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Chinatown Public Realm Plan

Image of Chinatown Public Realm Plan

Chinatown’s streets and public spaces currently lack the economic and cultural dynamism often associated with Chinatowns - Chinese streetscape elements such as Chinese lantern streetlights are diminished and inconsistent, there is very little outdoor economic activity such as vending or sidewalk cafes, and it has poor perceptions personal safety and crime. The Chinatown Public Realm Plan is an effort of the Office of Planning to create a comprehensive set of detailed actions to enhance the Chinese character, safety, and pedestrian friendliness of Chinatown’s streetscape and public spaces. It is a key follow-up action of the Chinatown Cultural Development Strategy and a framework for coordinating implementation funding and action from District, federal, or private institutions. The Office of Planning initiated the project in May 2011 and completed it in May 2012. 

Project Outcomes

  • Increase business opportunities by expanding opportunities for outdoor seating, signage, and vending
  • Improve the look of Chinatown streets by added trees and landscaping, creating active pedestrian environment
  • Solve nuisance issues including trash, liter, and protesters
  • Reduce pedestrian crowding at 7th and H street by changing the way streets are designed