Scenic Houston’s “claim to fame” is its successful fight against mushrooming billboard blight in our city. From 10,000 billboards in 1980 to fewer than 2000 today, Scenic Houston has worked to overcome all obstacles in the fight to reduce visual blight.
But Scenic Houston also works hard in other arenas, where our work creates immediate, positive impacts on our streets and in our neighborhoods, and leads to statutory changes that will benefit our city for generations to come.
Scenic Houston began the Streetscape Project, conducting an inventory and analysis of all public regulations that impact the visual aspects of Houston’s streets and public spaces. This work will lead to publication of a unique streetscape resource guide, a practical tool for all stakeholders interested in how Houston streets can be constructed and redeveloped to build healthier, more attractive neighborhoods and foster economic growth.
Scenic Houston led the effort to create the statewide Scenic City Certification Program, developed in partnership with the Texas Municipal League and other program partners, which recognizes Texas municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces.
Joined by 37 business, civic and neighborhood organizations, Scenic Houston successfully persuaded City Council to ban the commercial use of “attention-getting devices” — driver-distracting clutter along Houston streets and rights-of-way.
Scenic Houston worked with the City on a successful negotiation with Clear Channel Outdoor to rid Houston of more than 800 old and obsolete billboards that had blighted local streets and older residential neighborhoods for more than a generation.
Scenic Houston created the Texas Avenue walking tour of downtown Houston celebrating one of the city’s first thoroughfares that began as a dirt lane in 1839. Thousands of citizens and visitors have visited the “museum” that is Texas Avenue’s 60 historic markers profiling important figures of Houston’s past, their contributions to the city, and little-known facts about Houston.
Scenic Houston helped secure funding for Houston freeway landscaping. These plantings have produced 820 acres of “green ribbon corridors” throughout Houston, where TxDOT has planted 1,000,000 trees!