The Choi Project
Vancouver Chinatown Social Cohesion Report

Research & Analysis

Social Distance and Parallel Social Systems

With a rapidly changing small business and food landscape in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Vancouver Chinatown Social Cohesion Report measures the social cohesion between new and traditional businesses and their networks. Situated within the Downtown Eastside, the complex cultural and socio-economic threads between businesses, residents, and patrons of the neighbourhood are under-researched. The report measures how the changing retail and food business landscape shapes and impacts the neighbourhood’s resilience.

Noting the City of Vancouver’s interest in supporting the community to advance a bid for Chinatown to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a specific focus on the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ of the area, this report highlights opportunities for existing and new actors in the neighbourhood to come together around heritage conservation in the community.

The report provides a strong case for the City of Vancouver to develop and apply an equity framework. It also makes policy recommendations with tangible shifts in the application of existing and active policies to provide a grounding basis for stakeholders of the neighbourhood to work on collectively. This report contributes to the ongoing discourse regarding the importance of community-centred, culturally sensitive, and demographically appropriate development, particularly for historic neighbourhoods.

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