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Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

National Trust for Historic Preservation Annual Conference next week in Houston, Texas

For those of us who aren't able to attend this year's conference, the National Trust is live webstreaming a number of presentations, which is a great service.

I haven't been to Houston for many years, but I always admired the energy and activity there.  It can also be incredibly green, which isn't something that we normally associate with what we are taught about Texas.  Granted, I think their "success because of no zoning" story is way overplayed (2014 blog entry, "A follow up on an earlier point about Houston and extractive economies," "Office Pileup Gets Worse in Houston," Wall Street Journal), especially now as the WSJ reports that the office market is approaching a 30% office vacancy rate as a result of the drop in oil and gas prices and the concomitant impact on business.

Besides the Galleria, one of the first "mixed use" developments by the Hines Interests, there is a great museum district, a variety of historic preservation assets, the area around Rice University, light rail transit expansion, the Houston Medical Center and the multiple graduate and professional education centers there, etc.

From the NTHP PastForward conference website:

f you can't make it to PastForward 2016 next week, join us as a virtual attendee.
Live streaming at PastForward is FREE and can be done in the comfort of your home or the convenience of your office. While we want everyone to register as a full conference attendee and participate in all the programming, networking events, and conference experiences in Houston, we want to make sure even more people can take part in the important discussions that take place at PastForward.
This year's virtual programming features:
  • Theaster Gates, founder and executive director of Rebuild Foundation
  • Rick Lowe, community activist and artist, founder of Project Row Houses
  • Stephanie K. Meeks, president and chief executive officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Nina Simon, executive director, Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
  • John Valadez, documentary filmmaker
Note: There is still time to register for the 2016 PastForward Conference. Online registration closes Fri., November 11.

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