Terry Hershey Park is already a popular park and ecological area in The Energy Corridor. To achieve community stakeholders' vision of a world-class park, however, the master plan recommends strategies to preserve and enhance the environmental values of the creek corridor and introduce public spaces for a range of amenities and programs. Additionally, the park is envisioned as a connector to a network of neighborhood parks, organized such that all residents and workers will have access to a park within a five minute walk.
Integration of a network of parks and open space is just one component of the twenty-year master plan commissioned by the Energy Corridor District. Developed by Sasaki Associates, in partnership with Toole Design Group and The Office of James Burnett, the master plan aims to make the Energy Corridor internationally recognized as a high-quality place to work, live, and invest. Principles of the plan include:
Embrace natural landscapes of the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs and Buffalo Bayou as great parks and wilderness areas with significant opportunities for enhanced recreation and programming.
Create vibrant destinations and a sense of place within The Energy Corridor by focusing mixed-use, retail, and entertainment development within compact, walkable nodes.
Build great public spaces within an integrated park network, including a diverse range of open spaces—from pocket parks to regional parks—anchored by a world-class Terry Hershey Park.
Enhance circulation networks by identifying opportunities to extend, add, and connect streets to develop a more connected network, increasing access and reducing traffic congestion.
Develop complete streets to serve the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists and create a comfortable, desirable public realm that enhances the experience of living and working in The Energy Corridor.
Integrate transit service throughout The Energy Corridor through land use, development, and policy decisions that prioritize and incentivize transit investment and use by employees, residents, and visitors.
Encourage bicycle use by enhancing and completing the recreational trail network and system of on- and off-street bicycle connections to maximize coverage and create a safe, desirable environment for bicyclists.
Invest in transit infrastructure for alternative transportation systems including bicycle, pedestrian, and bus service to create continuous and comfortable networks of trails, paths, and roads with supporting amenity infrastructure.
Promote environmental design principles through public realm design and materials, stormwater management, waste management, and energy reduction policies as well as transit promotion.
Activate neighborhood streets with retail, restaurants, and front entries along sidewalks to create vibrant streetscapes and indoor/outdoor environments.
Sasaki principal in charge on the project, Fred Merrill, FAICP, LEED® AP, says of the project, "community stakeholders established an ambitious vision for The Energy Corridor. We have found their enthusiasm for forward-thinking land use, mobility, and open space strategies, as well as their energy and passion for the planning process, to be remarkable assets. The master plan will provide a long-range framework and specific plan recommendations to coalesce community investment around this vision over the next 20 years."
The Energy Corridor District consists of over 2,000 acres that extend along both sides of Interstate 10 in West Houston. It is considered one of the nation's premier employment centers containing the headquarters and regional offices of prominent international energy companies, energy services firms, and many other significant organizations. The master plan illustrates the potential of The Energy Corridor to build on this great legacy and position itself for the future, moving toward becoming a multi-dimensional, urbanistic, world-class place, solidifying and enhancing its competitive position and values in the Houston metropolitan market.
To read more about the Terry Hershey Park and the Energy Corridor master plan, click here.
Photography courtesy of: The Energy Corridor District