VANCOUVER City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the Uplifting Chinatown Action Plan, which focuses on providing Chinatown with enhanced cleaning and sanitation services, graffiti removal and beautification, and additional community supports.
With this decision, funding for the Uplifting Chinatown Action Plan will be included in the draft 2023 operating budget for final approval when Council considers the operating budget in March.
The Action Plan originated from a November 2022 Council motion directing staff to urgently deliver a strategy to protect Chinatown which has experienced significant challenges in recent years, including anti-Asian racism and public safety concerns impacting its businesses, residents and cultural organizations.
“Chinatown is an invaluable part of our city — a much-beloved community that celebrates Vancouver’s diversity and cultural heritage,” said Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim. “Chinatown holds an important place in the hearts of many. Today, with the passage of the Uplifting Chinatown Plan, we are excited to be taking the next step towards the revitalization and renewal of this vital part of our city.”
Through the approved Action Plan, staff will work to deliver the following expanded or new services for Chinatown:
- The creation of a “safewalk program” via the Chinatown BIA, to support seniors and residents return home, or wherever they need to go, safely.
- Proactive feces collection five days per week, (previously one day/week).
- Micro-cleaning 13 times per week (previously nine times per week).
- Installation of 15 new larger-capacity public waste bins.
- Monthly volunteer and organization led litter cleanup events through the City’s Neighbourhood Cleanup Party program.
- 24/7 access to the public washroom at Main and Hastings.
- Continuation of $500K in graffiti prevention and abatement grants to all 22 Business Improvement Associations, including $50K for Chinatown, to cover graffiti removal costs on public and private property.
- Funding and support for community organizations to explore different graffiti-abatement and removal models.
- Additional funding for free paint and graffiti removal on upper facades and heritage buildings.
- Funding for the Chinese Community Policing Centre to continue and expand its volunteer graffiti removal program.
- Given the significant number of anti-Asian racism incidents that have impacted Chinatown’s sense of well-being, residents, community members, and business owners will be encouraged to report hateful and racist graffiti to the Vancouver Police Department. These incidents will be investigated and evidence captured by an investigator before they are removed.
Pending budget approval, initial actions identified in the Action Plan, such as enhanced cleaning and sanitation, are expected to begin being delivered as early as spring.
The City Manager’s Office will lead the coordination and implementation of the Action Plan in partnership with City departments, Vancouver Police Department (VPD), the Chinatown Business Improvement Association (BIA), the Chinese Community Policing Centre, and other agencies and community organizations in Chinatown to ensure that initiatives are able to provide maximum on-the-ground impact.