ULI Lays Out Its Vision For Downtown Houston And It's Green

And Taylor says for people to live downtown, they need some green space. She applauds Discovery Green for the impact it has had over the last decades. [Flickr image by Snadra Fernandez].
A new report from the Urban Land Institute is making the case for more green space in downtown Houston. The institute also wants more affordable housing, and better walkable connections between various parts of downtown.

The Urban Land Institute focused its study on 64 blocks of southeast downtown — bounded by Clay to the north, the Pierce Elevated to the south, Milam to the west, and U.S. 59 to the east.

"I think what this helps to do is it focuses attention on an area of downtown that's been under-utilized."

Ann Taylor is the executive director of Urban Land Institute in Houston. She says southeast downtown doesn't have many housing options for households earning between $50,000 and $80,000 a year.

"We all know that one of the things that can really help downtown to keep thriving and be an attractive place is more options for more people, at diverse price points, to live downtown."

And Taylor says for people to live downtown, they need some green space. She applauds Discovery Green for the impact it has had over the last decade. But she'd like to see something smaller and closer to the southeast side — sort of like Market Square Park.

"It's very well-managed. It's very actively programmed. It's got people living in lofts around that park. And all of that contributes to that park being successful."

The report recommends pedestrian greenways along La Branch and Leeland Avenues. The Institute also wants to see the old Days Inn building at Travis and St. Joseph put on the fast track for demolition and redevelopment.

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