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Houston Mayor: Quality Parks Are Investments

Houston is making further efforts to create parks and better facilities for biking and pedestrians along the Buffalo Bayou, a main waterway flowing through the city – with the support of a Mayor who believes in their economic benefits. In one project, the city has increased access to parks in park poor neighborhoods and connections to other areas. From the Houston Chronicle:

Included in the donation is a strip of land along Japhet Creek, a bayou tributary, that will provide the first of the “green fingers” called for in a 2002 bayou master plan to link the waterway to nearby residential neighborhoods…… Improving access was a key recommendation in the master plan for a 10-mile stretch of the bayou from Shepherd Drive to the Ship Channel Turning Basin. It called for $800 million in public expenditures, including $500 million for flood control, to develop hundreds of acres of new parks and to create opportunities for retail and residential development.

The other interesting project is a new pedestrian/bike bridge that will cross Buffalo Bayou. Above improving such facilities in a car-centric place, an article on the project quoted Houston’s pro-parks Mayor Bill White on the benefits of investing in parks:

“What we found with Discovery Green is that when we invest in these high-quality public places, that it improves the property values and the living environment and quality of life all around there,” White said. “So, I think great art is part of a real city.”

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