Sasaki and a team of consultant partners have developed a long-range master plan that positions Houston's Energy Corridor to accelerate its evolution into a multi-dimensional, urbanistic, world-class place to work, live, and invest. The master plan envisions The Energy Corridor as a vibrant place that provides walk- and bike-to-work opportunities in a mixed-use, transit-served, ecologically-rich community. A long-range framework and targeted strategies are designed to coalesce investment around this vision over the next 20 years, enhancing the district's competitive position in the Houston metropolitan market.
The Energy Corridor District is 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. Comprised of 2,000 acres situated 15 miles west of downtown Houston along I-10, the district is distinguished by its exceptional location within the metropolitan area, a large and growing population of office workers and residents, and adjacency to some of the region's great natural assets, including Buffalo Bayou and the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs.
The master plan provides strategies for The Energy Corridor District—in cooperation with its private, public, and non-profit sector partners—to build upon these existing assets. Recommendations of the plan include:
• Address the physical infrastructure needs of the district by creating a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly place, including the creation of complete streets, implementation of a continuous bicycle network, improvements in the overall quality of the landscape, and establishment of integrated transit networks.
• Create a destination environment by promoting the development of several mixed use centers containing public gathering spaces framed by urban retail uses, restaurants, community facilities, and parks/plazas that will support existing employees and residents, draw visitors from throughout the city, and provide for year-round active programing of civic and festival events.
• Establish and enhance a robust parks and open space system, anchored by a world-class central park that will be a regional destination for recreation, arts, and events, while creating enhanced riparian ecology, greater connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists, better-performing stormwater management, and diverse park spaces for residents and employees.
Master plan strategies to address placemaking, connectivity, and livability are designed to raise underlying market values and stimulate higher quality and more diversified land uses for employers, employees, residents, and visitors seeking a distinctive urban environment with the convenience of transit.
The planning process engaged a broad spectrum of community stakeholders, including district leadership, property and business owners, neighborhood associations, the City of Houston, Harris County, METRO, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Sasaki Associates collaborated with Toole Design Group and The Office of James Burnett to develop the master plan, which was adopted in May 2015.
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