Community Planning Reports

The professional planning reports available below are the result of collaborative efforts led by students of the Master of Urban Planning program at San José State University who have engaged with communities, policy makers, community-benefit organizations, and city agencies in addressing critical questions about the future of our urban region.

Over 900 students have been trained in participatory planning practices. More than 4,500 community members have interacted directly with university students and faculty in community-based initiatives. Participating communities have received in excess of $31 million in public funds to implement the projects identified in the plans. Moreover, the San José State University’s long-term commitment to working with local communities has facilitated the development of trust and strong ties among all stakeholders.


Hoffman-Via Monte Community Assessment

This planning report synthesizes the neighborhood assessment and public engagement work conducted by a graduate student team in Fall 2013.  The students completed a community assessment to inform future planning activities in the Hoffman-Via Monte (HVM) neighborhood located six miles south of Downtown San Jose. The need for this assessment stemmed from quality of life concerns in HVM raised by Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley (NHSSV) on behalf of the Responsible Landlord Engagement Initiative project. This initiative is composed of community members, property owners, residents, city officials, and community leaders dedicated to improving the quality of life in HVM and other San Jose communities.

Hoffman Via Monte Cover

Re-envisioning Downtown San José: An Integrative Approach to Renew St. James Square

This urban design studio explored future possibilities for redevelopment and long-term management of public open space, urban corridors, urban markets and transportation centers in downtown San Jose. The community is currently focused on leveraging and renewing its existing public assets given the area’s planned residential growth. Using the frameworks of social equity, economic development and sustainability, the studio collaborated with San Jose community and city representatives, conducted precedent analysis, and performed in-depth fieldwork to support design recommendations for three core urban areas as well as the historic St. James Square. Upon completion of the project, community leaders selected various proposals for implementation. The students’ urban analyses and design intervention proposals which span several project phases can be found at: sjurbandesign.com.

urban design studio poster

Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities: Mid-Project Survey Report [.PDF]

The purpose of the Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities (CCHC) project is to improve water quality in Coyote Creek by preventing and removing trash that is the result of littering, illegal dumping, and homeless encampments along the creek.

In partnership with the City of San José Environmental Services Department (ESD), San José State University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department has engaged the residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the Coyote Creek Corridor in a series of surveys. The first survey was conducted in 2011 (see below). This report focuses on the results of a Fall 2013 mid-project survey conducted by students in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning.

Clean Creeks report cover

Neighborhood Assessment & Community Engagement: Spartan Keyes [.PDF]

Spartan Keyes is a central San Jose neighborhood situated less than one mile south of the SJSU Main Campus.  This report synthesizes the outcomes of a comprehensive community assessment of the community and chronicles a number of efforts undertaken to collaboratively engage residents in the planning process to advance community-determined priorities.  The work was completed by fifty graduate students in our Community Assessment and Collaborative Neighborhood Planning studio courses and exemplifies the "out of the classroom and into the neighborhoods" approach that forms the cornerstone of those courses.  The finished professional-grade report highlights the work of our multi-talented students in the areas of quantitative analysis, survey design and execution, GIS-based cartography, clear writing, and exemplary graphic design.

Spartan Keys Cover

Safe Routes to School: Anne Darling Elementary and San José High School [.PDF]

This report is a culmination of two semesters spent assessing conditions in the vicinity of two schools within San José’s Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace (FWBT) neighborhood: Anne Darling Elementary and San José High School. Graduate students in San José State University’s Masters of Urban Planning Program conducted the work in 2010 and 2011. Our primary objective in this report is to synthesize our assessment findings and make recommendations for the implementation of Safe Routes to School programs for these two schools. Such programs aim to identify and eliminate barriers to active commuting as one component of public health improvements. 

