Saving Chinatown heritage: New petition to City Hall seeks to prevent rezoning in cultural hotspot, preserve heritage

Chinatown Main at KeeferCitizens have come together in Chinatown to protect heritage and prevent a proposal by Beedie Development Group for rezoning and development at 105 Keefer and 544 Columbia (which we have covered before – “Chinatown youth organizers,” and “Battle looms“). The location is near Chinatown Memorial Square and neighbouring the Chinese Cultural Centre and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. Below is the text of the petition, plus web links and excerpts from the savechinatownheritage.org website, which provides some videos, reports, studies, and introduces a social media campaign with the hashtag #thisischinatown.

Text of Petition to Mayor and Council (deadline December 7, 2015)

I oppose the rezoning application for 105 Keefer and 544 Columbia Street.
我反對奇化街105 號和哥倫比亞街544號的更改土地用途申請.

Vancouver’s Chinatown is a living community created out of struggle, resilience and hope. It is an important part of a larger Vancouver community, as well as Canada as a nation. Recognized as one of the city’s first urban areas, Chinatown is one of Vancouver’s founding neighbourhoods, along with Gastown, Japantown and Strathcona. In 2011, Vancouver’s Chinatown was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. But we need to do more than just have a label.

The 105 Keefer site is one of the last large parcels of land in Chinatown and located in the heart of the neighbourhood, adjacent to the Chinatown Memorial Square and neighbouring the Chinese Cultural Centre and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden. The rezoning would cost the site its heritage designation and Chinatown’s distinct character, as well as opportunities to better fulfill the Chinatown Vision plan.

We believe that the 105 Keefer site has a lot of potential to help City Council execute the community vision and address local needs, such as having more senior housing, and more community and cultural space. The current proposed plan is leaving a lot of that potential on the table.

Sincerely,

SIGNATURE

Excerpts from the savechinatownheritage.org website.

Chinatown is fighting a heritage battle華埠面對的是一場硬仗,一場為文化遺產而打的仗 Vancouver’s Chinatown is a living community created out of struggle, resilience and hope. It is an important part of a larger Vancouver community, as well as Canada as a nation. Recognized as one of the city’s first urban areas, Chinatown is one ofVancouver’s founding neighbourhoods, along with Gastown, Japantown and Strathcona. In 2011, Vancouver’s Chinatown was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. But we need to do more than just have a label.

溫哥華華埠的發展歷程充滿著艱辛、勞苦,另一方面亦富有靭力、希望,才能成為今天這個多姿多采的社區。華埠在溫哥華市,甚至從國家層面來看,都扮演著獨特而重要的角色。華埠與煤氣鎮 (Gastown)、小東京 (Japantown) 和士達孔拿 (Strathcona) 一樣,皆為溫哥華最早建立的社區。溫哥華華埠在 2011 年被加拿大承認為國家歷史遺址可是,單單一個名銜並不足以確保華埠的持續發展

The 105 Keefer site is one of the last large parcels of land in Chinatown and located in the heart of the neighbourhood, adjacent to the Chinatown Memorial Square and neighbouring the Chinese Cultural Centre and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden.  The rezoning would cost the site its heritage designation and Chinatown’s distinct character, as well as opportunities to better fulfill Chinatown’s Vision plan.

奇化街 105 號鄰近華埠悼念廣場及孫中山紀念公園,是華埠所餘無幾的空地。倘若更改其土地用途,華埠將失去既有的文化氣質和社區特色,無法實現大眾對華埠的願景

There are many ways that the 105 Keefer site can be better used to execute the community vision, such as having more senior housing, and more community and cultural space.

如果溫哥華市政府可以用土地買賣或土地交換形式來獲得奇化街 105 號這塊地,就可以善用它來服務大眾,達成願景,例如興建供長者居住的房屋,或者建立更多公共文化空間。

NOW IS THE TIME.
當下請即行動

We need to protect this historic heritage site.  And we need to do it now.
華埠是歷史文化重鎮,必須受到保護。我們邀請你立即行動。

Join the movement

加入我們的運動

  1. We need to support the existing opposition against the rezoning of 105 Keefer that has already been expressed by the Chinatown associations and community stakeholders. (Click here and here for more information).請你與我們、華埠各大組織及社區持份者一起發聲,攜手反對奇化街 105 號的更改土地用途申請。(可在這裡這裡參看詳情。)
  2. We need broad-based support from different generations and all walks of life to show City Councillors that there are thousands of people who care about and value Chinatown, who believe that Vancouver NEEDS Chinatown. 我們需要不同背景和年齡的朋友支持,讓市議員和發展商知道,成千上萬的市民都關心華埠、重視華埠,並深深相信溫哥華需要華埠這個獨特的社區。

Goal 目標

Our goal is to have 1000+ people e-mail the City of Vancouver by signing the petition below before December 7th, to oppose the rezoning process and to prevent the application from going to public hearing.  The 105 Keefer site should be used to better serve the community’s needs and priorities.

我們希望在 12 月 7 日前有至少 1000 名市民以電郵方式把意見傳送給溫哥華市政府,阻礙更改土地用途的申請程序,阻止市政府為更改土地用途申請進行公開諮詢。

How to Protect Chinatown’s Heritage – SIGN THE PETITION

你也可盡己綿力保護華埠文化遺產

PLEASE VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS INCLUDING FIVE ACTIONS.

savechinatownheritage.org

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