The Future of Our Neighbourhood:
Sustaining our Japanese Canadian Legacy
Downtown Eastside Local Area Planning Process (DTES LAPP)
As many of you know, the Downtown Eastside (DTES) Local Area Planning Process (LAPP) has been underway for almost two years now and will conclude in March 2014. The Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (VJLS-JH) and the Powell Street Festival Society (PSFS) share a seat on this committee. A PDF of the full draft of the Plan is currently available on the City of Vancouver website. A PDF of the 4-page Summary is also available online.
The City of Vancouver will also be holding a number of public sessions. Please check the website for confirmed dates, times and locations.
The planning process is at a critical point. As Michael Clague, member of the Building Community Society (BCS), which is a co-chair of the DTES LAPP Committee, so eloquently wrote in the Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Program:
“The Downtown Eastside is rapidly changing. As Vancouver’s oldest and most historic neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside is a special place to those who live and work here. And it is to all of Vancouver. How can the community build on its strengths to meet is present and future challenges? How to ensure that change benefits current local residents and is not at their expense, particularly those who are most vulnerable? How to keep building a community that is inclusive, diverse and welcoming?”
VJLS-JH and PSFS have organized a number of community meetings to inform people about the DTES LAPP and to allow members of the JC community to share their thoughts and ideas about a vision for Powell Street / Nihonmachi (historic Japantown) within the current context of the DTES. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple (220 Jackson Avenue). Snacks will be provided.
You can also find out more online at http://vancouver.ca/dtes and feel free to send your suggestions and ideas to the City directly at DTESLAP [at] vancouver.ca. If you would like more information and / or are interested in attending future meetings held by VJLS-JH and PSFS, please contact Kathy Shimizu at kathy [at] kathyshimizu.com.