CHINATOWN — Neighborhood residents and community members with ideas about how they want Chinatown to evolve over the next few decades are being asked to send a postcard — from 2040.
The postcard was introduced at a kickoff event for the Chinatown Community Vision Plan, which regional and local leaders say will help shape the neighborhood for years to come.
"We are going to define what is the shared community vision for the future of Chinatown," said Stephen Ostrander, a senior planner with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
The agency is looking for input on anything related to Chinatown, from housing to land use to transportation.
The Chinatown plan, which is intended serve as a framework for local leaders for years to come, is part of that agency's broader push in Chicago and its surrounding areas to support communities and promote economic growth.
Ostrander said his agency and local leaders will hold a series of meetings in Chinatown throughout the next year. By August, the agency expects to have some preliminary recommendations to work with for a draft document that would be completed by January.
The final framework is scheduled to be completed by April 2014, when the focus will likely turn toward implementing or finding funding for proposed projects.
The postcards are available online and will be available at several locations throughout Chinatown. They can be submitted via special boxes that will be located throughout the neighborhood or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We have taken root here and we also want to realize our American dreams," said C.W. Chan, chairman of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community. "We want to make sure that the Chinatown community can be elevated to a higher level."