Author: Nicole Guzman, Project Coordinator for Northside Neighborhood Community Open House
The final Northside Open House took place in the heart of Northside Neighborhood, Backesto Park. Carmen Cautiverio graciously hosted us at her center for the Downtown Enrichment Program.
About 70% of attendees agreed that the Open House increased their knowledge of Northside’s issues, assets, and priorities. Residents left feeling inspired by the students’ enthusiasm for helping the neighborhood achieve their community goals. It was a learning experience for some residents too, who were not aware of certain issues prior to the Open House. For example, a resident shared that their favorite part of the Open House was:
“[My favorite part of the Open House was] learning about bike-ways. I hadn’t thought about it. I liked that someone could speak in Spanish with me. Sometimes we can’t communicate. Thank you for educating our community.” –Northside Neighborhood resident
The cohort of SJSU Urban Planning graduate students worked on a unique project this year for the event, designing a temporary Curbside Cafe for Rollo’s Donuts, which was a huge success!
Local residents, business owners, and our community partners showed up to support the Curbside Cafe. Their feedback was collected in a survey and has become crucial information that can be utilized for future design ideas.
Community input for the Curbside Cafe includes:
- Designing protective walls and fencing
- Making it more family friendly (and pet friendly)
- Providing bike racks
- Not getting rid of the parking spaces
- More shade and planters
- Wayfinding signs
- Making it permanent!
Even Mayor Sam Liccardo sat back and relaxed at the pop up Curbside Cafe with the students and our staff.
Furthermore, the graduate students and Kyle Williams created a video titled: “The Gateway to City Hall” showcasing Northside businesses and residential input about their collective priorities. A resident shared that their favorite part about the video was being able to see “neighbors speak on issues important to them.”
The Open House was a great opportunity for the residents and students to interact and discuss how community priorities can be achieved. We hope partnering with residents and increasing their interest to get involved and participate during the community planning process will continue to bring about positive changes for the Northside Neighborhood.
Special thanks to: