Grounds for Change: Activating Vacant Land

Guadalupe River Park


Tags: buffer, California, circulation, city, concrete, corridor, development, earthworks, events, flood, green, grow, landform, landscape, management, park, pedestrian, plant, planting, play, river, SanJose, sculpture, sluice, terrace, texture, topography, trees, urban, water, waterfront

A dynamic riverfront park for San Jose.

Guadalupe River Park in San Jose, CA, is a 150-acre linear park following the Guadalupe River on its way through the city. The park combines recreational spaces and opportunities with riparian zone restoration and flood control. A number of engineering techniques make this possible, from terraced banks to landforms to concrete sluices and levees. The park, opened on September 10, 2005, was envisioned as an "underlay," or "structural spine" for the San Jose portion of the Guadalupe. The park protects and buffers river ecology from urban stresses as much as it encourages city dwellers to enjoy their waterfront.

Guadalupe River Park was a joint development of the California Redevelopment Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District. More information about the park, including ecology, events, and activities, is available through the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy.


Urban Arboretum: From Vacancy to Hybrid Landscape. Landscape Architecture 414. The Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture, Spring 2010.

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