Turning an Ethnic Enclave Into An Asset

Lowell, Mass. has one of the largest populations of Cambodian immigrants in the country. City officials want to create a "Little Cambodia" neighborhood to capitalize on that strength without exploiting it.

Several plans are being tossed around, such as erecting an arch at the entrance to the new neighborhood and scheduling street fairs and events.

Sarah Schweitzer writes, "City officials are concerned about dressing up the neighborhood so much that it loses the authenticity that makes it attractive.

"What I don't want to do is create something that is created for the purpose of just being a tourist zone,'' said George Proakis, the former city planner who spearheaded the branding move. "We don't want to turn it into a Disney-fied version.''

Many Cambodians, though, are enthused without reservation."

Thanks to Reconnecting America

Full Story: Lowell hopes to put 'Little Cambodia' on the map

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