A panel of local planning experts meet to discuss the future of El Camino Real, hosted by the Santa Clara Community Advocates

Santa Clara Community Advocates, Planning Professionals Helping Decide El Camino Real Corridor’s Future

On November 29, 2018, the Santa Clara Community Advocates, a resident-led coalition, hosted a panel discussion to engage more than 40 members of the public in a discussion of the El Camino Real.

The City of Santa Clara is currently in its planning process for the El Camino Real Specific Plan. Santa Clara is actively engaging the community and receiving feedback on the ways in which this historic corridor should be revitalized. The plan is centered around “creating a tree-lined, pedestrian, and transit-oriented corridor with a mix of residential and retail uses.”

At the panel discussion, local experts shared their ideas for transforming the El Camino Real and getting residents involved in this important planning process. David Pape from the Grand Boulevard Initiative spoke about how Santa Clara’s stretch of the El Camino Real fits into their vision of smart growth development. David Meyer from Silicon Valley at Home, Jason Su from the San Jose Downtown Association, and Emma Shlaes from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition spoke about housing, design, and transportation, respectively. Vikas Gupta, a Santa Clara resident and member of the Santa Clara Community Advocates ended the panel discussion with a call-to-action for residents to share their ideas for the future of Santa Clara and get involved in their community.

With additional speakers like Councilmember Teresa O’Neill, City Planner Steve Le, and Senior Director of Housing and Community Development at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Nathan Ho, residents heard many voices and visions for future of this city. Councilmember O’Neill welcomed the residents to the event and spoke of the need for mixed-use development, affordable housing, and a common vision along the El Camino Real. She spoke of the challenges the city currently faces in revitalizing the El Camino Real and voiced her optimism for this next chapter of the corridor’s history.

During the breakout session, Santa Clara residents spoke about their favorite things about the El Camino Real and discussed their ideal vision for the corridor. Residents and experts alike reflected on the past, present, and future of this defining and identifiable corridor.

Santa Clara Community Advocates has partnered with the Stanford Our Voice Initiative to lead walking tours along the El Camino Real. The Advocates are currently coordinating community walking tours, where participants will be able to provide feedback and ideas for improvement using the Our Voice app.

To learn more about our work in Santa Clara, please contact Kiyomi Honda Yamamoto, South Bay Regional Representative.

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