Safe Routes Report Cover

Clean Creeks Healthy Communities Project: Demographic Profile Comparison & Survey Results [.PDF]

The purpose of the Clean Creeks, Healthy Communities (CCHC) project is to improve water quality in Coyote Creek by preventing and removing trash that is the result of littering, illegal dumping, and homeless encampments along the creek. In order to reduce trash in the creek, it is important to engage with local residents to establish community stewardship of the creek corridor. To achieve this goal, it is essential to have a baseline understanding of who lives in the community and what are their awareness of and attitudes towards the creek. To develop this baseline, the 2011 Fall Semester URBP 280 class performed the following three tasks:
• Collect and analyze U.S. Census Bureau data for the study area;
• Survey residents in the study area on attitudes and behaviors related to the creek; and
• Conduct a trash assessment in the study area.

Clean Creeks Healthy Communities

Urban Agriculture Policy in San Jose [.PDF]

This report presents analysis of urban agriculture policies in the City of San Jose as well as some "best practices" from other U.S. cities. The report was prepared as part of an independent study class conducted in Fall 2011.

Urban Agriculture San Jose


DORSA-TOCKNA COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT: CITY OF SAN JOSE BETTER BUILDINGS PILOT PROGRAM [.PDF]

This report contains the key findings discovered during a thorough assessment of the Dorsa- TOCKNA neighborhood in east San José between September 2010 and June 2011. It is intended to serve as platform of facts related to existing conditions in the neighborhood, upon which the City of San José’s staff can implement and build its Better Buildings Program. This program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, promotes large-scale adoption of residential energy efficiency retrofits in a variety of communities across the country.

Dorsa-TOCKNA Cover


East Santa Clara Street Corridor: Assessment, Community Engagement, and Improvement Recommendations [.pdf]

This document represents the culmination of work conducted by San José State University Masters degree candidates in the Urban and Regional Planning Department in the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters. We endeavored to create a well-constructed and usable community assessment for a section of East Santa Clara Street in downtown San José, the tenth-largest city in the United States. This assessment of the corridor encapsulates existing conditions and includes ideas for future redevelopment and economic revitalization

East Santa Clara Street Cover

Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace BART Station Area Community Concept Plan [.pdf]

 The 2010 Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace BART Station Area Community Concept Plan (2010 CCP) documents conceptual plans, urban design guidelines, and associated implementation strategies for the area surrounding the planned Alum Rock Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station. The impetus for conducting the 2010 CCP came directly from the Five Wounds/ Brookwood Terrace (FWBT) community. Community members have expressed a strong desire to be deeply involved in formulating the characteristics of future public investments and private development for this strategic area

BART Cover 

A Parking Utilization Survey of Transit-Oriented Development Residential Properties

In the Spring of 2010, a graduate class at San José State University in Urban and Regional Planning teamed up with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to study parking at transit?oriented development (TOD) residential projects in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. By observing the parking utilization rates at 12 housing developments near VTA light rail and Caltrain stations, this collaborative research effort produced valuable, local evidence that the parking supply at projects of this type exceeds actual demand. And in corroborating recent research which demonstrated that other TOD residential properties in the Bay Area are also “over?parked” (Cervero 2009), the study provides useful evidence to help inform decision makers that less parking can and ought to be required for housing projects that are located near rail transit service.

VTA Cover

Santee Neighborhood Community Assessment Analysis [.pdf]

This report is the product of collaboration between the Franklin-McKinley Children’s Initiative (FMCI), the City of San José Strong Neighborhood’s Initiative (SNI), and students of the San José State University Urban and Regional Planning master’s degree program. This report is the culmination of the collective work of 15 students during the Fall 2010 semester. As part of this collaborative process, the students decided to call the planning committee “Studio 201.” The members of Studio 201 are grateful for the opportunity to have worked directly with FMCI, SNI, and the community members and leaders of the Santee neighborhood.

Santee Cover

Alviso Community Assessment and Urban Design Analysis Report [.pdf]

During the 2008-2009 academic year, twenty-four Masters degree candidates conducted an assessment of Alviso through statistical analyses, interviews with community members, photographs and extensive field research. Our overarching goal was to conduct the type of foundational community analysis essential to the practice of professional urban planning: the documentation of existing conditions and historical context. Student teams viewed Alviso from a wide range of angles - as statisticians, historians, social documentarians, information design specialists and ecologists - under the guidance of Richard M. Kos, AICP.

