Planners’ Revolution

The Provocateurs of Sustainable Change

APA meeting

APA 085 - Copy

In November 2014 urban planners from all across Texas enjoyed a reception at The Collective the night prior to the Texas Big Six 2040 Workshop—Conversations about our Future, hosted by the Houston Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association. Directors of the six largest cities in Texas met at the Barbara Jordan/Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs on the Texas Southern University campus to discuss plans, policies and projects currently underway in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Both the Houston Section of the APA and The Collective support efforts to empower, educate and promote sustainable changes in communities that will be in tune with their environment, history, culture and values.

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WHAT IS PLANNERS’ REVOLUTION?

Planners’ Revolution  promotes sustainable changes in largely unde-rserved communities within a regional context. We set out to empower, educate, and promote sustainable changes in communities that are in tune with their environment, history, culture, and values. This program  conducts its work based on the following principles of sustainability: inclusion, cooperative economics, world-class design, and context sensitive design through art, nature, and functionality. When these principles are followed, the results yield  maximum livability for current and future residents for generations to come.

Our mission is to facilitate superior livability in underserved communities through sustainable, resident-led planning and development.  We seek to assist communities in making the most appropriate decisions about their future, so that positive change occurs based on the long-term vision for future generations, in lieu of typical “ad-hoc” solutions used to address “chronic” problems.

The following are objectives that Planners’ Revolution hopes to achieve. Each objective is based upon the preceding principles:

  • Grooming of the next generation of planners in the infancy of their careers
  • Bridging the generation gap in the planning profession and the community at large
  • Providing community outreach and education activities on sustainability
  • Facilitating the planning process (with emphasis on context sensitivity and sustainability within the region and design that is harmonious with in the natural and social environment)

Planners’ Revolution focuses mostly on sustainable community development and site planning within the regional context, however the organization will also work with in the following interconnected spatial areas:

  • Site
  • Neighborhood
  • Municipal
  • Metropolitan
  • State
  • Mega-region
  • National
  • International

Action items that are carried out by Planners’ Revolution to achieve its mission include community programs such as movie nights, field trips, programs at festivals, speaking engagements, etc.; development of a body of knowledge that can be used as a reference by the community at large. (which may include a blog, library, resource lists, etc.); plans, visioning; relationship development with complimentary entities and green enterprises and representation at planning functions.

REGIONAL PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Houston Galveston region is expected to be home to 4 million new residents in the next 30 years.  Where will those residents live?  How will this change affect quality of life?  How will they get around?  The Houston Galveston Regional Plan for Sustainable Development is an important chance to took forward and find ways to keep your community prosperous, healthy and attractive for generations to come.

If you have Ideas and opinions about how to assure the livability of the Houston Galveston region in the years to com, please join us at the following event:

PAST ACTIVITIES

Saturday, April 14, 2012, Hot Block on Holman 2.0

 “Hot Block on Holman 2.0” livened up Midtown at the The Collective.

 The event, scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m., coincided with the all-day Art in the Park festival at Baldwin Park and Midtown Visions Art Tour.

 The first “Hot Block on Holman,” introduced in April 2011, was a one-day living workshop designed to energize Midtown/Third Ward and to demonstrate how well-designed streets and roads can create safer, more accessible neighborhoods in which to live, play, work and shop.

 This year’s event again featured movies, food, drink, popcorn, music, Vegan Comfort food and craft vendors, original art and sidewalk tables and chairs and bike parking.  Admission ranged from $5 to $15.  Art viewing was free.

 The movies, which all featured sustainability themes, were “Carmen Jones,” and “Medicine for Melancholy.”  Discussions after the movies were facilitated by Planners’ Revolution staff, the community development division of The Collective, and its partners Zakcq Lockrem of Citizens’ Transportation Coalition and Jay Crossley of Houston Tomorrow.

April 10, 2012–Public Open House–Third Ward Multi-Service Center, 3611 Ennis Street
Co-sponsored by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and 25 partner organizations, Third Ward Community Cloth Cooperative Housing and Environment Thread.

The 13-county Regional Plan for Sustainable Development explored opportunities to
improve the region’s most important resources, including clean air and water, good jobs, safe
and attractive neighborhoods, affordable housing, transportation choices and open spaces and
parks. This effort was led by a partnership of 25 organizations, including Houston-Galveston
Area Council member governments, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and other
partners.

September 16, 2011– a preview of “Hot Nights on Holman” with a pop-up vegan cafe and music during Nathaniel Donnett’s “What’s the New News?” exhibition.  The “Hot Nights” series began officially in October with the first of several “sustainable cinema” shows.

April 9, 2011–Houston’s first Better Block Houston was held in front of The Collective’s gallery at 1413 Holman at LaBranch, during Midtown’s Art in the Park.

February 25, 2011–field trip to Funkytown with The Third Ward Community Cloth and ECOTONE!

February 12, 2011 – Third Ward has adopted its vision statement. It reads as:

“Our neighborhood will have a superior quality of life as exemplified by its schools, green infrastructure, fresh foods, pedestrian friendly environment, human scale, housing choice, mobility, safety, green businesses, livability, affordability, rich culture, and architecture. People are its greatest and most valued resource. Citizens are involved in an active partnership with each other, the city at large and the region, We strive to foster, inclusion, sustainability (social, environmental, and economic), resiliency, community, wellness, and innovation; propelling our community as the model village for the Twenty-Second Century City (Houston) based on respect for our environment and our humanity.”

November 29, 2010 – Third Ward – Midtown : Midtown Follies – Urban Design Bloopers

This was a brief two-part slide show displaying many of the challenges a pedestrian and/or cyclist faces in a city which has very little respect for other modes of transportation beyond the car. The light-hearted presentation offers   many pictures of challenges as well simple solutions. With Renew Houston’s Proposition #1 passing, this could be an opportunity to change our public infrastructure for the better: less flooding and complete streets. Remember, Houston has all of the makings of world-class city minus the two biggies: built environment and transportation.

November 9, 2010–Third Ward to TREville–This presentation was given to the members of the Third Ward Community Cloth Cooperative.  Planners’ Revolution worked with the Housing and Environment Thread as technical advisors as they engaged the community in a planning process. Treville is the proposed name for the Third Ward Community that instead of trying to rebrand the community seeks to rename the community based on what it has become. This process seeks to improve the quality of life for the residents of Treville by the creation of a resident led comprehensive planning and implementation process/framework based on principles of sustainability. This new plan and process will build on the content and recommendations laid out by the 1995 Third Ward Community Plan prepared by Roberta F. Burroughs and Associates.   The end result being a sustainable, livable, world-class place that serves as a replicable model for other communities and that serves as the catalyst for transforming Houston into “the” 22nd Century City.

August 28, 2010–Field trip to Fort Worth–Planners’ Revolution coordinated  a field trip to Fort Worth Area for the Third Ward Community Cloth – Housing and Environment Co-Chair, Michelle Barnes. This “comparative urbanism” showed how a collective vision from a city and its residents can lead to real results. We viewed many areas wit in the City of Fort Worth and its many suburbs; however, we focused mostly on Fort Worth’s Central City and its awesome Downtown.