Experiences of Chinatown

Summer 2017: Our exercise in public space-making was conducted at the geographic and cultural heart of Chinatown at Keefer and Columbia Streets surrounding Memorial Square. Two pop-up street closures invited people to enjoy and help reimagine this area through a community-led design process by young graduates of the UBC School of Community & Regional Planning. Funded by a City of Vancouver VIVA Refresh grant.

Our project responded to the community call for re-design of Memorial Square, as proposed formally within the Historical Discrimination Against Chinese People in Vancouver report to Council, as well as to grassroots efforts over the fate of the adjacent development site at 105 Keefer. 

LEARN MORE through the project report that includes a proposed design concept (shortcut/preview below). With methodology and data via Appendix.

PROJECT TEAM | Ignatius But, Eliana Chia, Doris Chow, June Chow, Alix Krahn, Frankie Mao, Carmut Me


design concept booklet

The resulting design concept for Keefer and Columbia, based on experiences of Chinatown that people shared with us and which are unique to the neighbourhood.

[Download the print version]

Site Analysis shows huge potential!

Design Concept: central plaza with three different paths to it, each highlighting a different experience of Chinatown

Heart of Chinatown (central plaza)

Vibrant Chinatown: path from historic Pender Street, featuring shopping and learning

Serene Chinatown: path from and past Memorial Statue, with added contemplative elements

Playful Chinatown: path from park/green space to the south, featuring activities and exercise across generations