Channeling effort into Chinatown

People walking under glowing red lanterns by night

Melbourne’s historic Chinatown precinct dates back to the gold rush of the 1850s and is one of the oldest-surviving Chinatown streetscapes in Australia.

In any given year, millions of people walk its lantern-lit laneways.

Though, the past two years have looked different from most, which is why we are going full steam ahead with investment into Chinatown, helping to reignite it after the pandemic.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Melbourne’s Chinatown is ranked among the world’s top 10 – so it’s no surprise that after a tough two years, it’s already back on its feet, full of life again.

‘We’re ramping up cleaning efforts and delivering the infrastructure local traders need to attract more visitors and boost business,’ the Lord Mayor said. 

Throughout 2021-22, more than 4000 square metres of graffiti was scrubbed off walls and spaces in Chinatown. 

Over the next year more than $1 million will be spent on high-pressure cleaning, and a further $152,000 on new light installations, improving visibility and accessibility in the area.  

Chinatown by night

The historic Chinatown precinct

The new lantern-look lights will be positioned among the red and gold lanterns installed in 2020, building upon the unique ambience and vibrancy of Chinatown. 

Excitingly, the newly established Melbourne Chinatown Association is also set to receive a grant of up to $90,000 this financial year thanks to Council’s Business Precinct Program. 

The funds will be used to support a range of new events and activities, driving even more visitation and spending in the precinct. 

Business and Global Opportunities portfolio lead Councillor Kevin Louey said as Chinatown is one of the city’s top tourist attractions, it’s important we channel efforts into reigniting it.

‘We’re proud to invest and work alongside local businesses in Chinatown to ensure our iconic precinct continues to grow and strengthen after the pandemic,’ Cr Louey said.

Managing Director of Chinatown’s Niubi and Fishpot Raymond Pang is one of the many who has rejoiced in Council’s efforts to rejuvenate the precinct.  

‘As a Chinatown trader myself, there’s nothing more important than a vibrant, clean and welcoming atmosphere to entice visitors and customers,’ Mr Pang said.

‘With thanks to the City of Melbourne and their hard work and investment in the precinct, Chinatown is roaring back to life.

‘So please, continue to support us and the many other wonderful Chinatown traders.

‘Let’s work together to bring back the glory of Melbourne’s Chinatown – a heritage destination in the heart of the city.’

To learn more about Melbourne’s offerings to our Asian community, visitors and international students, please follow the City of Melbourne on WeChat.

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