Guadalupe River Park: A Shared Future in Downtown San José

Economic analysis, equitable reinvestment and governance opportunities

SPUR Report
Report cover

Over the next decade, San José will likely see one of the most significant urban transformations ever experienced by an American city. Public policy changes, transit investments at Diridon Station, a tech industry boom, real estate development and the approval of Google’s Downtown West project will all contribute to a new physical and economic landscape.

As downtown San José expands to the west, Guadalupe River Park is poised to become the center of downtown, and its health will become fundamental to the city’s success. Renewed support, enhanced stewardship and a sustainable funding stream will be needed to realize the park’s potential, so that this vital public space can become safer, cleaner and better used by all members of the community. The futures of Guadalupe River Park and downtown San José are intertwined. A fully realized park in the growing urban center can shape a more vibrant, equitable and resilient city, helping San José to compete for talent and investment.

SPUR partnered with James Lima Planning and Development to investigate the landscape of downtown reinvestment and development, quantify the real estate value adjacent to the park and research ways to ensure equitable development inside and around the park. Our research suggests that economic benefits and equity goals can be integrated. A revitalized Guadalupe River Park creates additional real estate value that, if captured, can help San José reach its equity goals by creating new sources of funding for better access to open space.

This report discusses 19 governance and funding strategies for Guadalupe River Park, with the goal of aligning interests among public, private and community stakeholders to work together and invest in the future of this important urban asset for San José.