Neighborhood Resilience Planning

Greater Fifth Ward

We’re working to create a Neighborhood Resilience Plan for the overall Greater Fifth Ward community. The plan will be used by community members, City departments and other organizations to improve the community’s ability to prepare for, withstand and recover from flooding, excessive heat and freezing conditions. It will lay out specific projects to reduce risks, improve infrastructure, spur economic development, and enhance social empowerment.

We need your help during this year-long process to make sure the plan is based on the specific needs of your community. To find out about meetings, surveys, and other ways to get involved visit the Greater Fifth Ward Public Engagement Page.

Let's Talk Houston Logo

LOCATION: The Fifth Ward, located east of downtown Houston, offers a vibrant and storied past that beckons visitors and residents alike. Established in 1866, this neighborhood is one of Houston's original six wards, and its rich history is woven with tales of resilience and progress. Initially settled by freedmen after the Civil War, the Fifth Ward saw a population boom in the 1880s following the construction of repair shops for the newly built Southern Pacific Railroad. This growth, however, was not without challenges. The community faced significant setbacks with devastating fires in 1891 and 1912, but the determined spirit of the Fifth Ward ensured its recovery and continued development.

Over time, the population became predominantly black, and the thriving neighborhood known as Frenchtown emerged in 1922. Home to numerous black-owned businesses, the Fifth Ward was a hub of economic activity with a bustling Lyons Avenue at its heart. The area also boasted Phillis Wheatley High School, one of America's largest black high schools at the time.

Fifth Ward's dedication to community engagement is evident through the establishment of organizations like the Fifth Ward Civic Club and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation. These groups have worked to revitalize the neighborhood, focusing on new housing, job training, access to technology, and promoting the arts.


The City of Houston wants to acknowledge previous plans from the Greater Fifth Ward community as they help to identify and prioritize actions, allocate resources, promote community engagement, and ensure that everyone is working towards a common vision for the future.

Contact your Lead Planner if you know of any current or past plans that need to be added.





The Fabulous Fifth: A Revitalization Strategy
For Houston's Fifth Ward

AIA Communities by Design


The document provides strategic assistance in revitalizing the neighborhood. A vision, road map, funding sources and elements of success are provided


Fifth Ward/Buffalo Bayou/East End
Livable Centers Study

Asakura Robinson/H-GAC


As established by H-GAC’s Livable Centers Program, the purpose of the Fifth Ward / Buffalo Bayou / East End Livable Centers is to facilitate the creation of sustainable, viable, mixed-use, and mixed-income environments

Fifth Ward Pedestrian and Bicyclist Special
District Study

Houston-Galveston Area Council


The main focus of the study is southeastern Fifth Ward and its connections to Downtown. The study seeks to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, provide greater connectivity within the study area, and reinforce linkages to Downtown and other destinations such as Buffalo Bayou.

Fifth Ward: Healthy Community Design Ideas Book

Community Design Resource Center – University of Houston


Seven strategies are identified for building healthy communities and can be found applied to the Denver Harbor Super Neighborhood in this summary document.

Fifth Ward Cultural Arts District Plan

5th Ward Cultural Arts District


The 5th Ward Cultural Arts District supports ongoing efforts to revitalize the community and interacts with all of the other economic and community development plans and projects currently underway


NST Survey Link:
Map Survey: This type of survey helps to obtain information about features such as buildings, roads, and landmarks. The Fifth Ward community can contribute to a better understanding of your neighborhood by showing us the places you love and areas that need improvement.
Fifth Ward Super Neighborhood | Fifth Ward | Let's Talk Houston (

Community Survey: The result of this survey will provide valuable information about the needs and options of the community. It will also help to identify areas of improvement, promote community engagement and participation, and it will identify community leaders who need to be involved in the NRP process.


Click images below for full-sized .png maps

Community Services Map


Flood Zones Map

Flood Zones

Land Use Map


Lead Planner

Jacqueline Brown