In 2008, the community embarked on a plan to create a vision for the future of Chinatown, and to identify opportunities for future growth. Since the adoption of the 1990 Chinatown Community Plan and complementary zoning, Chinatown has experienced significant changes: the decline of the Combat Zone was replaced by new high-rise housing developments; the movement of the garment industry out of Chinatown; increased civic participation; and the rapid growth of the Asian population in Boston’s suburbs.
With a two-year planning process, the community elected a master plan committee consisting of an oversight committee with 13 members, and a technical committee that was charged to establish guidelines for the plan. The oversight committee was elected from major Chinatown agencies, organizations and residents, and had total responsibility for the master plan and its finances. With guidelines prepared by the technical committee, the oversight committee held five public meetings to further refine and create a collective vision for the future.