Publication Date

Fall 2014

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Urban Planning (MUP)


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Dr. Hilary Nixon


This project aims to analyze the feasibility of converting an abandoned brownfield in the Spartan- Keyes neighborhood, which happens to be a former railroad right-of-way, into an open space such as a linear park, plaza, or community garden. In order to create a vibrant development that provides safety and economic growth, the open space can include some local commercial uses such as coffee shops or can be open to food trucks or mobile vendors. A new linear park in the Spartan Keyes neighborhood can not only meet the community’s need for open space, but also can provide many social and ecological benefits for the neighborhood.

There are different reasons preventing the former railroad site from being developed as a park or open space, such as cleanup and purchasing costs, shape of the parcel, safety constraints, and soil contamination. This study will attempt to provide a better knowledge of the reasons preventing this particular parcel from being redeveloped as well as recommendations to address those constraints. This document can be used to convince the City of San José and the County of Santa Clara to provide funding for the redevelopment of this abandoned railroad parcel. The end results of this study will provide the Spartan Keyes neighborhood leaders with evidence to support their desire of redeveloping the abandoned railroad parcel into a linear park.