Ped-Friendly Proposal for Houston’s Downtown Convention Center

In anticipation of the 2017 Super Bowl, Houston First Corp. is seeking approval of a project to improve the city's convention center and “reshape the once-moribund East End of downtown into a dynamic new focal point of the city.”

February 4, 2014, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


“Representatives of Houston First Corp. are proposing to transform the area around the George R. Brown Convention Center into a landscaped and more walkable pedestrian-friendly city center, with more retail and less car traffic, in time for the city to host the NFL's marquee game three years from now,” according to an article by David Kaplan.

Fans of road diets will like the new plans, which call for “opening up the center's look by replacing the front walls with paned glass that allows dramatic views; adding restaurant and retail space and shaded places for people to sit at ground level; and reducing Avenida de las Americas that runs in front to three lanes from eight.”

The project would be funded by Houston First, “the quasi-governmental agency that owns the Hilton Americas Houston and manages more than 10 city-owned buildings including the convention center.” Driving the proposals are the city's plans to host the 2017 Super Bowl (the area could handle an estimated 100,000 “revelers” in the proposed iteration), but the changes are intended to have a long-term impact.

Thursday, January 30, 2014 in The Houston Chronicle

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

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

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

Women Public Space

Urban Design Through a Gender Lens

Building cities to be safe and accessible for women and LGBTQIA+ people has benefits for all users of public space.

10 minutes ago - Architecture Daily

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

1 hour ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

2 hours ago - Strong Towns

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.