UH Moment

UH Moment: “Levees”

The classroom meets the real world in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture.  Listen to this week's UH Moment. 


Professor Thomas Colbert’s students designed projects that placed levee systems on Galveston Island.  

“As a native of New Orleans, I know that this part of the gulf coast, the Houston-Galveston region, is uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes,” he said.  “What could happen to Houston is much worse than what did happen to New Orleans.”

Before a panel of academic and community officials, Colbert’s students presented their levee designs that incorporated parks and education facilities.

“I also incorporated a light rail system that travels parallel to the levee system,” one student explained. “People can actually get dropped off into the visitors center and learn more about Galveston.”  

Another student explains where his group chose to focus.  

“We chose the cruise ship terminal.  My project is all about becoming a tourist destination.  It’s actually becoming a park that draws tourists to the space.”

While theoretical, the projects reflect real-world possibilities from the next generation of architecture and design professionals.  

 “I believe it’s the role of architecture to understand the nature of the place it’s working in,” Colbert said.  “That makes the world a better place to live in.”

Levees are part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.

Telling the stories of the University of Houston, this UH Moment is brought to you by KUHF, listener supported radio from the University of Houston.