Community Design Workshop

This Spring teams of students at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture are working collaboratively with community partners from Alief, Greenspoint, Golfcrest/Reveille/Bellfort, and Midwest to develop comprehensive community design strategies that will build on the strengths and opportunities in these neighborhoods.

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On Monday March 7th design experts, Keiji Asakura, Antoine Bryant, and Robert Burrows, joined community stakeholders and leaders, to hear the first presentations focused on the existing conditions in the communities. The presentations, in part, kick-off our second biennial Collaborative Community Design Initiative, a yearlong partnership with these communities.

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The Golfcrest/Reveille/Bellfort super neighborhood is located in southeast Houston, just south of the 610 loop and west of I-45. The neighborhood is adjacent to Hobby Airport, and is home to over 50,000 people, 25% of which survive on incomes below the poverty level. The community has a long history and has active community leaders that are shaping its future.  The team is focusing on the strengths and opportunities in the neighborhood to develop strategies for change.

Team: Mervyn Austria, Ross Charba, Zhu Chen, Poonam Patel, Jenny Seim

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Alief has a population of over 93,000 residents and is bounded by the Westpark Tollway to the north, Beltway 8 to the east, 59 to the southeast, and Highway 6 to the west. The community is diverse and is home to the thriving Asian commercial district that caters not only to the neighborhood but also draws people from around the city. Alief presents interesting opportunities for the creation of public spaces and networks that would connect residents and visitors and provide gathering places.

Team: Mike Cutulle, Pratik Emon, Carolyn Glenn, Kimberly McGrath, Courtney Widacki

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The Greenspoint neighborhood is home to just under 30,000 people.  The neighborhood is located just west of Bush Intercontinental Airport.  I-45 and Beltway 8 divide the neighborhood into quadrants, a division that is not only physical but also social.  Multi-family housing is predominantly to the northeast, single-family to the southeast, while Greenspoint Mall and the primary office developments have developed along the highways. The team is working to develop strategies to address the needs of families, and to provide connections and amenities.

Team: Jennifer Branham, Josh Sawyer, John Rezsonya, Sidney San

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Midwest is home to just over 55,000 residents, and is located just north of Gulfton.  The neighborhood is bounded by Gessner on the west, Chimney Rock on the east, Westpark on the south and Buffalo Bayou and Westheimer to the north.  We all know this area of town for its good food and abundant retail, but part of the community—mainly east of Hillcroft—is disconnected, with few parks and limited services.  The neighborhood’s large immigrant and transitional population lives in this area.  The study is focusing on new public amenities and spaces to spark social density and local entrepreneurship.

Team: Alex Lara, Nahid Haimonty, Dennis Alvarez, Janine Nunfio, Sana Rehman

Many thanks to all that were in attendance.