Alviso Cover

San Jose Urban EcoPark [.pdf]

During Spring 2007, graduate students enrolled in "Urban Planning 260: Environmental Planning Topics" at San Jose State University's Department  of Urban & Regional Planning were tasked by the Environmental Services Department (ESD) at San Jose to develop a Master Plan for a proposed "Urban EcoPark" to be located at 1608 Las Plumas Avenue in San Jose. Development of the site was to occur in two phases. The first phase involved the establishment of an outdoor temporary household hazardous waste (HHW) drop-off facility. The second phase, which was the primary focus for the students' master plan, involved the relocation of the HHW into the existing warehouse on site and the redevelopment of the 46,000 sq. ft. facility and 2.5 acre site to support environmental programming and education.

The plan received the California Chapter of the American Planning Association  Award and the California Chapter of the American Planning Association Northern Section's Award for Outstanding Planning Achievement for a Student Project in 2008.

Urban EcoPark Cover


24th & William Street Commercial Center Improvement Plan [.pdf]

During the 2002/2003 academic year, students and faculty from San José State University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department worked with community members and city staff to develop a plan for the William Street and 24th-McLaughlin commercial node, located within the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace neighborhood in San José. The planning team assessed current conditions at the William Street and 24th-McLaughlin commercial node, drafted a vision statement that accurately reflects the community’s envisioned future for the commercial node and developed specific action steps to implement this vision.

This collaborative process culminated in the production of a report that includes recommendations to improve the viability and vitality of the commercial node.

William Street Report Cover

33RD & MCKEE COMMERCIAL NODE IMPROVEMENT PLAN [.PDF]

This report is the result of a yearlong collaborative planning process conducted during the 2002/2003 academic year by urban planning students and faculty at San José State University in partnership with community members and city staff. The planning team conducted a study of the environmental, physical and socio-cultural facts of the Anne Darling and Little Portugal North neighborhoods, solicited input from community members regarding their impression of and vision for their neighborhood, crafted recommendations based on land use surveys as well as concerns and ideas generated at community workshops. Community members and city staff provided feedback on these recommendations.

The improvement plan presented in this report focuses on affordable and easily executable solutions that would provide the greatest benefit to the neighborhood.

McKee Road Report Cover

Collaborative Plan: Bonita, Brookwood, Five Wounds, McKinley, and Olinder Neighborhoods [.pdf]

This report presents a neighborhood improvement plan for five neighborhoods one mile east of downtown San José: Bonita, Brookwood Terrace, Five Wounds, McKinley and Olinder. It summarizes the views and concerns of its residents, outlines the existing conditions in the community, and presents recommendations for specific areas of intervention within the neighborhoods. The work was conducted during the 1998-1999 academic year, under the umbrella of San José State’s Community Outreach Partnership Center (SJSU COPC), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), San José State University’s Office of the Provost and the Luke Hancock Foundation.

This neighborhood improvement plan has informed the decision-making process at the local government level. For instance, neighborhood recommendations generated by this collaboration have resulted in the design and construction of the 13-acre Selma Olinder neighborhood park. Other recommendations outlined in the work plan resulted in boosting city resources towards housing assistance, public safety, and street and traffic management.

Collaborative Neighborhood Plan Cover

Five Wounds Brookwood Terrace Neighborhood Improvement Plan Amendment [.pdf]

In 2002 the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace community developed a Neighborhood Improvement Plan (NIP) with principles, concepts, and strategies that guided improvement efforts and brought over $90 million in public funds to the community during the next four years. Encouraged by these remarkable accomplishments the community worked diligently during the 2005-2006 academic year to update its action agenda with the assistance of the San José State University urban planning team and city staff. Goals and strategies have been renewed and documented in the Five Wounds/Brookwood Terrace Neighborhood Improvement Plan Amendment (NIPA), a road map for the community, the city, and organizations that have a stake in promoting a healthy, vibrant neighborhood.

