Community Engagement

Community input was critical to the development of this project. To ensure local perspectives were incorporated in the Gateways to Chinatown Request for Proposals, DOT, Van Alen and the Chinatown Partnership held a roundtable with stakeholders, hosted a bi-lingual community workshop and conducted neighborhood surveys through DOT’s Street Ambassador team. Information and feedback gathered during all three of these activities helped frame the RFP, and key community requests were shared in the RFP to provide applicants with further guidance. If you would like to be notified of future opportunities to get involved and make your voice heard, please email with “Gateways to Chinatown Community Events” in the subject line.

Stakeholder Advisory Meeting

In June 2016, NYC DOT, Van Alen Institute, and Chinatown Partnership hosted a stakeholder advisory committee meeting for Gateways to Chinatown project.  At this meeting, the project team presented the project vision and next steps, including plans for the public engagement forum, and sought input from the advisory committee, composed of Chinatown civic leaders, representatives from elected officials offices and community boards, and City agencies. Staff from the Chinatown Partnership provided translation services.

Community Workshop

In August 2016, NYC DOT, Van Alen Institute, and Chinatown Partnership hosted a public engagement forum for the Gateways to Chinatown project. Community members and stakeholders were invited to voice their opinions and perspectives to determine the goals and themes that will guide the transformation of the Canal Street Triangle into a neighborhood landmark and community resource. The community workshop was open to the public and posters and flyers were distributed and posted to get the word out. Roughly fifty people attended, and staff from the Chinatown Partnership provided translation services. Information from this session, and the DOT Street Ambassadors’ interactions with residents and visitors the following Friday, formed the basis of Section II (E): Community Outreach and Priorities in the Gateways to Chinatown RFP. The perspectives and priorities identified may also be used to steer future neighborhood projects and support community objectives.

DOT Street Ambassador Survey

In August 2016, NYC DOT Street Ambassadors surveyed Chinatown residents and visitors alike to discuss the Gateways to Chinatown project, and gather feedback via an in-person survey administered in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish. The Street Ambassadors set up tables at the Canal Street Triangle project site and nearby Columbus Park. The Ambassadors collected over 150 surveys, which asked people about how they interact with the triangle and information kiosk, what types of design interventions they would like to see and use, and how they navigate the neighborhood. The findings from these surveys and the preceding public engagement forum are described in greater detail in Section II (E): Community Outreach and Priorities in the Gateways to Chinatown Request for Proposals.

Future Public Engagement Activities

Community engagement is essential to developing a high-quality and responsive gateway, reflective of neighborhood interests. The project partners will continue seeking public input throughout the project’s duration. Community, stakeholder workshops and surveys were pivotal in helping us shape the first step of the process, the Request for Proposals. The selected team will be expected to continue to develop their proposal with the community, through additional community workshops, stakeholder meetings and surveys. These community engagement strategies will take place in 2018, and will be open to the public and publicized in multiple languages.