowns in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia to identify the people, buildings, and institutions that currently compose these neighborhoods to help each community better plan for sustainability in the coming years. Our new findings, based on a year of gathering land-use data, block by block and lot by lot, shows the interplay of residential, commercial, and industrial uses in Chinatowns and pinpoints where high-end, luxury development areas are concentrated and emerging. Our findings also incorporate three decades of Census data to reveal the staggering changes in all three communities. In each city, local governments drove areas of accelerated gentrification and have encouraged and assisted the gutting of Chinatowns. Government policies have changed these traditionally working class, Asian, family household neighborhoods into communities that are now composed of more affluent, White, and non-family households. From the expansion of institutions like universities and medical centers in Boston, to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s massive rezonings promoting development in New York, and the government’s encouragement of luxury condominiums and casinos in Philadelphia, local governments have dramatically transformed what these immigrant neighborhoods look like.