After Harvey, Houston has to get greener
By Laura Huffman
The city is already betting big with its Bayou Greenways 2020 project, which will restore 3,000 acres of land along its bayous, creating parks and trails. The Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium has suggested that slowing water down with natural infrastructure should be a priority and open space be preserved.
In Clear Lake, voters approved a bond to transform a golf course into 200 acres of greenway replete with wetlands and retention ponds, called Exploration Green. And organizations like the Katy Prairie Conservancy, the Houston Parks Board, the Houston Endowment, the Kinder Foundation and others have long worked to protect the city's green spaces to benefit people and planet.
For their part, residents seem to have reached consensus: Let's rethink the rebuild. The Nature Conservancy conducted a poll of Texas coastal residents in post-Harvey November. More than 80 percent favored directing federal recovery dollars toward natural infrastructure to reduce flood risk and increase coastal resiliency, while 78 percent were open to rebuilding differently and enhancing resilience to help protect communities from future storms. And 87 percent considered it fiscally irresponsible to keep rebuilding the same way after major storms. Those are undeniable numbers.[...]