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2004 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards

Technology Applications

Honorable Mention

Planning, Tracking, and Allocating Development System

City of Houston Planning and Development Department
Houston, Texas

Sample land development model GIS scenarios created using ArcView/ CommunityViz.

A planning, tracking, and allocating development system developed by the City of Houston's Planning & Development Department combines up-to-date tracking of development and redevelopment activities, allocation of regional population and employment forecasts within a corridor, and a value-based measurement system to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the redevelopment efforts underway along a new light rail corridor.

Since 1998, the Main Street Coalition has worked to integrate land use and transportation to revitalize Houston's Main Street Corridor and turn it into a signature area for the City. To measure effectively the many changes taking place in the Corridor, the City of Houston developed an innovative planning, tracking, and allocating development system. Currently, this system is being used to track these changes, with a special focus on evaluating the impacts of new light rail transit in the Corridor. The information provided by this system is intended to guide policy decisions related to improving quality of life in Houston's urban core.

The planning, tracking and allocating development system combines up-to-date tracking of development and redevelopment activities, regional population changes, and employment forecasts within the Corridor, with a value-based measurement system. The Land Development Model is a GIS-based, automated process for tracking land use and development status associated with revitalization efforts and light rail transit along the Main Street Corridor. In addition to recording change, the LDM can integrate scenarios for future growth. The Performance Report Card provides the ability to evaluate the changes measured in the Land Development Model against indicators that are important to the community, creating a value-based measurement system. For example, as population growth occurs in the Main Street Corridor, the Performance Report Card shows this change as positive, negative, or neutral according to community goals. All formulas are visible in easily understood "Wizards"; therefore, the methodology for creating the formulas behind the Land Development Model is both transparent and changeable without specialized programming. Both applications use off-the-shelf software.


Jennifer Ostlind
City of Houston Planning and Development Department
611 Walker, 6th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 837-7871
Houston Planning Website

Updated: 10/20/2015
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