The community’s overarching vision remains close to its original. Residents want their neighborhood to be a safe, “small-town” environment, with walkable streets connecting central areas of community life, and thriving community-serving business corridors and retail nodes.

FWBT Neighborhood Improvement Plan Cover

K.O.N.A. Community Services Network [.pdf]

Through the City of San José's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative process, residents of the King Ocala Neighborhood Area (K.O.N.A.) identified greater partnership with schools, improved community services and enhanced community facilities as top priorities. San José State University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department conducted an assessment of the neighborhood’s community service strengths and needs, and conducted an open participatory discussion with community stakeholders during the 2004-2005 academic year.

The community assessment and public input provided the foundation to identify the key guiding principles, goals and priorities, and recommended actions presented in this report. This process revealed a wealth of community services in the neighborhood, yet the under-utilization of some services and over-extension of others also became evident. The assessment also revealed that physical and operational connections necessary to facilitate the efficient and effective use of community services by residents are lacking. Hence, the report identifies a network of community services as the vehicle to overcome these connection barriers and provide residents with accessible, high-quality community services in a safe neighborhood environment.

 

KONA Community Services Network Cover

Market Almaden Neighborhood Improvement Plan [.pdf]

Surrounded by the City of San José’s flourishing downtown, Market-Almaden has immediate access to major downtown amenities. This five-block historic neighborhood retains a small town atmosphere while surrounded by the commercial, entertainment, and cultural districts of downtown San José, as well as major roads and highways that serve as gateways into the city. The neighborhood’s unique geographic setting is the source of its major assets and its major challenges as well. 

In order to address these challenges and protect the special character of Market-Almaden, San José State University’s urban planning team, the City of San José Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Market-Almaden community joined in a strategic planning process that established a shared vision and goals for the neighborhood. The planning process included many community meetings and ten months of hard work during the 2001-2002 academic year.

The Market-Almaden Neighborhood Improvement Plan report was adopted by the City of San José Council in March 2003. The project won the 2003 AICP Student Award for Applying the Planning Process; the 2003 American Planning Association California Chapter Academic Leadership and Service Award; and the 2003 Northern Section California Chapter American Planning Association Academic project.

Market Almaden Report Cover

 

North Campus Area Plan [.pdf]

During the 1997-1998 academic year faculty and students from the Urban and Regional Planning Department at San José State University worked in collaboration with members of the community and students from Horace Mann Academy to develop a plan for the urban neighborhood immediately north of the university campus. Major changes have already taken place in this neighborhood. San José’s new half a million square feet Civic Center complex, along with a number of cultural and support services, have relocated in the heart of this community seven years after the completion of the plan.

The report outlines the existing conditions in the community and presents recommendations for special intervention areas within the neighborhood. It encapsulates the views and concerns of its residents and business community and sets forth intervention strategies to work towards their vision.

This project was conducted under the umbrella of San José State’s Community Outreach Partnership Center (COPC), sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and San José State University’s office of the Provost.


North Campus Plan Cover

 

Renewing the Action Agenda: Strong Neighborhoods Initiative [.pdf]

The Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI), formally launched in 2000, is a partnership between the City of San José, San José the Redevelopment Agency (SJRA), and San José’s residents and business owners. SNI aims to strengthen the City’s neighborhoods by building clean, safe, and strong neighborhoods with independent, capable, and sustainable resident leadership. Nineteen SNI areas encompass about 10,000 acres that include older downtown and first-tier suburban neighborhoods. Each SNI area developed a Neighborhood Improvement Plan (NIP) through the collaborative efforts of city agencies, citizen groups, community-based organizations, and community members.

