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Chinatown Urban Institute 2012 Print
Deadline: Monday, April 23, 2012
Chinatown Community Urban Institute (CCUI)
Founded in 2010 and going strong, the Chinatown Urban Institute is an empowerment and professional development program offered by the Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC). The mission of the Chinatown Urban Institute is to educate and empower San Francisco’s emerging young leaders and young professionals to understand and take action on urban planning issues, using San Francisco’s Chinatown as a living and breathing laboratory for knowledge. Through an inquiry-based approach, 12 Urban Fellows each year will learn the history and skills of the planning profession as a tool for social justice and advocacy. Biweekly sessions feature seminars, walking (or bike) tours and interactive fieldwork components to give the participants hands-on experience in grassroots communit planning.

As the culminating final project, the Urban Fellows participate in the Chinatown Block Study in which teams choose and study a block in Chinatown of their choice. Fellows are expected to understand the existing conditions of the block and propose an alternative vision. Fellows explore a variety of research methods, including archival research, the collection of Census information and zoning maps from the San Francisco Planning Department, as well as the execution of oral histories and fieldwork observations of their chosen block. Fellows produce a written report and are invited to present their block study in a public forum. Guests in the past have included community stakeholders, members of the San Francisco Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors, as well as city staff from the San Francisco Planning Department.

The Chinatown Urban Institute has a strong professional development component and aims to create a pipeline of advocacy planners who are committed to making San Francisco’s Chinatown and the City a great place to live, work, and play. It aims to generate strong leadership and instill community-based planning values in a new generation of young people.
The program will last for 8 weeks from Monday, June 18 until Friday, August 3, 2012. Meetings and trainings will last for two hours and take place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 10am-12 noon throughout the first 5 weeks. Optional training and events, such as brown bag lunches with special guest speakers may occur on some days following the regular training sessions.

Fellows are expected to commit about 20 hours per week for the trainings, readings, and assignments. The structure for the first 5 weeks will focus on building the Urban Fellows’ knowledge of planning issues in Chinatown and San Francisco, broken down into various categories such as housing, transportation, open space, and economic development. The final 3 weeks will allow Urban Fellows to creatively apply their planning knowledge in a hands-on manner through the final project.

A $500 stipend will be provided to Fellows who complete all trainings and requirements.

          Week 1 | Orientation (Monday, June 18th)
          Week 2 | Planning 101 and Housing (Week of June 18th) 
          Week 3 | Transportation Justice (Week of June 25th)
          Week 4 | Safe and Healthy/Open Space and Alleyways (Week of July 2nd)
          Week 5 | Economic Development (Week of July 9th)
          Week 6 | Work Sessions: Research and Field Work (Week of July 16th) 
          Week 7 | Work Sessions: Written Report Due (Week of July 23rd) 
          Week 8 | Presentation & Graduation Ceremony! (Week of July 30th)


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