Theses Master's

Why Chinatown has Gentrified Later than Other Communities in Downtown Manhattan: A Planning History

Xu, Nannan

Manhattan's Chinatown is the oldest and used to be the largest Chinese community in the East Coast of the United States. Since the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Acts in 1940s, it experiences great expansion, tremendous population influx and significant real estate redevelopment. As a community located next door to the world class financial district, Chinatown has been under the pressure of gentrification for decades, people keep on moving to the outer-borough communities. However, Chinatown is still a low income community and persists highly mix- used land use pattern, comparing with other downtown Manhattan communities. Why Chinatown has gentrified later that other communities in downtown Manhattan? To answer the questions, this planning history study examined four cases in the second half of 20 century, which are Chinatown Street Revitalization Study of 1976, Special Manhattan Bridge District of 1982, East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning of 2008 and Establishment of Chinatown Business Improvement District of 2011. Based on discoveries, a group of recommendations were provided for Chinatown community groups; among them are preparing a Section 197a plan, promoting Chinatown with the goal to make it the "Downtown for Asian Population", and doing "inside work" and "playing with the rule".


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Beauregard, Robert
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 11, 2013