A Chinatown Resiliency Center to Help Residents Prepare for and Withstand Disasters

March 13, 2019

chinatown resiliency center

Chinatown CDC hosted a Green Charrette in January to explore ways to make Portsmouth Square park a sustainable Chinatown gathering space during future disasters, power outages, and extreme weather. The Charrette gathered community leaders and key City departments to share design and programming ideas that can make the park more resilient, including the creation of a uniquely-equipped community center.

Community members urged for action, reflecting on recent disasters such as apartment building fires, heat waves and the Camp Fire air pollution that threaten the health and quality of life for Chinatown residents. Though climate change and disaster will affect us all, its impact will be felt most deeply in disadvantaged communities like Chinatown, where it intensifies existing vulnerabilities such as poverty, linguistic isolation, and housing insecurity. It is critical to plan for how the park can withstand such disasters, and how it may serve as a resiliency hub for Chinatown. Amy D., a SRO Family Organizer, emphasized the importance of open space in relieving the daily stresses for families living in SROs. Amy hopes to see a neighborhood-wide resiliency network that identifies assets and resources beyond Portsmouth Square.

Moving forward, Chinatown CDC will work to identify funding strategies and investments for capital and programmatic needs to increase sustainability, resiliency and equity for this beloved community. To learn more about Chinatown CDC’s work in building neighborhood-scale sustainability and climate resilience, please visit: sustainablechinatown.org.


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