Dear friends, partners and supporters of CommUniverCity,
In 2016-2017, CommUniverCity dove into its twelfth year! CommUniverCity continues to reach out to downtown neighborhoods and receive attention for its high-impact model of cross-sector community engagement. I’d like to highlight a few of the many accomplishments in 2016-2017 and invite you to read about our projects in more detail in the pages that follow.
Earlier this year, the East Santa Clara Street planning project received the Academic Project Award by the Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association. The report was completed in collaboration with a large number of partners under the leadership of SJSU urban planning instructors Rick Kos and Kevin Fang, and includes a detailed physical assessment, stakeholder analysis and policy recommendations. The 200 page report, Urban Village Planning: E. Santa Clara Street Assessment, is available on CommUniverCity’s website.
This year, SJSU advertising students collaborated with the City’s Environmental Services Department to create an advertising campaign tackling illegal dumping in San José. Competing against five other teams, our students effectively promoted the City’s large item pick up services and took home first place! The campaign, #BeGoodToMeSJ, received SJSU Assistant Professor John Delacruz’s prestigious Blue Cow Award for their creative approach in deterring illegal dumping by highlighting the sentimental attachment residents have to their furniture and the need for proper and respectful disposal.
CommUniverCity continues to receive recognition as a high impact community-academia-government partnership. After analyzing data from over 300 surveys in the Northside Neighborhood, SJSU urban planning students created a full-scale temporary curbside café installation along 13th Street and earned a commendation from the City of San José. Following last year’s successful launch in partnership with community-based organizations in the Northside Neighborhood, residents are addressing the need for a permanent installation that invites more foot traffic for businesses and slower traffic for safety.
In addition, CommUniverCity’s very first Design For All project, a collaborative event between the San José Downtown Association and SJSU industrial design students, successfully helped to activate Fountain Alley in Central San José. With support from Local Color, SJSU Industrial Design students constructed full-size models, created with input from the downtown community, to address the need for functional and safe structures in a space suffering from blight and neglect. At a public event attended by over 100 residents, Fountain Alley received much deserved attention and helped city officials and residents understand the importance of installing creative interactive experiences for the community.
Looking forward, the coming year promises to be as fruitful and meaningful as the past eleven years of CommUniverCity.