Tag Archives: Houston

Buffalo Bayou Park and Designing a Resilient Future for Houston

​As Hurricane Harvey affected the Houston area, many of the most poignant and striking images shared on social media featured before-and-after scenes of the flooding. One of the many landmarks being used as a yardstick for the storm’s power is Buffalo Bayou, an urban park and greenspace. The park shows the challenges of resilient design within the Houston metro area, a floodplain that’s seen its population and development rapidly expand over the last decade. Read more... Read more

How Transit Can Speed Houston’s Recovery

In Texas,​ waitlists for rental cars are vertiginously long, gas prices are spiking, and the 32,000 who escaped flooding in shelters are now fanning out to other forms of temporary housing. Many Houstonians are grappling with how they’ll get to their jobs, their shattered homes, and to their children’s schools, minus car keys. This is the time to get with METRO. Read more... Read more

Houston’s ‘Wild West’ Growth

​Houston calls itself “the city with no limits” to convey the promise of boundless opportunity. But it also is the largest U.S. city to have no zoning laws, part of a hands-off approach to urban planning that may have contributed to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey and left thousands of residents in harm’s way. Read more... Read more

How Houston’s Sprawl Makes It Harder to Cope With Storms Like Harvey

While any city would be overwhelmed by so much rain in so little time, land use in the Houston region has made a difficult situation worse. Woods and prairies that used to provide a measure of resilience against stormwater are now covered in impervious surfaces, and development has sprawled into low-lying floodprone areas, increasing the public’s exposure. Read more... Read more

Adding Green Space and Value in Houston’s Upper Kirby District

​A $15 million redevelopment of Houston’s Levy Park resurrects a green space that for years was little more than an afterthought. The mid–20th century six-acre park officially reopened in February, 19 months after the park’s reconstruction began. Throughout the day, thousands of people took in a central playground flanked by two large lawns, 30 mature oak trees, rain and community gardens, a dog park, and other elements. All were designed to foster a heavy dose of daily programming such as... Read more

PastForward 2016

PastForward, a conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the premier educational and networking event for those in the business of saving places. This year, attendees will be energized and challenged as they consider the role preservation can play in securing more healthy, sustainable, just and attractive cities during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the National Historic Preservation Act. Register now... Read more

Pedestrian Deaths Spike in Houston, Spurring Calls for Better Urban Planning

At least 71 pedestrians in Houston were killed by cars as of Oct. 31, according to Houston police – a tally already 31 percent higher than the total for all 2015, with two months still remaining. Urban planners say this year’s surge in deaths may be driven by millennials’ preference to walk and senior’s reliance on travel by foot. Advocates and planners said the city needs to work more on safe streets by building sidewalks, narrowing lanes, encouraging safe speeds... Read more

A Year After a Radical Route Rethink, Houston’s Transit Ridership Is Up

Houston’s overnight bus network transformation in August 2015 was a transportation planner’s dream. The old hub-and-spoke system that had for decades funneled commuters downtown was straightened into a grid that cross-cuts the city, with fewer redundancies, more frequent service, and all-day, all-week service on heavily used lines. Almost every route was changed, with increasing ridership rather than service area as the guiding priority. Now, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research reports that Metro saw ridership on its local bus and... Read more
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