Livable Places

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What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting

  • February 9, 2021, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.


Effects of Tall Structures Near Single-family Neighborhoods

The Livable Places Action Committee is considering how we can better mitigate the negative effects of tall structures built next to or near single-family homes. Tell us what you’ve experienced and why it works or doesn’t work. Find this activity under the "Map It" tab below. Read about the current Residential Buffering Ordinance.


Learn More

In the Articles Tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.

Thank you for your participation!

What is Livable Places?

The Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to enhance walkability, affordability and equity.

Following City Council's approval of the Walkable Places and Transit-Oriented Development ordinance amendments in August 2020, the Livable Places Action Committee will focus on updating the City’s development codes to encourage the development and preservation of affordable, quality housing for all.

The committee aims to create opportunities to:

  • build housing on existing vacant lots within neighborhoods that are largely developed
  • increase housing options with access to alternative transportation, such as bicycling and mass transit
  • improve safety
  • preserve great neighborhoods

This effort draws from community preferences identified through several previous planning initiatives including Plan Houston, Resilient Houston and others.

Use this page to provide input and feedback to the committee. Visit here often to find out about meetings, ask questions, participate in discussions and surveys, and to learn more. Your participation is important to help guide how Houston develops.

Livable Places Action Committee Meeting

  • February 9, 2021, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.


Effects of Tall Structures Near Single-family Neighborhoods

The Livable Places Action Committee is considering how we can better mitigate the negative effects of tall structures built next to or near single-family homes. Tell us what you’ve experienced and why it works or doesn’t work. Find this activity under the "Map It" tab below. Read about the current Residential Buffering Ordinance.


Learn More

In the Articles Tab, you will find various reading material that can provide context and definitions to support and provide meaning to the work the Livable Places Action Committee will discuss during its monthly meetings.

Thank you for your participation!

  • Creating Flexible Housing Options

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    12 Jan 2021

    AARP has a free webinar related to its publications about accessory dwelling units. The webinar discusses how backyard cottages, basement or garage apartments, and other small residences are housing solutions that homeowners can create for themselves or a loved one, or for renting to a tenant. Register here.

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  • AARP: Making Room

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    16 Nov 2020
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    "Americans are changing — and so are their housing needs. Unprecedented shifts in demographics are redefining who we are and how we live. If we simply ask ourselves different questions about how we want to live, we might discover better answers."

    AARP asks questions about the changing demographics that transform the country's housing stock and how to "feature a menu of housing options that better serve people of all ages and the needs of a changing America."

    Visit AARP.org/MakingRoom to access ideas, demographics, infographics, floor plans, solutions and join the discussion. The free Making Room: Housing for a Changing America publication downloadable from the site highlights varied housing choices.

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  • What is Missing Middle Housing?

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    16 Nov 2020

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  • Where Affordable Housing and Transportation Meet in Houston

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    20 Oct 2020
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    Photo by LINK HoustonRead recommendations that came out of the report developed by the Kinder Institute in partnership with LINK Houston. The report analyzed where affordable housing and high-quality, affordable transportation presently co-exist. It also lays out steps to align housing and transportation development.

    Read the article.

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  • The Missing Middle

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    18 Aug 2020
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    The Missing Middle concept describes various housing types that provide an opportunity for Houston to grow in a way that can "provide more housing and more housing choices in sustainable, walkable places."

    “Missing Middle Housing” was coined by Opticos Design founder Daniel Parolek in 2010 to define a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types — compatible in scale with detached single-family homes — that help meet the growing demand for walkable urban living.

    Building types include styles that have been built in previous years. They include "duplexes, four-plexes, cottage courts, and courtyard buildings," and "provide diverse housing options and support locally-serving retail and public transportation options."

    1. To read more about the Missing Middle, visit their website.

    2. Comment and tell us your thoughts about "The Missing Middle" below.

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