The California chapter of the American Planning Association awarded San Jose State University’s CommUniverCity program an Academic Award of Excellence for the Greater Washington – Voices of the Community neighborhood planning project in July. The planning project was previously recognized with the American Planning Association’s California Northern Chapter Academic Award in June and will go on to compete on the national level.
The project was overseen by CommUniverCity with support from faculty members and instructors in the departments of Urban Planning, Anthropology and Spanish. Classes included H. Fernando Burga’s fall 2013 URBP 201, Richard M. Kos’ spring 2014 URBP 203, Chuck Darrah’s fall 2013 ANTH 149 and Damian Bacich, whose students provided the Spanish translation of the report from English.
SJSU affiliates worked closely with city officials, Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center and neighborhood partners such as Mamas Unidas, Sacred Heart of Jesus Community Parish, Community United San Jose and Catholic Charities in reaching out to community members.
Through personal conversations with community members, the report found that residents had five priorities for their neighborhood:
Fostering healthy lifestyles
Improving walkability and pedestrian activity
Supporting information retail
Promoting affordable housing
Identifying the needs of middle school students