The news outlet FiveThirtyEight recently named the city of San Jose, also known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, the “most forgettable major American city.”
Nearly half a million people have taken an online Sporcle quiz asking them to list the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. One in three people did not place San Jose, the 10th largest U.S. city, on their list.
A possible reason for San Jose’s “forget-ability” is that it must compete with the bigger cities surrounding it, such as San Francisco and Oakland. These metropolises are more densely populated and have larger downtown areas than San Jose.
“San Jose doesn’t have any extremely famous tourist spots or geographical locations, and doesn’t have a bustling downtown area compared to other larger cities, as of now,” Sophomore Emily Huang said.
However, some city residents are not bothered by the city’s newly proclaimed title. San Jose resident Kathleen Woodward thinks that the city is not as well-known because it is still “growing up”.
The city is also seen as the leading center for a range of technology industries that have helped support and power the global economy. In fact, Milken Institute ranked San Jose as the no.1 high-tech area in the United Sates.
Furthermore, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo thinks that the city’s diverse ethnic population makes it seem more open so that “newcomers can fit in.” In fact, Liccardo adds that 40 percent of the adult residents in San Jose were born outside of the U.S. Liccardo believes diverse ethnic population brings together people with various ideas and theories that allow the city to thrive.
Many still ponder the city’s relative anonymity. To bring light to the situation, Laura Chmielewski, the vice president of marketing and communications of Team San Jose, said that San Jose should instead receive the title of the “best undiscovered city,” as it has much potential to grow and become more well-known. In a few decades, Chmielewski predicts that San Jose can become more socially vibrant as the city continues to develop.