It Takes a Village

Strategies for successful implementation of San Jose’s urban village vision

White Paper November 19, 2019

In 2011, San Jose’s 2040 general plan proposed “urban villages” as a key strategy for sustainable growth. In line with regional goals, these higher-density, mixed-use urban places would concentrate new offices, stores and housing in locations accessible by transit, foot or bike in order to reduce the environmental impact of new development. But as of mid-2019, only a handful of the 60 designated urban villages have projects underway. Plans have taken four to five times longer to complete than expected, and developers have been scared off by both real and perceived requirements for building in urban villages.

SPUR believes that urban villages have great potential to grow San Jose sustainably, adding much-needed housing and economic growth and reorienting the city’s streets and neighborhoods around people, not cars. Our new paper recommends strategies to remove the barriers to sustainable growth and successfully implement San Jose’s urban village vision.

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