Residents want more Nature-based Communities in Houston

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Houston’s master-planned communities are increasingly embracing Nature-based living, as the trend in urban development.

Texas’s vast metropolis of Houston is experiencing a surge, in population with individuals relocating to the city daily due to its thriving economy and affordable real estate. This influx presents a chance for developers in the realm of planned communities. However, residents are urging for more Nature-based Communities in Houston.

Jim Jenkins, Vice President of Master Planned Communities at Toll Brothers believes Houston is the location for scale sustainable development due to factors such as ample water resources and the flexibility in choosing development sites. Jenkins shared his views during The Future of Houston’s Master Planned Communities event hosted by Bisnow on a Thursday.

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Drew Mengwasser from TBG Partners highlighted that while Houston’s diverse natural landscapes pose challenges for developers, understanding the characteristics of each location is crucial for creating projects. Furthermore, there is a growing trend towards eco-friendly developments that promote outdoor amenities, reflecting society’s increasing desire to live closer to nature. This shift in preferences presents an opportunity, for developers. Developers by adopting measures they cannot just draw in a larger group of inhabitants but also play a role, in building a more sustainable tomorrow for Houston.

Nature-based Communities in Houston Challenges

Creating Nature-based Communities comes with its challenges. Striking a balance between feasibility and environmental stewardship requires planning and innovative approaches. Educating residents about living practices and fostering a sense of community ownership over efforts are key, to ensuring long term success.

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By placing an emphasis, on eco practices Houston can ensure that its rapid development doesn’t harm the environment but instead contributes to a sustainable and thriving future for future generations. Trails and natural surroundings are highly valued in Nature-based Communities, those not primarily centered on agriculture. Brandi Coatsworth, who serves as the director of land sales for master-planned communities, at Howard Hughes shared during The Future of Houston’s Nature-based Master-Planned Communities event hosted by Bisnow on Thursday that Howard Hughes communities typically feature 28% green space.

Understanding a site thoroughly before determining its development strategy and identifying which natural features merit preservation is crucial, Mengwasser emphasized. This process may involve collaborating with nature and science consultants to design ecologies that can thrive in the local climate, he added.

In Montgomery County there are opportunities to utilize trees and establish pathways in the forests as mentioned by Tom Woliver, co President of Oxland Group. On the hand towards the side of Houston developers might be considering construction in a rice field leading to the development of something new.

“We’re taking a case-by-case approach… We’re attentive to the land’s cues and adapting accordingly. Our goal is to maneuver around its natural elements and preserve the asset,” Woliver elaborated.

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