Home > Projects > Northside Neighborhood Urban Village

In the San José Northside Neighborhood, SJSU urban planning, sociology and political science students reached out to assess the current neighborhood conditions and document residents’ perceptions of their communities. 135 SJSU students conducted and completed 311 door-to-door surveys designed to capture resident’s perceptions of their community. SJSU students presented their survey findings along with a comprehensive neighborhood assessment to the community in an open house format at Grant Elementary School. During the project, students worked with the businesses along 13th street to identify key issues and concerns. According to feedback and research, the residents wanted family-friendly areas and businesses where they could spend time and hang out with neighbors. In response, the students installed a temporary curbside café in front of Rollo’s Donuts to have traffic slow down, give residents a place to sit, help make the area friendlier to pets, and provide businesses in the area more foot traffic.

By the Numbers | 2016-17

171 SJSU students engaged

400 residents engaged

3,670 hours of service

$88,594 value

Project Impact

  • 100% of respondents agree that the open house helped them learn about the Northside Neighborhood’s issues, assets and priorities
  • 95% of respondents agreed that they learned how to be involved in the community planning process
  • 50% of respondents said they would like the curbside café to be a permanent installation
  • 82% of respondents said they would likely visit Rollo’s Donuts after spending time in the curbside café
  • 90% of SJSU student participants in the Northside Neighborhood door-to-door survey felt that the experience helped them understand how course content related to real world issues

Community Voices

“The video is great, it was energizing for me, and having it on YouTube and being able to send it around, it will have a very long afterlife.”
–Don Gagliardi, Northside Neighborhood Association member

“Now I feel that I am definitely able to undertake community assessment at any place. I am confident in doing community assessments reports.”
–SJSU urban planning student

“[The curbside café is] a great way to attract business and provide pedestrians with refreshments and a place to chat.”
–Northside Neighborhood resident