A Greener Gulfton for Nature, Health, and Resilience was an interdisciplinary planning effort which paired community leaders, passionate residents, and non-profits with a consulting team comprised of planners, designers, and experts on the environment, health, art, and multilingual engagement.
The team’s deliberate effort to “meet residents where they were” ensured consistent community accessibility throughout the planning process.
The project’s impacts are felt in and outside the community. Greener Gulfton’s ground-up approach, grounded in equity not only on paper but also through its purposeful inclusion and compensation of diverse community groups, stands as a precedent for planning projects across Houston and beyond.
This plan would help delineate existing natural assets and needs and spotlight how and where new natural assets could be developed to bolster climate resilience, One Health (human, environmental, and biodiversity health), neighborhood connectivity, and nature equity, and (2) to design a pilot community greening project arising from the community engagement portion of this master planning process.
The mission was to comprehensively document and narrate the history, people, nature, environment, infrastructure, and planning context of the Gulfton community, while also identifying ways to promote ecological diversity, enhance health, prioritize equity and inclusivity in community engagement, and establish criteria for selecting pilot projects and future greening initiatives in Gulfton.
The creation of these goals and their specific components fostered a continued expansion of residents’ knowledge base and increased overall momentum for bringing change to Gulfton. Leveraging this momentum, the “Placita” pilot project served as a tactical short-term intervention that opened opportunities for placemaking and enjoyment of public space. This served as an additional avenue for recognizing the community’s efforts in conceiving the Greener Gulfton plan. With the report now completed, the overall project’s impacts are felt in and outside the community. Greener Gulfton’s ground-up approach, grounded in equity not only on paper but also through its purposeful inclusion and compensation of diverse community groups, stands as a precedent for planning projects across Houston and beyond. In Gulfton, community members now hold a higher standard for projects in their communities, with increased civic participation and stronger connections serving as visible reminders of their increased resilience in the face of adversity.