Greenbelt Alliance Demonstration Projects | San Jose, CA


Photo Jul 23


Type: Tactical Urbanism Demonstration Project 

Size: 2 pop-up projects

Status: Complete

Greenbelt Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes conservation and smart growth throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Through many meetings, conversations, and workshops with residents and business owners in the West San Carlos and South Bascom Urban Villages of San Jose, Greenbelt Alliance developed a Community Platform document to articulate the community’s vision for the future – walkable neighborhoods, access to parks, robust transit, a thriving business district, and affordable homes for all. Greenbelt Alliance hired Street Plans to lead two Tactical Urbanism demonstration projects that would bring the Community Platform to life, illustrating possibilities and inspiring action.

For the first project, Street Plans worked with Greenbelt Alliance, the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association, and other partners (including a local bicycle shop, an urban forestry organization, and stakeholder agencies such as the San Jose Fire Department and Department of Transportation) to create a 2-day demonstration project showing possibilities for better biking infrastructure along Scott Street, a target location for complete streets improvements in the Community Platform. The project featured temporary sharrow markings on the street, a pop-up bike repair station, and a bike-themed block party. Ideas for the demonstration project were cultivated through an in-person workshop led by Street Plans, as well as through a project page on Neighborland, a web-based civic engagement platform.

Following the Scott Street demonstration project, Street Plans led a temporary “makeover” of a long-neglected alley behind a local strip-mall shopping center called Business Circle. This project involved a close collaboration with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, as well as with neighborhood groups and local businesses. The project transformed part of the often trash-filled alley into a welcoming community gathering place. The makeover included an unveiling of a newly-painted mural, as well as temporary elements such as pop-up public seating areas, landscaping, and programming. The project was intended to catalyze action in an otherwise overlooked part of the neighborhood, offering possibilities for how activated alleyways could help fulfill residents’ and business owners’ future visions for the area.