Six years into the SNI, each neighborhood was set to review what had been accomplished since the release of its original NIP, reaffirming the vision for the community, and determining the direction to be followed in the next three to five years. This handbook is designed to serve as a template for each SNI area as it embarks on the process of renewing its Action Agenda and documenting it in a Neighborhood Improvement Plan Amendment (NIPA). The handbook was prepared by a planning team of San José State University faculty and students during the 2006-2007 academic year.

 

 


Seven Trees Neighborhood Plan [.pdf]

At the request of the City of San José’s Vice-Mayor, a team of Urban Planning faculty and graduate students worked with city staff and the recently formed Seven Trees Neighborhood Group during the 2000-2001 academic year to apply the Collaborative Neighborhood Planning model to articulate a collective vision for the Seven Trees community.

A series of conversations facilitated in public meetings and workshops ensued. Residents of all ages were invited to meet their neighbors to talk about what they liked in their community, discuss aspects they wanted to change and explore possible ways to improve and strengthen the neighborhood. The university team recorded all the information and generated a plan to respond to public input.

The report summarizing the planning process has been used by city departments as a blueprint to direct public resources to further strengthen the Seven Trees community. More importantly, it has also been used by neighborhood residents to set direction in their community-building efforts.

Seven Tree Report Cover


Tully-Senter School-Community Hub: Facilities and Services Assessment [.pdf]

In its 2002 Tully-Senter Neighborhood Improvement Plan, community members identified their ten top priority actions to improve the neighborhood. Leading the list was the establishment of a School Hub, a community facility that would provide space for multiple services.

In the fall of 2003 the San José State University planning team contributed to the first stage in the implementation of the School-Community Hub. The planning team employed an asset-based approach to data collection and analysis, which included surveying existing services and facilities, interviewing community members through focus groups and community-wide meetings, and conducting a demographic analysis to further understand the characteristics of the neighborhood.

The purpose of the assessment was to determine whether a new community facility was indeed needed, before proceeding with the programming and conceptual design process. The results of the assessment support the recommendation for a new community facility.

Tully-Senter Report Cover


San José's Mayfair Community: Pedestrian/Bicyclist Safety and Neighborhood Convenience Study, Safe Routes for the Mayfair Community [.pdf]

In the fall 2004 San José State University urban and regional planning students in partnership with the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC) and the Mayfair community conducted a study with the objective to provide the community with a reference and guide to: 1) improve pedestrian and bike safety on the way to and around enhanced bus or light rail stations along Alum Rock Avenue; and 2) provide convenience services around the stations.

A detailed demographic profile was developed with an emphasis on the segment of the population that relies most on public transit. Community input was gathered through three community meetings and over 400 surveys. Analysis of pedestrian and bicyclist collisions was conducted using the City of San José’s data, followed by a review of station design. This report documents the conclusions of the research, and includes recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements that are needed for residents to have a safer and more pleasurable walk or bike to the proposed stations along Alum Rock Avenue, and recommendations to improve the convenience of using the new stations.


Safe Routes Mayfair Report Cover


Planning in San Jose: A Community Guide (English version) [.pdf]

In the 2004-2005 academic year the City of San José Planning Department commissioned a team of urban planning faculty and graduate students to develop an introduction to land use planning and development for people unfamiliar with the process in the City, as well as for those already acquainted with the practice who want to learn more. The Guide is a resource for residents, business owners and property owners, as well as for developers interested in building in San José.

 


Planificacion en San José: Una Guia Para La Comunidad (Spanish version) [.pdf]

The San José State University planning team was commissioned to translate Planning in San José: A Community Guide in spring of 2007.

Durante el a–o académico del 2004-2005 el departamento de planificaci—n de la ciudad de San José le encarg— a un equipo de profesores y estudiantes de post-grado que desarrollaran una cartilla introductoria acerca de la planificaci—n y el desarrollo territorial destinada a las personas que no conocen estos procesos y a las personas que ya los conocen pero quieren aprender más. La Guía sirve como recurso para residentes, propietarios de negocios y de terrenos, y también para constructores a quien les interese construír en San José.

Planning in San Jose Spanish Cover