Houston Matters

Remembering Former Houston City Council Member Peter Brown

Brown distinguished himself as an advocate for urban planning and pedestrians.

Peter Brown appears in a video for his blog pedestrianpete.com, where he championed improving Houston streets and sidewalks.

Former Houston City Council member Peter Brown died Tuesday (Dec. 12), his family announced.

His son, City Controller Chris Brown, made the announcement via Twitter and explained his father had passed away “after a long battle with cancer.”

Peter Brown distinguished himself as an advocate for urban planning and pedestrians. He even created a blog called Pedestrian Pete, where he championed improving Houston streets and sidewalks.

While serving on city council in 2008, he helped kick off the city’s new general plan website, where citizens could get information about city regulations.

“It’s the ultimate in transparent government cause you can hold the plan up, and you can say to the citizens ‘Thank you for your tax money,'” he said. “And you want to know why we’re spending it, and where we’re spending it, and how we’re spending it — it’s based on the vision and the goals and the policies that are stated in this plan.”

In 2009 Brown ran unsuccessfully for mayor. At a candidates’ forum, he spoke in favor of light rail expansion and transit-oriented development.

“There are good examples in other cities,” Brown said. “We’re probably 15 years behind Dallas in expanding our light rail system, and we’re behind Denver now. Dallas has about 30 transit-oriented development projects going. We need some real aggressive leadership on transit-oriented development and expansion of our rail transit in Houston.”

And, in 2011, when Brown was serving as director of the nonprofit organization Better Houston, he spoke in favor of improvements to Washington Avenue.

“What’s in my view really important is that we have not a theoretical plan but a very practical plan — something that will lead to a more orderly, more coherent, more walkable, and mixed-use urban development.”

Peter Brown was 81.

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