Gentrification and Chinatown

An important new study by the the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund finds that gentrification is eroding historic Chinatown districts, driving out long term residents and more recently arrived immigrants. The report, entitled Chinatown: Then and Now, examines Chinese neighborhoods in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia.

Boston Chinatown - Wiki Commons

Boston Chinatown – Wiki Commons

According to the report:

“Chinatowns on the East Coast are on the verge of disappearing….In each city, local governments drove areas of accelerated gentrification and have encouraged and assisted the gutting of Chinatowns. Government policies have changed these traditionally working class, Asian, family household neighborhoods into communities that are now composed of more affluent, White, and non-family households. From the expansion of institutions like universities and medical centers in Boston, to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s massive rezonings promoting development in New York, and the government’s encouragement of luxury condominiums and casinos in Philadelphia, local governments have dramatically transformed what these immigrant neighborhoods look like.”

The entire report can be accessed here.