Sustainable Chinatown Plan

Year Complete: 2016
Grant Amount: $150,000
Local Government: City and County of San Francisco, CA
Local Foundation: The San Francisco Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners

Project Purpose

To create a Sustainable Chinatown Plan that will engage immigrant and monolingual communities to identify strategies that sustain Chinatown’s unique culture and affordability while increasing its environmental performance.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

  • Get started early with an integrated team, and get buy-in from all partners.
  • Find funding for soft costs that are outside of the typical scope of affordable housing design.
  • The field needs financing mechanism that works with the risk tolerance and norms of the affordable housing world.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

  • Sustainability is not only about environmental performance but also about the long-term resilience of a neighborhood’s culture and people in the face of larger threats such as gentrification and environmental degradation.
  • If you align your collective resources so you can achieve greater equity and sustainability outcomes.
  • Identify individuals – not just agencies and organizations that are willing to go beyond their job description.
Additional Information and Resources

In 2017, the Sustainable Chinatown plan was released, documenting the climate and cultural resiliency work of this three-year cross-sector partnership.  Read more about the work here.