Monday, June 16, 2014

Downtown San Jose Street Life Plan

CMG Landscape Architecture was hired by Groundwerx and the Downtown Association to shape a vision of Downtown San Jose's street life. Key to this is creating a sense of place and connecting the pockets of activity we have today to one another (San Pedro Square, SoFA, the Convention Center, etc.).

It is a long read, you you can go through all 6 chapters of the vision over here. There is also a nice abbreviation in slideshow form that the Silicon Valley Business Journal did over here.

I think there are a ton of great ideas in here. You can check out some of my favorites below.

Source: Groundwex

Downtown Parklets

Mobile Solar Hubs

Downtown Stages

Cool Posts

Downtown Shades to mark pedestrian routes

Downtown art walls

Downtown wall features (such as this tailgate wall near the SAP Center)

Mural Corners

Art Sidewalks

Urban Forests

Wall Gardens

"Heroic" Statues


  1. Maybe San Jose should worry about getting rid of all the homeless people and criminals first. I live near 03rd and Santa Clara and I am almost scared to leave my house anymore. There is ever increasing amounts of people up to no good loitering, people begging you for money every 10 feet, and crime everywhere. Spending money to make downtown "prettier" will do nothing.

    1. More foot-traffic = less homeless people. I would think that would be obvious.

    2. More foot traffic means more homeless people just like San Francisco and Seattle, not the other way around. When downtown was slow and not lively back in 1990, there were very few homeless people there. This was after the completion of first wave of redevelopment efforts.

    3. Plus Santana Row. That place is full of homeless people. You guys are so right.

  2. SHARK Statue would be sweet!!!

  3. I see plenty of people living on the street in San Jose.. oh wait that's not the Street Life they're talking about

  4. Great ideas! I want them all.

  5. Looks like this plan wants to add more places for people to sit in downtown San Jose....and anyone who has spent any time here knows that the last thing we need is more places for someone to sit down. Why is this not the Street Light plan? Lack of basic street-lighting is one of the key reasons people won't walk more than one block from their $350 per night hotel room to spend their out-of-town money in our local businesses.

  6. Love all the ideas...but as anonymous states: until there isn't a firm, focused and sustained effort at curbing indigence and homeless–it's not going to work. "Parklets"? I see it already: strewn with homeless folks, mysterious liquids and stains everywhere. I am a downtown resident and, believe me, I never sit on any bench downtown. Also: back to the proverbial retail question. It's got to happen...something massive like an Old Navy, for instance.

  7. I'd like to see Guadalupe Park redeveloped to attract more people. It has a great bike/running trail but no one knows about it! Mow down the wild grass so more people can come and play!

  8. Your list of favorites looks so inspiring. Thanks for sharing such positive visions.