The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) has selected leading global design firm Stantec to conduct a Livable Centers Study for Houston’s Old Spanish Trail (OST)/Palm Center neighborhood. The firm will evaluate the area and identify opportunities to promote transit-oriented development, improve connectivity and mobility, preserve historic resources, and stimulate economic growth. The project aims to create an actionable plan for Houston’s Greater Southeast Management District (GSMD), geographically branded as Houston Southeast, that will make OST/Palm Center a more equitable and sustainable community.
Established in 2008, the H-GAC’s Livable Centers Program aims to create places where people can live, work, and play with less reliance on cars. The program works with local communities to reimagine auto-focused infrastructure policies and concentrate more on multimodal strategies, such as walking, biking, and transit accessibility.
Stantec will lead the project management, as well as the mobility, placemaking, urban design, and planning and implementation elements of the study. The firm will develop a 10-year conceptual plan to maximize development opportunities for multimodal circulation and enhance development initiatives, mixed-income housing choice and affordability, community health and wellbeing, resiliency, and placemaking.
“Establishing a sense of place and expanding people’s ability to move and connect are vital elements of a thriving community,” said Bradley Cowan, design director at Stantec. “We’re excited to help continue the progress made in the OST/Palm Center area and provide a plan that will create vibrant, safe, and connected spaces that the community will enjoy for years to come.”
Further, the Stantec team will work to consolidate past plans, studies, and ongoing efforts into a single collective vision for the area. Complementary initiatives that will support the study include the City of Houston Bike Plan, the METRO extension of the Purple Line LRT to Hobby Airport, and the new University Line Bus Rapid Transit corridor.
Added Cowan, “We believe it is important to recognize and build on the work that has already started. Our team will work continue the progress that’s been made and ensure that the Livable Centers Plan remains consistent with the community’s vision.”
The Stantec team estimates that it will complete the OST/Palm Center Livable Centers Study and implementation plan by September 2022.
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