Houston Matters

How — And Where — Should Houston Rebuild Differently After Harvey?

Should Houstonians rebuild differently after Harvey? Our panel of experts share their design ideas.

We’ve already had a fair amount of debate on this program and elsewhere over how and where to rebuild after Harvey. There are some practical issues that greatly affect this discussion. For example, we’ve already built huge communities in flood plains, so they’re not going away. And some homes and businesses may have flooded for the first time but may not flood the next time.

So, the real question is what to do about those places that have flooded repeatedly and have been nearly totally destroyed? If you rebuild, how do you do it differently in advance of the next big flood? And, if you don’t, where should you go, where should we all look to expand in order to minimize the impact of future floods?

To discuss these concerns — and to answer your questions on this issue — we assembled a panel of experts: Rives Taylor, a licensed architect and principal within the Houston office of global architecture and design firm GenslerKinder Baumgardner, managing principal for SWA Group; and Mary Lawler, executive director for Avenue Community Development Corporation.

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