Plan Unplanned: Ideas for Affordable Chinatown

Plan Unplanned: Ideas for an Affordable Chinatown is an ongoing project about planning in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. The 2013 Chinatown Working Group plan was the result of years of consensus-building in three languages among over thirty community organizations who came together as the Chinatown Working Group (CWG) in order to develop strategies for countering rising resident displacement due to rising rents, land use changes, redevelopment, and tenant harassment. The de Blasio administration rejected the plan in 2016 and the neighborhood remains without a rezoning plan, unlike the neighboring East Village neighborhood. Despite official denial of the plan, there remains strong neighborhood support for the plan. Plan Unplanned: Ideas for an Affordable Chinatown takes the 2013 plan as a starting point for tackling challenges of housing and affordability from a design perspective. Citygroup will examine sites across Chinatown and visualize them fully built out according to the stipulations of the CWG plan. Representations of policy implications as architectural drawings and models will help translate the existing language of the plan into readily understandable and accessible visual materials for the general public. Citygroup will additionally study the history of planning, land use, and development in Chinatown, tracing aspects of its history that might inform creative design strategies for accommodating greater density without disrupting current ways of life.

Participants: Forthcoming