On the latest episode of Looped In, Parks Board president and CEO Beth White joins Nancy and Erin to chat about the transformation of Houston’s once tired bayous into connected greenways throughout the city. A Chicago transplant, White compares Houston’s strategies and initiatives to bring more greenspace to her former home. They also discuss trail-oriented development, neighborhood parks and how to pronounce B-A-Y-O-U.
Nancy and Erin continue their conversation with Houston land use professor Matthew Festa about the city’s lack of a formal zoning code. And in the “lighting round of questions,” find out what Festa’s favorite land use juxtaposition in Houston is. (Hint: it has the word “Zone” in it.)
Houston has long been famous for its cowboys, pickup trucks and freeways. But there’s another key characteristic that’s shaped the city from early on: a lack of zoning. Erin and Nancy talk to land use professor Matthew Festa about why Houston never adopted a formal zoning code and what rules are in place that actually do govern how and where things get built.
A Houston developer is planning what it says will be a “transformative” mixed-use project that could shift the urban core to the east. It will be built near downtown along Buffalo Bayou, but the company is calling the project East River. Nancy and Erin discuss the name and what it means for a multi-billion-dollar development to go up in the middle of gentrifying and working-class neighborhoods. They also get an update on what happened with the big Astrodome vote.