Houston’s Buffalo Bayou restoration & revitalization

Note from Storm: This issue’s Feature Article is about Houston’s $800 million urban river restoration program, which is designed to trigger $56 billion in private investment.

My recent conversations with local Houston leaders Kevin Shanley (landscape architect with SWA Group, a leading international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm) and Anne Olson (President of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership), have convinced me that this is one of the best examples of large-area urban revitalization in the U.S.

It’s run by a non-profit public-private partnership (almost all of the funding is private). This means it’s being treated as an ongoing program, rather than a one-time project. That’s essential, because revitalization can’t be engineered on a schedule: we have to keep doing the improvements to an area until revitalization kicks in.

It’s also an excellent example because it’s renewing, repurposing, and reconnecting. The health of the river is being renewed, old industrial lands are being repurposed as public parks, and new pedestrian bridges have been built to reconnect neighborhoods with the water (after they were isolated by badly-planned major roads).

See original article & photo credit.

4 Comments

  • April 16, 2015

    David Marcmann

    It’s about time we had a journal where anyone on our planet can go and share their mother country’s need for desperate renewal.

    Thanks to Storm Cunningham we can, all of us, explore anytime the pithy details of a sensitive infrastructure revitalization; of politicians actually doing good regeneration work for their communities; of communities bypassing interfering politicians and getting much needed work done; of standout community leaders providing the type of guidance which should be much more prevalent in all countries; of business leaders mentoring to their own communities how to organize, plan, implement and stabilize ongoing renewal.

    I hope readers will share this journal with their friends, business contacts, community leaders, schools and universities. There’s so much to be done, it really doesn’t matter where you turn, an opportunity lays waiting to be explored.
    If we keep the Regeneration Dialogue going, that in itself can expand the foundation of our interest in surrounding ourselves with a better life.
    Dave Marcmann

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