San Jose—the “Capital of Silicon Valley”—is the Bay Area’s largest city by population and with the tech industry booming, it’s only going to continue growing.
This growth will be concentrated within more than 70 urban villages—mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods affordable across the income spectrum—that provide services and amenities close to homes, workplaces, and transit. With our help, the first urban villages were approved in 2013.
Greenbelt Alliance is empowering community members with the knowledge to get involved in their local urban village planning processes. Two we’re focusing on this year are the West San Carlos Street and South Bascom Avenue urban village plans.
Based on decades of research and first-hand experience working on land-use issues in San Jose, we created the San Jose Urban Village Toolkit.
Our Urban Village Toolkit helps residents quickly and easily plug-in to the process when the City of San Jose starts working on their neighborhood.
The urban villages are a main component of San Jose’s General Plan, which was adopted in 2011 and updated in 2015-2016. The City of San Jose asked Greenbelt Alliance to help guide a major review of the Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan. Greenbelt Alliance was deeply engaged in the first planning process and reprised our role on the Task Force to review the plan. A key outcome of the process was that we and our partners ensured that affordable homes can move forward anywhere in the city, easily.
But it takes more than planning to stop sprawl development. Making sure plans are implemented is a large part of our work. After having successfully shaped the neighborhood plan for the Diridon Station area, now we are bringing it to life—taking it from an approved plan on paper to a neighborhood San Jose can be proud of. San Jose has begun implementing many of the plans we helped shape, enticing tech companies like Google to develop in transit-oriented downtown locations with a mix of homes, shops, and jobs at the city center.
“Continuing to sprawl in the suburban pattern is making our housing less affordable. It’s making our freeways more congested. Increasingly tech leaders, I think, are getting it and they recognize the urgency of focusing on a more-urban model” says Mayor Sam Liccardo in an interview with KTVU.
This includes building around transportation and including homes people can afford in the plans.
- Help San Jose residents successfully engage in their local urban village planning processes
- Ensure the implementation of the West San Carlos, South Bascom, and Diridon Station Area Plans meet the needs of everyone in those communities
With 70 urban villages to plan throughout the city, it will take the power of local people with easy to use tools at their fingertips to make these planning processes a success. Get started with our San Jose Urban Village Toolkit.
Map of Planned San Jose Urban Villages
Envision 2040 San Jose General Plan Review
Working Partnerships USA, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Housing Trust Silicon Valley
Diridon Station Area Plan
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Working Partnerships USA, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TransForm, Friends of Caltrain, Great Communities Collaborative, Sierra Club, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, Shasta/Hanchet Park Neighborhood Association, Delmas Park Neighborhood Action Coalition, Burbank/Del Monte Neighborhood Action Committee, Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, Diridon Station Area Good Neighbor Committee
West San Carlos and South Bascom Urban Village Plans
Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, Shasta/Hanchet Park Neighborhood Association, West San Carlos Street Neighborhood Business Association
Contact: Kiyomi Yamamoto
Photo: David Leong Photography ©