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Revive Chinatown: A community planning process focused on making Chinatown a safer and healthier place

Julia Chiu-Chen Liou, MPH, Asian Health Services, 818 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607, 510-986-6830 ext. 267, jliou@ahschc.org

Oakland’s historic Chinatown is one of the Bay Area’s 52 most impoverished neighborhoods. This culturally rich community not only bears an unjust transportation burden due to the constant downtown traffic flow and the presence of major state highways through and around its community, but it also holds the record for the highest number of pedestrian and vehicle accidents in the City of Oakland. As a result, this low-income community of immigrants and seniors suffers from extraordinarily high pedestrian injuries and fatalities and has seen Chinatown’s economic vitality decline over time. Asian Health Services (AHS), a community health center in Oakland Chinatown, has forged new ground with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oakland in working to address these issues in comprehensive fashion. Recognizing that the way communities are designed directly impacts public health, AHS is working with its partners on a community planning project entitled Revive Chinatown! Revive Chinatown’s goals are to create a safer pedestrian environment, enhance mobility and access for seniors and the disabled, improve the attractiveness of Chinatown’s commercial district as a regional shopping destination, and involve the community in a process that empowers them to seek long-term solutions to quality-of-life issues. This presentation will focus on the successes and challenges of working with the Chinatown community to devise a series of environmental (streetscape and transportation) improvements that celebrates the vibrant culture of Oakland Chinatown while reflecting the desires of community members for a safe, walkable, healthy, attractive and economically viable community.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Environmental Health Issues: The Physical, Social, and Built Environment

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA