Tue, Mar 25, 2014 -- 9:00 AM

Report Says Downtown San Jose Missing a Key Element: People

Download audio (MP3)

Don DeBold/Flickr
A man walks his dogs past the Veterans Memorial near Guadalupe River Park in downtown San Jose.
Don DeBold/Flickr
A man walks his dogs past the Veterans Memorial near Guadalupe River Park in downtown San Jose.

The city of San Jose has been investing in its downtown for decades, but according to a recent report, the city has been unable to attract one important element: people. The urban planning group SPUR has released a plan with suggestions for how the city can bring in more jobs, activities and pedestrians. We take up the report and the potential for making the downtown of the Bay Area's largest city a destination in its own right.

Host: Dave Iverson


  • Egon Terplan, regional planning director of SPUR
  • Joe Horwedel, deputy city manager of San Jose and former director of planning, building and code enforcement
  • Kim Walesh, director of economic development and chief strategist for the City of San Jose

More info:

Images from the SPUR Report

The Geography of Downtown San Jose

SPUR defines downtown San Jose as the 800-plus-acre area that stretches east from Diridon Station to City Hall and San Jose State University, and south from Coleman Avenue to Highway 280. It is larger than downtown Oakland?s 750 acres and larger than San Francisco?s 620-acre downtown commercial district.

Future Transit Investments Will Benefit Downtown San Jose

Downtown San Jose is already the center of the transit network in the South Bay. Investments over the next few decades will bring bus rapid transit, improvements to light rail speed, the electrification of Caltrain, the extension of BART and eventually the arrival of high-speed rail.

Available Development Sites Near Regional Transit

Downtown has a number of large unbuilt sites within a half mile of Caltrain and future BART stations. The majority of the area around Diridon Station is available for development. There are also several key parcels available along Santa Clara and San Fernando streets, including the site known as the Mitchell Block, between Market and 1st streets; Fountain Alley along 2nd Street; the south side of San Fernando Street between 1st and 2nd streets; and the south side of the housing development The 88, between 2nd and 3rd streets. SPUR recommends minimum density requirements within a half mile of regional transit stations and reserving sites for jobs within a quarter mile.

All images and captions reposted with permission from SPUR. Read the full report here.

Become a KQED sponsor

Audio Archive

Episodes by Date

Calendar is loading...

Be a Part of Forum

Follow us on Twitter

Twitter bird in blue

Stay updated on show topics, relevant articles, and easily submit your questions.

Subscribe to Forum


Subscribe to Forum's podcast and you'll automatically get each new episode when it becomes available. You'll never miss out!