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Houston Matters

Discovery Green Marks Ten Years Transforming Downtown

The downtown green space has hosted more than 12 million visitors so far and has spurred more than a billion dollars in economic development.

An aerial view of Discovery Green in downtown Houston.

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Discovery Green is celebrating its tenth anniversary today (April 13).

Since it opened, the green space on the eastern edge downtown has anchored the transformation of the city's heart. The space was formerly parking lots, and now it plays host to numerous events every year – such as last year's Super Bowl fan festivities – along with art installations, and even an ice rink (during what passes for winter in Greater Houston).

The Downtown District says Discovery Green has hosted more than 12 million visitors so far and has spurred more than a billion dollars in economic development.

Barry Mandel, the park's president and director, Jacki Martin, founding member of the Discovery Green Conservancy, and Susanne Theis, the venue’s programming director, join Houston Matters to discuss the park's history and future plans.

  • Women participate in a yoga class at Discovery Green.  (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    Women participate in a yoga class at Discovery Green. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • Kayakers enjoy the Kinder Lake at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    Kayakers enjoy the Kinder Lake at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • People walk through the Waste Management, Inc. Gardens at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    People walk through the Waste Management, Inc. Gardens at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • Children splash around in the Gateway Fountain at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    Children splash around in the Gateway Fountain at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • An aerial view of Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    An aerial view of Discovery Green in downtown Houston. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • Discovery Green’s winter season includes a wide variety of activities on The ICE, the largest outdoor ice skating surface in the southwest. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
    Discovery Green’s winter season includes a wide variety of activities on The ICE, the largest outdoor ice skating surface in the southwest. (Photo Credit: Katya Horner)
  • The Fox Sports broadcast studios outdoors at the Super Bowl Live event at Discovery Green, Jan. 30, 2017. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)
    The Fox Sports broadcast studios outdoors at the Super Bowl Live event at Discovery Green, Jan. 30, 2017. (Photo Credit: Florian Martin)