Midtown Houston is excited to launch an update its Strategic Plan. Building on the previous visioning and goals from the 2013 Strategic Plan, this effort will define five-year actions for capital improvements, desired land uses, walkability, multi‐mobility, parks and public realm, affordable housing, community engagement and inclusiveness. A key part of the process is to collaborate and involve key stakeholders in the planning and design process from the beginning. The outcome will be a plan that directly reflects the values of those who live, work, and play in the community. For more information about the Strategic Plan process, see our schedule and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. Midtown Houston has engaged the services of Design Workshop and their subconsultants, Lionheart Places, Walter P Moore, and RPH to lead planning, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering, and technology infrastructure consulting for these projects.
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Following the completion of the Strategic Plan visioning and engagement process, a set of design guidelines will be created. As development continues to find prosperity in Midtown Houston, coupled with the signature capital improvements from the Midtown Redevelopment Authority, design guidelines help ensure that Midtown Houston is an urban mixed-use community that is walkable, transit friendly, safe, and quality of life oriented. Design guidelines are not strict standards, but an important tool to help the Strategic Plan come to fruition. The focus of the design guidelines will include multi modal transportation, general architecture/form giving, setbacks, ground floor use, general land use, landscaping, parking, and pedestrian amenities with emphasis on key corridors of the district. For more information about the importance of design guidelines and best practices, see American Planning Association Characteristics and Guidelines for great neighborhoods, public spaces, and streets.
MIXED-USE INCENTIVE STRATEGY
Since the early years of Midtown Houston, medium density housing, such as town homes, have been a predominant private investment on the eastern half of the district. With capital improvements, such as Elizabeth Glover Park, Elizabeth Baldwin Park, Main Street, and the future Caroline Street reconstruction, coupled with a strong market, a strategy to incentivize mixed-use development is needed. This project will help to identify initial barriers to mixed-use development, locations of ideal mixed-use development, and potential strategies to en courage mixed-use through a variety of incentives.