It Takes a Village

It takes a village to plan a village. The process to plan for the future of the Five Wounds-Brookwood Terrace neighborhood in San Jose proves this rule.

Neighborhood residents, local business owners, public high school students, and more flocked to community meetings and offered suggestions for the future of their community. As the plan emerged, a keystone became its proposed town square. San Jose High Academy students suggested the town square idea. The students were inspired by neighborhood residents of Portuguese descent who brought their memories of beautiful parks in the Azores islands to the planning process.

“The highlight was bringing many different people, businesses, and organizations together to work toward a common goal,” says neighborhood leader Davide Vieira. “Everyone involved, young and old, understands they are doing something important—designing the future of the neighborhood.”

The community’s hard work paid off in November when the San Jose City Council unanimously approved the neighborhood plan. Centered on the future Alum Rock BART station, in addition to the community square the plan features new homes and transforms an unused railway line into a pedestrian trail. What has happened in the Five Wounds-Brookwood Terrace neighborhood is a peek into what’s coming in San Jose. The city’s strategy for how it will grow envisions roughly 70 “urban villages” and it will take engaging people in neighborhoods across San Jose to bring this vision to life.

Read more about the plan for Five Wounds-Brookwood Terrace and what Greenbelt Alliance is doing in other urban villages.

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