Chicago’s Chinatown booms while others fade

Global Business

Chicago's Chinatown booms while others fade

At a time when traditional Chinatowns in the United States are fading due to gentrification and changing cultural landscapes, Chicago’s Chinatown is growing larger- becoming what experts say could be a model for Chinatown survival.

CCTV’s Roza Kazan reports. Follow Roza Kazan on Twitter @rozakazancctv

Chicago\'s Chinatown booms while others fade

Chicago's Chinatown has many advantages that have allowed it to continue prospering, bucking the trend of gentrification and loss of identity for Chinatowns in other cities.

Chicago’s Chinatown, one of the most thriving Asian communities in the United States, is bucking a trend of gentrification and loss of identity.

Located a ten-minute drive from downtown, it’s home to more than 8,000 people and a bustling business community.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Chicago’s Chinatown grew at an astonishing 26% between 2000 and 2010.

And 90% of people living here are of Chinese heritage, with many of them being recent immigrants, in stark contrast to Chinatowns in New York, Boston and San Francisco where immigrant numbers are declining.

According to people who know about Chicago’s Chinatown, its prosperity is inseparable from the amount of opportunities that exist, effort by local leaders to forge community ties based on shared culture, and its close enough location to downtown for visitors.

The city has invested in services, too, improving elderly care, transportation and education.

And perhaps the best testament to that is the swanky new building-Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch. The city invited a world-renowned architecture firm to come up with a design and spent $19 million building it.