Google presents bold vision for downtown San Jose campus

By Victoria Song, Gizmodo, October 9, 2020

“In newly released renders, Google highlighted some early-stage illustrations for a few of the key concept areas. For example, ‘The Gateway’ is meant to be a 0.75-acre open space that integrates the San Jose Water Company Building and surrounding residential neighborhoods. The idea is for it to be a ‘flexible plaza for temporary pop-up programming and events,’ and include amenities like an amphitheater that’s also open for public use.

“The campus itself aims to be a ‘20-minute city’, as in you can walk most of the city within 20 minutes. Along that vein, Google says it aims for roughly 65 percent of the campus to be accessible via walking, cycling, public transit, or carpool to discourage single-car use. As for greenery, Google says the campus will include at least 10 parks as well as several trails.

“While a majority of the project will be dedicated to office space, Google also plans to include up to 5,900 dwelling units, a 300-room hotel, and 500,000 gross square feet dedicated for ‘active uses’ (i.e., retail, restaurants, nonprofits, etc.).

“It remains to be seen how the local San José community feels about it. Giant tech companies and their walled-off campuses have, after all, played a significant role in gentrifying Silicon Valley and the California housing crisis.”

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