ReCycle – ReThink – ReNew
ReEnergizing Houston (Third Ward) was an urban design project in collaboration with Central Houston, Inc. Houston, as the fourth largest city in the United States, currently embraces the automobile. As a city without zoning regulations, land use is largely influenced by the regional interstate system. Our tasks were to redevelop the Third Ward district while allowing it to embrace its unique character and to bridge the edge conditions formed between each quadrant by the two interstates. Our solution consisted of a city initiated renewable energy program, a TIRZ district to entice the establishment of a “renewable energy corridor” in lieu of the current petroleum-based “Energy Corridor”, a reversal to the current hierarchy of transportation, “green” cables spanning the depressed freeway to aide in the reduction of emissions, historic preservation, urban agriculture, a farmers’ market, numerous neighborhood parks, and planted trails connecting each quadrant. These elements were to be used in the promotion of a sustainable, healthy, and active urban lifestyle in contrast to that currently found in the area. Further, we were required to represent the relationship between the site solution and the city as a whole while considering the future role of the interstate in the growth of the city.