Immigrant's Sense of Belonging to Chinatown-International District, the Changing Neighborhood
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Chinatown-International District (CID), located at the south end of downtown Seattle, has been an immigrant receiving community for more than 150 years. The district has a history of social injustice and is currently facing the risk of displacement and public safety concerns. In this project, I wanted to document the different perspectives on, and meanings of the district in order to help people appreciate and respect the rich culture and identity of the CID. In doing so from the perspective a community designer, I conducted a series of literature review, interviews, and surveys specifically about four immigrant communities: Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Vietnamese and presented them in this document to be shared among those communities. The result made it clear that the CID has evolved through the establishment of various cultural communities and the interaction among them. There are many local heritages of the CID that can serve as a foundation for preserving the identities and the uniqueness of the district: places for gathering and socializing, historic sites and places offering social services to the local communities had all strong ties to the communities in the CID that enhanced the communities’ sense of belongings. The neighborhood also has a strong history of activism to improve the area through multiple unified, pan-Asian efforts over time. I believe these activism stems from the strong sense of belonging to the neighborhood fostered by the heritage of the CID. In order to sustain these efforts in the future, it is critical to preserve these key places for the community and protect the communities’ sense of belonging to the CID.
- Built environment