Midtown Houston 2023: A Year of Progress and Vision
As we prepare to say goodbye to another year, it is time to reflect on the remarkable progress of 2023. This past year has seen a flurry of activity aimed at enhancing our community and making it an even more inviting place to live, work, and play. Here is a year-in-review of the key projects and achievements that have helped improve our neighborhood over the past year.
Midtown Parks & Public Space Master Plan Update
In 2023, the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA) embarked on an exciting journey to develop a new vision for our public spaces. Extensive community engagement involving residents, business owners, and other stakeholders led to the completion of the 2023 Midtown Parks and Public Space Master Plan — a game-changing blueprint that places parks, public spaces, and active mobility at the forefront of our decision-making for public improvements. The new plan marks the first time the plan includes both parks and public spaces, a nod to the increasing value of streets in providing essential health, social, and recreational benefits.
The plan includes five key goals:
- Destination Quality: Enhancing the seamless blend of living, working, and recreational spaces.
- Resilience and Maintenance: Constructing infrastructure designed to endure for generations.
- Culture and Innovation: Offering programming that mirrors Midtown’s distinct spirit.
- Health and Wellness: Fostering a healthier, happier community with convenient access to parks and public spaces.
- Equitable Access: Expanding access to parks and public spaces for all.
This plan is a testament to the power of community voices and paves the way for a more vibrant, accessible, and inclusive Midtown in the years ahead.
Better, safer streets
In 2023, a collaborative effort between the City of Houston and MRA resulted in facelifts for ten-lane miles of our neighborhood streets. The Midtown Street Overlay Program enhanced road surfaces, elevating safety and the overall experience for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians—a concerted effort aligned with the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan.
In addition, MRA successfully obtained more than $800,000 in grant funding for two projects that are part of the Midtown Safe Streets and Roads for All Plan. The grants are being used for safety enhancements for Pierce St. and McGowen St.
Improved Parking Access
This past year also marked the creation of the Midtown Parking Benefit District (PBD) and its funding for public improvement projects. The PBD helps ease parking problems for businesses and residents while returning a portion of parking-related revenues for investment in the neighborhood.
Future Vision for 2024
Progress will continue in 2024. Anticipate more road enhancements and community activities as we remain committed to creating a safer and more appealing environment for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
Midtown Houston has become a citywide destination where work, play, and life harmonize. It is all due to the unwavering dedication and support of our partners. Your ideas are materializing and becoming reality, and collaborations are flourishing between public, private, and community organizations.
Our heartfelt thanks extend to all who are part of this transformative journey. Together, we are sculpting a brighter future for Midtown Houston. Stay tuned for further updates and exciting developments in the coming year. The Midtown journey is far from over, and your continued support and engagement remain crucial to our collective success. Cheers to an even brighter 2024!