Today’s Scenic Houston
While Scenic Houston will always maintain its sign regulatory focus, the mission has broadened to encompass city streetscape enhancement. We believes attention to the visual aspects of Houston’s streetscapes is key to maintaining healthy neighborhoods in a vibrant, economically competitive city. From the billboard experience, we understand that setting streetscape standards for future growth and redevelopment will yield significant, positive results – both near term and over time.
Scenic Houston Initiatives
- Scenic Houston recognizes that ugly streetscapes adversely affect economic development.
- Created in close consultation with the City’s Planning and Public Works Departments, Scenic Houston has created a Streetscape Resource Guide to support optimal streetscape planning, design and construction under the city’s current code standards. The Mayor has included adherence to the Guide as one of the objectives of her Executive Order on Complete Streets.
- The Guide provides a reference to all current Code regulations and lists the most important considerations in the travelway, pedestrian and shared realms – then “translates” this information in photographs.
- This new resource is particularly relevant as the city undertakes its Rebuild Houston program. Scenic Houston is connecting with the designers and contractors engaged in these projects to ensure that Streetscape Guide standards are followed from the design phase through project completion.
- As a result of this program, by 2018, at least five prominent street corridors will be redeveloped with high-impact improvements using the Streetscape Resource Guide standards.
- Houston’s airport corridor gateways are unsightly and create an unfavorable impression of the city. Representatives of companies seeking to expand or relocate in Houston, talented prospective employees and entrepreneurs who rank quality of life high on their lists of reasons to relocate to a specific city, and decision makers who bring major events to Houston, frequently comment on the initial ugly impression of our airport corridors.
- Scenic Houston will conduct an assessment of the current conditions of the Hobby and Bush Intercontinental Airport gateways, recommend specific new standards for those corridors and develop and advocate for measures to achieve them.
- A near-term initiative is to influence the current city project to reconstruct Broadway entering Hobby Airport.
- As a result of this program, visitors and residents will have a very different impression of Houston as they drive to and from the city’s Hobby and IAH gateways.
- Scenic Houston’s statewide Scenic City Certification Program recognizes cities for quality of infrastructure standards for their public roadways and public spaces.
- Cities apply for evaluation against a standard, not in competition with other cities.
- 52 cities have been certified in four years, including Houston and seven others in the area. The more certified in an area, the better — a rising tide raises all ships.
- Through targeted communications and a technical advisory plan, Scenic Houston aims to significantly increase Houston-area participation in the Scenic City program.
- As a result of this effort, 20 cities in the Houston CMSA will achieve Scenic City status by 2018, which will directly impact economic development and future growth across the greater Houston Region.