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Can San Jose Show Us The Way to Creating Dense, Vibrant Urban Neighborhoods?

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Pedestrians walk past City Hall in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. (Juliana Yamada/KQED)

San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city, grew at the peak of car-heavy, sprawling urban planning. Most of its nearly one million residents live in single-family homes. These days, many California cities are looking for ways to concentrate more residents near transit to reduce carbon emissions, improve livability and address the Bay Area’s housing crisis. But even with the best intentions and a new mentality, can cities reinvent sprawl into dense, walkable neighborhoods? We’ll talk about San Jose’s attempt to shift toward density and what other cities can learn from it.


Adhiti Bandlamudi, housing reporter, KQED

Chris Elmendorf, housing professor, University of California, Davis, School of Law

Michael Brilliot, deputy director of planning, city of San Jose


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