San Jose has made great strides in pursuing more infill development and affordable homes near transit stations. However, density in the right locations alone does not create a great place. The challenge and the opportunity at Diridon Station is for San Jose to create a vibrant, inclusive and walkable community. Amenities that are important to residents such as parks, trails, and bike lanes must be a part of the final picture.
To prevent poorly planned development from paving more open space and leading to more traffic congestion, infill development must be thoughtfully planned and attractive.
Coyote Valley was an attempt to create a smart growth community on working farms and open space at San Jose’s southern edge. In actuality, it was poised to become more of the same sprawl development that would drain resources from the rest of the City.
As the largest city in Northern California, San Jose is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Instead of spreading to its remaining green fields, the city can look to the landscape within the city limits.
North First Street is a wonderful example of an area ready for a makeover. The redevelopment of industrial buildings and surface parking lots into a neighborhood of businesses and homes will make better use of existing infrastructure like light rail.
Diridon Station is an opportunity to really mark San Jose as the capital of Silicon Valley. Its success depends largely on how well the City listens to and addresses residents’ concerns. Diridon Station needs to be a thriving destination as much as a job center and access point to places beyond.