Background

What is an urban village? What are their benefits?

Urban villages bring housing, retail, and jobs together with higher-density, mixed-used developments. They are a place for people to live, work, and play. They are typically located along transit corridors to reduce car use and promote walking, bicycling, and transit use. As such, urban villages promote sustainable and healthful communities — they reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, and support healthy living with less time in cars. Economic development and growth is promoted in key locations, helping to take pressure off developing in environmentally sensitive areas.

What is a “local transit urban village” and how is it different from other urban villages?

Local transit urban villages are located along light rail or bus rapid transit facilities that primarily serve local areas, compared to transit that has regional routes. Accordingly, local transit urban villages are planned for a balanced mix of job and housing growth at relatively high densities, with greater emphasis placed upon building complete communities that support use of the transit system.

Who came up with the urban village concept in San José?

The urban village model is embodied in the Envision San José 2040 General Plan that was approved in 2011 after input from thousands of residents. The General Plan is the City’s blueprint for the future growth of San José.

How do urban villages improve traffic conditions?

An urban village brings jobs and housing together so that people can spend less time commuting and can get to shops, restaurants and amenities without a car. Furthermore, the urban village concept allows for alternative modes of transportation, such as pedestrian-friendly environments and bicycle lanes.

What kind of growth will be in the North 1st Street Local Transit Village?

With VTA Light Rail at its center, this new local village has transit significance and is planned to accommodate up to 756,000 thousand square feet of commercial space (equivalent to 2,520 jobs), and up to 1,678 dwelling units. While the total number of jobs and dwelling units is not subject to change, the village plan will identify how and where this growth can be best accommodated through mid-density, mixed-use development and pedestrian/bike/transit-friendly infrastructure.

How big is the North 1st Street Local Transit Village area?

The current area is roughly 132 acres. However, through this village planning process, the boundary can change (either expand or contract). This boundary change can be influenced by community engagement and participation.