Gentrification in Chinatown Harms Social Cohesion, Food Security

A new report focuses on the consequences of gentrification in Vancouver's Chinatown neighborhood.
January 26, 2019, 11am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Wanyee Li reports on the changes taking place in Vancouver's Chinatown neighborhood.

A hipster vegan grocery store has set up shop across from a Chinese butcher in Vancouver’s Chinatown — just one example of rapid change in the neighbourhood.

Chinatown used to consist predominantly of businesses that catered to the Chinese-Canadian population. But the area’s new-found diversity has hindered social cohesion, according to a new report from the Hua Foundation, as newcomers are having trouble integrating into the existing community.

The report focuses mainly on the divides between Chinatown's food systems and parallel food systems in the outside of Vancouver. Gentrification is deepening the divides, according to Li's description of the report.

"The Hua Foundation’s report found many traditional businesses do not share supply chains or customers with non-traditional businesses," according to Li. "This disconnect between different neighbourhood groups doesn’t bode well for the increasingly diverse community, Huang said, echoing other experts who argue social cohesion can build resilience against everything from high housing prices to natural disasters."

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Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 in The Star Vancouver
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