Houston 2020 Visions

Program Partners

Funding Provided By

Call for Visions

Individuals, teams, and organizations from around the world are welcome to submit visions. The call for visions is seeking responses in scaled categories, from the micro-individual to the macro-global (see “Categories” for more detail). The resulting responses will be juried and curated into an exhibit that will be mounted at Architecture Center Houston in the spring of 2020. Two underlying concepts are key: Recovery and Resilience.

Principles for Recovery
Responses to the Call for Visions should also consider the six principles for recovery outlined by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Chief Recovery Officer Marvin Odum:

  1. Build forward – not back. Houston must change its development patterns and “future proof” its most important and vulnerable public assets and infrastructure.
  2. Ensure the recovery is equitable by targeting those areas of greatest need, which can sometimes be the communities with the quietest voice.
  3. Run the recovery as a lean, coordinated machine, using business discipline, partnerships and innovation to stretch recovery dollars.
  4. Preserve the diversity and culture of Houston’s neighborhoods. 
  5. Drive for an even more economically vibrant, green, livable city.
  6. Be ready for the next Harvey by locking in more resilient, smarter systems to get people out of harm’s way and help them back on their feet more quickly when the next natural disaster hits.

Defining Resilience
The City of Houston has been selected to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges they face. Houston 2020 Visions intends to align with this program and make a significant contribution to the overall conversation about resilience at the individual, neighborhood, city-wide and regional levels.

Resilience is defined by the Rockefeller Foundation as the “the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience.” Houston faces both chronic stresses – including an affordable housing shortage, environmental pollution, and aging infrastructure – and acute shocks – hurricanes, flooding, droughts, and other natural disasters. An ideal vision would merge solutions to multiple, overlapping challenges – such as a transit-oriented affordable housing development constructed with sustainable materials, or a retention pond that serves double-duty as a park in a neighborhood that lacks green space.

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