Downtown Speaker Series

Please join us for the Downtown Transportation Plan Speaker Series! These are engaging conversations with San José community leaders and thought partners that are sparking innovative thinking around the future of San Jose’s downtown transportation.

Prior Events

Women’s Perspectives on Transportation in Downtown San José

Understanding how women travel in San José and in the Downtown area will be key to building a transportation system that works for everyone. This panel brought together experts in the transportation field in conversation with local community members. Historically, cities have often been planned by and for white men. Studies show that women often have different needs and travel patterns, and different concerns about safety, particularly when walking, biking, and taking transit. Our panel explored the experience of women traveling within and to downtown San José, how the current transportation options do and do not serve them, and identified solutions to make our streets safer and create a transportation system that truly serves everyone.

  • Dr. Asha Agrawal, Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University
  • Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, University of California at Los Angeles
  • Marcia Cohen Zakai, San José Senior Commission
  • Victoria Partido, San José Community Leader
  • Lola Torney, VTA

This event was co-sponsored by Walk San José, Mineta Transportation Institute, and WTS.

Asian Communities and Transportation in Downtown San José

San José has become home to many immigrant communities from Asia. This panel explored the ways that Japantown has been home to multiple communities including Japanese, Chinese and Filipino immigrant communities, as well as the ways that the Vietnamese community has found a home in greater Downtown. This panel brings visibility to these communities and explores opportunities to improve our Downtown transportation system: How can we safeguard the histories and cultures that reflect our Asian communities? How can we maximize the options of how these communities travel to, from, and around Downtown? How can we create public spaces that serve these communities and honor their histories? Professor Hien Do from SJSU shared his perspectives with an angle from his recent work on Hidden Heritages: San José’s Vietnamese Legacy. Other local leaders also joined the productive conversation!

  • David Kim, California Secretary of Transportation
  • Professor Hien Do, San José State University
  • Wilson Tam, San José Dept of Transportation
  • Trami Cron, Chopsticks Alley
  • PJ Hirabayashi, TaikoPeace

This event was co-sponsored by Chopsticks Alley and San José Museum of Art.

Learning from the Best: How Toronto’s Experience Can Shape San José’s Future

This engaging webinar discussion explored recent and imaginative transformations of urban spaces in Toronto, and asked how their lessons might also apply to Downtown San Jose’s future. As Toronto—the most diverse city on the planet–weens itself from auto dependence, transforms highway underpasses into attractive parks, and experiments with various mixed-use neighborhood formats, what lessons might San Jose glean as we envision our own path away from auto dependence? Watch noted Toronto urban designer Ken Greenberg and a panel of local leaders in their fascinating discussion envisioning San Jose’s own urban transformation possibilities.

  • Ken Greenberg, Greenberg Consultants
  • Kathy Sutherland, Diridon Area Neighborhoods Group
  • Laura Winter, Diridon Area Neighborhoods Group
  • Jason Su, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy
  • Ben Grant, SPUR
  • Kim Walesh, City of San José