The Parks are Coming

The Parks are Coming

 The Parks are Coming

During the first two weeks in September 2012, ASLA National has asked each Chapter across the country to celebrate parks and public spaces by inviting the community and public officials to hear about the importance that design work by landscape architects has on our communities.  The Northern California Chapter will celebrate the renovation of Parque de los Pobladores, a small plaza in the City of San Jose around 5:30 PM on Friday, September 14, 2012.  Parque de los Pobladores is located just southSan JoseConvention Centerat Market and First Streets.

In 2003, a small group of volunteer civic leaders began conversations about the way Silicon Valley looks, feels and invests in its community.  By 2007, a growing network of cross-sector leaders were engaged in the conversation and 1stACT Silicon Valley was officially established to help create a stronger sense of place in one of the most broadly diverse culturally transformative, and economically significant regions in the world.

1stACT contracted with Ken Kay Associates to create a vision street plan for the SoFA area inSan Jose, which includes Parque de los Pobladores.  The plan, SoFA Streetscape Design and Activation Plan, was shared with the district through San Jose Downtown Association SoFA Committee meetings, and was unanimously supported by local retailers, building owners and art leaders.  Implementation began in 2010, but because of decreasing Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funding, the plan to renovate the plaza was not implemented.

Last year, 1stACT was awarded $500,000 from ArtPlace, which is an innovative group of 11 of America’s top foundations working in conjunction with the National Endowment of the Arts and seven federal agencies.  1stACT’s grant award is for the development of Parque de los Pobladores into an urban plaza, or outdoor living room, in the SoFA District and will connect SoFA’s arts organizations and businesses to the plaza.

Based on the SoFA Streetscape Design and Activation Plan and principles of “pavement to plaza” the project now designed by the landscape section within HMH Engineering creates a gathering spot for SoFA.  As part of the construction project by Garden City Construction, approximately half of First Street will be reconstructed and incorporated as part of the recreational area associated with Parque de los Pobladores.

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