Several efforts underway for years have come to a head in Houston. City Council approved Plan Houston. As Planning Director Patrick Walsh explains in this Houston Matters interview, though the document is short on measurable goals, it contains the vision, policy directives, and performance indicators that will provide the foundation for more detailed plans that city staff and leaders can work together on more effectively. More news below:

Buffalo Bayou Park gives Houstonians a new perspective on the city
Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle
After the Memorial Day floods caused $200,000 of damage and delayed the official opening of Buffalo Bayou Park, the 160-acre park between Shepherd and Sabine will be launched with a procession and fireworks this Saturday.

Convention Center Upgrades Designed to Improve the Experience
Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle
The construction is well underway for improvements on the east side of Downtown to add appeal for residents, workers, and visitors.

Houston's Energy Corridor Gets A 'Woonerf' Street
Gail Delaughter, Houston Public Media
The concept imported from Europe is designed for vehicles, cyclists, and walkers to share the same road safely.

Oil & Gas Drilling Allowed On Wetlands Mitigation Banks In Texas
Jim Drew & Susan Carroll, Houston Public Media
"It’s done with little or no oversight, and they allow the gas drillers to serve as their own oversight, it’s kind of like the fox guarding the henhouse."

Green Acres 
Mimi Swartz, Texas Monthly
What if Houston were known for its parks instead of its strip malls? Swartz's tour de force of reporting covers the dramatic changes to Discovery Green, Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Buffalo Bayou, and Bayou Greenways. Rice Design Alliance, publisher of this blog, is proud to have played a central role in spurring this shift through international design competitions, civic forums, and publications.

‘Mark Rothko: A Retrospective’ Review
Lance Esplund, Wall Street Journal
This exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, offers a look inside Rothko’s artistic process as he experimented and reworked, failed and succeeded.

SOM and Oak Ridge National Lab Debut 3d-Printed Shelter and Car
Hallie Busta, Architect Magazine
The latest development in 3D printing comes from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Lab.

Zaha Hadid Blazes Trail for Women With Riba Architecture Award
"Dame Zaha Hadid has been awarded Riba's royal gold medal for architecture, making her the first woman to be awarded the honour in her own right." Women In Architecture: 1850 to the Future, a local exhibit on women pioneers in architecture, is now over, but click to watch Houston architects share insights on their lives as women in architecture.

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