RDA Civic Forums examine issues that affect Houston. These panel discussions allow the public to gather information and question experts. Several of these programs have resulted in substantive changes in planning and development.
In 1995, Changing Lanes: Community Values and Advocacy in Freeway Design provided the impetus to form a non-profit organization to challenge a proposed freeway expansion in Houston. The group successfully worked with the Department of Transportation to develop a new design proposal that was forward thinking and environmentally sensitive. In May 1998, RDA organized Re: Rail, a symposium to discuss a rail system for Houston, at which then Mayor Lee Brown announced that he was open to the possibility. The RDA program initiated discussion in the local media, among civic groups, and in the city council. The 7.5-mile light-rail system opened in January 2004.
For more information, visit the civic forums archives.