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November 28, 2016

Chinatown: more than just a tourist destination

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Philadelphia’s Chinatown is a unique ecosystem that encompasses immigrants, small businesses and manufacturers, institutions, visitors, and a growing creative class. Known to outsiders mainly as a place for food and commerce, Chinatown is also a residential neighborhood and remains a vital hub of community and services for immigrants who have dispersed to other parts of the city – a home away from home. In the past, large-scale urban redevelopment projects, such as the Convention Center, Gallery at Market East, and the Vine Street Expressway, constrained Chinatown’s growth. Today high-profile projects such as the Spring Arts District, Rail Park, and Pop-Up Beer Garden are bringing new energy and development to the area north of the Expressway. But as the area gentrifies, fewer opportunities exist for working-class immigrants to live and work in the neighborhood. We are excited to work with the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation to ensure that as the neighborhood evolves, Chinatown is recognized as a viable place for immigrants to live and work, and not just a tourist destination.