Can Houston Preserve Green Space Alongside Rapid Growth?

As the population in Greater Houston continues to grow, a panel at Rice University today explored why it’s important to preserve green space.

Panelists sit at a table discussing conservation in Houston.
Panelists discuss Houston’s conservation efforts at the first-ever People and Nature Conference at Rice University.

From rich farmland to winding creeks and bayous, Houston is home to some diverse ecosystems. But panelists at the first-ever “People and Nature Conference” say those resources have dwindled in the face of rapid development.

Organizer Jay Blazek Crosley says conservation improves the quality of life for residents.

“To build great cities and great human habitat, we have to have nature woven into everything,” Crosley says.

Some of the planners and conservationists in attendance say preserving Houston’s green space could also have economic benefits.

Jeff Lindstrom is with the landscape architecture firm TBG Partners. He says Houston tends to attract young professionals who stay for a few years before moving to cities with better access to parks, trails and public transit.

“And I think a lot of the people in this room understand that that doesn’t have to be the case, and if we continue to plan well, we can start to build an infrastructure that supports a higher quality of life,” Lindstrom says.

But Lindstrom says Houston is making progress. The city’s Bayou Greenways project is expected to add an estimated 1,500 acres of park land.


Tomeka Weatherspoon

Tomeka Weatherspoon

Senior Producer

Tomeka Weatherspoon is an Emmy-award winning producer. She produces segments, the weekly television program Arts InSight, the short film showcase The Territory and a forthcoming digital series on innovation. Originally from the Midwest, Tomeka studied convergence journalism from the world’s first journalism school at the University of Missouri. She has...

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