Houston Controller Finds Fault with Key Economic Development Program

A new report finds that Houston might not be holding private partners accountable for promised infrastructure improvements.

March 28, 2018, 7:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


Houston

Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock

A city program meant to improve infrastructure and spur economic development lacks oversight and accountability for private partners, according to Houston’s city controller.

The controller's audit concerns agreements in which a private company completes infrastructure improvements and is later reimbursed by the city.

But several companies selected for projects did not fulfill all their commitments before being reimbursed, the audit found. Documentation of the process was also inconsistent, from eligibility requirements and project evaluation to fee payment.

City officials have disputed some conclusions of the report, but also agreed that they could "a better job" documenting and formalizing procedures.

Friday, March 23, 2018 in Houston Chronicle

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

Kids

Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments

Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.

August 9, 2022 - Financial Times

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Walkable, mixed-use neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain

Could Los Angeles Emulate Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’?

A proposal in the city council could bring the ‘superblock’ model to Los Angeles, opening up neighborhood streets to more biking, walking, and public amenities.

26 minutes ago - The Real Deal

Aerial view of downtown San Antonio with Tower Life Building in foreground

San Antonio Office Tower To Become Residential

With the building more than half vacant, the new owners of the Tower Life Building plan to convert the historic tower into residences that could include affordable housing.

1 hour ago - San Antonio Report

Embarcadero

Freeway Removal Movement Slowly Gains Steam

Although the concept has recently received more national attention thanks in part to the federal Reconnecting Communities Act, cities have shown reluctance to support highway removal projects.

2 hours ago - Governing

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.