A Richmond resident says she wants her city to create its own Chinatown, complete with an ornate gate and traditional Chinese motifs, to celebrate the area's diversity.

Ericka Simm, an activist and former director of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, says she thinks a small commercial section in downtown Richmond would be the perfect space.

"I'm not trying to change anything," she said. "What I'm trying to do is embellish the area that's already existing and give it a name, 'Chinatown,' because there are already eight Chinatowns in Canada."

Simm says her plan would help avoid future culture clashes, referring to a recent petition presented to Richmond City Council asking for a bylaw that would ban Chinese-only signs in the city.

A group of Richmond residents, who collected 1,000 signatures, said Chinese-only signs outside local businesses, on restaurant menus, and in pamphlets and inserts received in the mail were doing non-Chinese residents a disservice.

Council voted in March not to follow up on the petition, saying it's up to store owners to decide what kind of signage they want, and it's up to shoppers to decide if they want to go elsewhere.

More than 40 per cent of the population in Richmond identifies themselves as Chinese, according to the latest census.