The evolving Chinatown community


ANTHONY: WENDY LEE CAME TO
BOSTON IN 1967.>>AND THA TIME,
[INDISCERNIBLE]
11 REAL HOUSES AND WE KNOW EACH
OTHER. ALL THE KIDS ARE PLAYING
TOGETHER AND WE HELP TO TAKE
CARE OF EACH OTHER. ANTHONY: TODAY THERE IS NO ONE
PLAYING OUTSIDE AND SHE ONLY
KNOWS TWO FAMILIES ON THE
STREET.>>YOU DON’T FEEL THAT FOND OF
THE TIGHT FAMILY COMMUNITY. WE REALLY WANT THAT BACK.>>THERE IS A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT
GOING ON THAT IS CAUSING THE
FABRIC OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO
CHANGE, SO WHO IS LIVING HERE, I
THINK THAT THERE IS A RESILIENT
COMMUNITY HERE WITH THE CHINESE PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION. ANTHONY: KAREN CHEN OF THE
CHINESE PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION
SAYS THE ROW HOUSES IN CHINATOWN
WERE BUILT AS WORKFORCE HOUSING. NOW THEY ARE AT RISK OF BEING
TORN DOWN AND REPLACED BY
HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS.>>THERE KIND OF LIKE THE
CHINATOWN BROWNSTONES. PREVIOUS TO THIS AREA BEING
CHINATOWN, THERE WAS OTHER
IMMIGRANTS BUT HAD ALWAYS HOUSED
IMMIGRANTS. THAT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF
HISTORY.>>WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO SEE
MAJOR COMPANIES EVICTING
LONGTIME RESIDENTS AND TURNING
IT INTO LUXURY CONDOS FOR THE
WEALTHY. ANTHONY: THE NONPROFIT ASIAN
DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
ORGANIZATION WORKS TO PRESERVE
CHINATOWN BY BUILDING HOUSING
AND COMMUNITY SPACES.>>OVER THE LAST THREE DECADES
WE HAVE BUILT CLOSE TO 400
AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS AND CONDOS
HERE IN CHINATOWN. ANTHONY: ONE OF THE
CORPORATION’S CHINA —
CHALLENGES IS FINDING LAND ON
WHICH TO BUILD. THE NEXT PROJECT WILL TURN A
CITY PARKING LOT INTO A
HIGH-RISE WITH A LARGE AMOUNT OF
AFFORDABLE HOUSING.>>WE ARE LOOKING FOR AT LEAST
150 UNITS OF A MIX OF AFFORDABLE
APARTMENTS AS WELL AS
HOMEOWNERSHIP CONDOS. AND THEN ON THE GROUND FLOOR WE
ARE HOPING TO PROVIDE A
PERMANENT BRANCH OF THE
CHINATOWN LIBRARY. CHINATOWN HAS NOT HAD A LIBRARY
FOR OVER 50 YEARS. ANTHONY: BUT FOR THE ACDC, IT IS
NOT JUST ABOUT HOUSING. THEY SAY CHINATOWN’S CHARACTER
NEEDS TO BE PRESERVED.>>HOW DO WE USE OTHER
INITIATIVES LIKE PUBLIC ART AND
RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT TO EXTEND
AND STRENGTHEN CHINATOWN’S
CULTURAL FOOTPRINT AND IDENTITY,
— IDENTITY? SO A LOT OF THE WORK IS ACTUALLY
AROUND THAT MORE INTANGIBLE
CULTURAL PIECE. ANTHONY: ONE WAY TO HELP,
CHINATOWN BACKYARD, A COMMUNITY
GARDEN.>>THERE IS VERY LITTLE OPEN OR
RECREATIONAL SPACE IN CHINATOWN
CONSIDERING HOW DENSE THE
NEIGHBORHOOD IS. WE ARE BASICALLY ON THE EASTERN
BOUNDARY OF CHINATOWN NOW. WE REALLY WANT TO STRENGTHEN
CHINATOWN’S IDENTITY. ANTHONY: AN IDENTITY WHICH SHE
EXPECTS WILL FACE CHANGES IN THE
COMING DECADE.>>IF YOU LOOK AT THE TREND OF
THE CENSUS THE ASIAN POPULATION
, IS DECREASING OVER YEARS. WHEN YOU CERTAINLY HAVE ARE
THESE DIFFERENT POPULATIONS OF
NEW RESIDENTS COMING TO
CHINATOWN, AND THE OLD
WORKING-CLASS RESIDENTS LEARNING
HOW TO LIVE WITH ONE ANOTHER.>>THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO
CARE ABOUT THIS COMMUNITY AND
CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL
ULTIMATELY BE — THE RATE OF
GENTRIFICATION IS GOING IF NO
ACTION IS TAKEN. ERIKA: SO MANY OF THE HIGH-RISE
BUILDINGS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD DO
HAVE AFFORDABLE UNITS BUT THERE
— THEY ARE NOT ENOUGH. ACDC HELPED DEVELOP IN THE
METROPOLITAN, AND THAT IS TO
NAME A FEW. THE ORIGINAL CHINATOWN LIBRARY
WAS DEMOLISHED IN 1956 TO MAKE
ROOM FOR THE CENTRAL ARTERY
WHICH DISPLACED 300 FAMILIES AND
CUT OUT A LARGE SECTION OF THE
NEIGHBORHOOD. THAT IS WHY ANGIE AND THE ASIAN
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION FIND IT CRITICAL TO
PRESERVE CHINATOWN’S BORDERS AND
EXPAND ITS CULTURAL FOOTPRINT. I AM ERIKA TARANTAL. THAT IS CHRONICLE FOR TONIGHT. [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE
NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE,




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