A cultural stronghold as the Bay Area continues to gentrify and drive out artists and Communities of Color. Live music, cultural festivals, street performers, art exhibits, dancers, chefs, and more representing the cultural legacy of East Palo Alto.
African American, Latinx and Pacific Islander-owned local businesses. Shops, restaurants, barbershops, salons, art galleries, music venues. The new Bay Area hot spot, a destination for locals as well as commuters.
Affordable housing with paths to ownership for artists, local business owners, cultural leaders, teachers, etc. Lofts above shops and restaurants, with other denser housing, parks, community gardens, tied to EPA's cultural hub.
Attracting POC entrepreneurs, startups, biotech, etc. to lease premium office space in order to subsidize affordable housing while still maintaining cultural connections to the community and the overall development.
East Palo Alto University
A West Coast "HBCU"
A local 4-year university, community college and trade school on one campus, focused on the educational and professional advancement, and economic success, of Students of Color. Particular emphasis on tech, design, entrepreneurship, and other 21st century skills that make up the economic engine of Silicon Valley. Additional emphasis on trades and the arts. A culturally enriching learning environment rooted in community.
East Palo Alto is Ohlone land. Despite historic U.S. efforts to decimate and assimilate the Ohlone population, the people and their culture have survived throughout the Bay Area and beyond. The Ohlone continue to fight for their land, in some cases successfully, as seen in this article. While this project will be far from that scale, it does present an opportunity to designate a portion of the land for Ohlone ownership.
To the right (or below on mobile) is a rendering for an Ohlone shellmound project envisioned for a site in Oakland. According to this article, the current site owner has no intention of selling, but the vision could be a perfect fit for this project.
Vision for an Ohlone "shellmound" cultural and educational site.
A model for
Environmentally + Culturally
We have an opportunity to create a revolutionary model for cutting-edge green development that simultaneously prioritizes cultural and community preservation. As gentrification and displacement of POC communities continue across the country, solutions are glaringly lacking. Any project that can successfully address the problem of cultural displacement could quickly become a national model.