Planning & Development
Walkable Places Committee
Mayor Sylvester Turner stated, “Houston is growing in record numbers. More than ever, our citizens want walkable places that connect to parks and activity centers. Our city needs to grow and develop responsibly and efficiently, under the guidance of the Code of Ordinances.”
Houston is a city of tremendous opportunity. As the fourth largest city in the United States, a number of areas in Houston are attracting higher density commercial, office, and multifamily residential developments. These developments present an opportunity to create more vibrant, walkable streets that support alternative modes of transportation. The City’s development ordinances should maximize these opportunities. In this context, City of Houston Planning Commission Chair convened the Walkable Places Committee to explore how these ordinances should be amended to achieve this objective in January 2017.
The Walkable Places Committee met monthly to have a broad discussion regarding how to promote walkable places and transit-oriented development in Houston. After two and a half years of intensive research and discussion, the committee formed a consensus on creating an ordinance that encourages high density, mixed-use development along corridors with appropriate context. On August 5, 2020, the City Council unanimously adopted the Walkable Places and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance as well as three ordinances to designate Emancipation Avenue, Midtown, and Hogan/ Lorraine Street Walkable Place Pilot Areas. The ordinances implement the core strategies of Plan Houston and achieve the community’s vision and goals.
Auto-Centric Suburban Style Development Encouraged by Current Ordinances
Pedestrian Friendly Urban Style Development Encouraged by the Proposed Ordinances
Walkable Places Committee
The committee considered issues and potential revisions to Chapter 26 and 42 related to planning environments that facilitate walking, and create sense of places by encouraging walkable development where appropriate.
A number of areas in Houston are attracting higher density commercial, office, and multifamily residential developments. These developments present an opportunity to create more vibrant, walkable streets that support alternative modes of transportation. The City’s development ordinances should maximize these opportunities. The Walkable Places Committee explore how these ordinances should be amended to achieve this objective.
2019 Walkable Places Committee Members, from left to right: Front Row: Cynthia Reyes-Revilla, Susan Alleman, Isabel Longoria, Bill Baldwin, Margaret Wallace Brown, Veronica Chapa Gorczynski, Kim Mickelson Back Row: Ron Lindsey, James Llamas, George Levan, Truman Edminster, Marty Stein, Greg LeGrande, Michael Huffmaster, Clark Martinson