Honored for The District’s master plan, designed to guide growth toward livability
The Energy Corridor District’s recently completed master plan – a roadmap designed to guide development that enhances The Energy Corridor’s livability – has been honored with a 2015 Long Range Planning Award from the American Planning Association (APA) - Texas Chapter.
According to APA Texas, its annual awards recognize exemplary planning, while demonstrating and promoting the value of planners and planning for communities.
The District’s General Manager Clark Martinson and Urban Planner Fabiana Demarie accepted the award from Wendy Shabay, outgoing president of APA - Texas Chapter, during the organization’s recent state planning conference in Galveston.
With more than $2 billion in private investment slated for The Energy Corridor over the coming decade, The District set out in late-2014 to guide private and public development by crafting a long-range master plan that envisions a highly livable urban center where people can walk, bicycle or take public transportation to work, shops, parks and other destinations.
The plan builds visions for core “social hearts,” places with soul in The Energy Corridor: Terry Hershey Park, the Addicks Park & Ride, Eldridge Parkway and Grisby Square. Strategies for the future include redesigned street grids and new thoroughfares to improve mobility and walkability; a mixed-use Addicks Park & Ride lot reborn as a transit center destination rather than a point of departure; enhanced pedestrian/bicyclist pathways; the evolution of existing public places to create iconic destinations; and transformative parks concepts to improve recreational and entertainment opportunities in West Houston.
The District hired Sasaki Associates as lead firm for a team that included The District and urban planning firms OJB and Toole Design Group. It took six months to finalize the master plan, a process built on meetings with stakeholders (area property owners, businesses, residents, employees and government agencies) to hear their visions, needs and concerns.
Already The District’s master plan vision is having some influence. PM Realty Group is developing the former 35-acre ExxonMobil Chemical campus into Republic Square, the most ambitious mixed-use development in The Energy Corridor’s history.
The APA - Texas Chapter’s mission “is to advocate the profession of planning, providing expertise and processes that empower citizens to be engaged in the development and sustainability of great communities in Texas.”
Nationally, APA is a nonprofit public interest and research organization representing over 40,000 practicing planners, officials, and citizens involved with urban and rural planning issues.