Edgebrook Super Neighborhood 79
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Collaborative Community Design Initiative. No. 5 SPECIAL EDITION: HARVEY Community Design Resource Center 2018
CL EA CL R L EA A CL CLE CL K R L EA AR EA E A R
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KINGWOOD KINGWOOD LAKE HOUSTON LAKE HOUSTON LAKE HOUSTON LAKE HOUSTON LAKE HOUSTON LAKE HOUSTON
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KINGWOOD KINGWOOD KINGWOOD
Edgebrook Neighborhood, After Harvey
Contents Introduction (Harvey)
Participants and Sponsors
Figure Ground Land Use Parks Transportation Drainage
Population and Age Race and Ethnicity Income Education Housing
Resilient Neighborhood New Transit Alternative Networks Resilient Housing New Community Center Food Truck Spark
Tropical Storm Allison Track, 2001
Hurricane Ike Track, 2008
AUG 24, 2017
A HISTORY OF FLOODING
Houston suffered two major flood events in the years preceding Harvey, the Memorial Day Flood in 2015 and the Tax Day Flood in 2016.
AUG 26, 2017
On Thursday Harvey is upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane. 30 inches of rain is forecast in isolated instances. Supermarket shelves empty as residents make preparations.
ABOVE: Harvey Timeline (Based on Analysis and Graphics by Matthew Nguyen, Constanza PeĂąa, Victor Romo, and Cristina Trejo)
Hurricane Harvey Track, 2017
On Saturday Harvey makes a second landfall and weakens to a tropical storm. Rain forecasts for Houston are measured in feet. Several cities implement curfews and roads begin closing. HISD cancels school for the next week.
AUG 25, 2017
On Friday Harvey is upgraded to a Category 4 storm and makes landfall at 10pm near Rockport. Several counties call for voluntary and mandatory evacuations. Tornado and flood warnings are issued. HISD closes schools.
AUG 27, 2017
Heavy rainfall begins Saturday night and by early Sunday morning neighborhoods begin flooding and high water rescues by boat and helicopter are being televised live.
Introduction At the time of this publication, it has been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and slowly circled around the greater Houston area for five days. Harvey left behind over 150,000 flooded homes and a maximum recorded rainfall of 47.4”. It took only one month before the city seemed to be functioning normally. But the tragedy unfolding for thousands of families continues behind the closed doors of flooded homes and temporary hotel rooms. While natural disasters are equal opportunity events, the resources to recover are not. As civic leader Keith Downey notes: “The storm hit many underserved communities long before the hurricane arrived.”
The slow motion flood disaster that inundated Houston is evidence of a new climate normal. In the wake of this new normal we must begin to define and build towards greater resiliency—not just in preparation for the next disaster, but to ensure everyday resiliency. The fifth biennial Collaborative Community Design Initiative, titled “Floods” is a partnership with four Houston neighborhoods that were severely impacted by Harvey: East Houston, Eastex/Jensen, Edgebrook, and Kashmere Gardens and Houston/Trinity Gardens. This Briefing Book is for the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood.
AUG 28, 2017
THE NEXT WEEK
AUG 29, 2017
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins releasing water from reservoirs in west Houston. The release is to avoid a collapse that would inundate downtown Houston. The release floods thousands of homes near the reservoirs.
The rain from Hurricane Harvey begins to taper off, and by late Tuesday most neighborhoods would not see any more rain. The highest recorded rainfall in Harris County is 47.4”. An estimated 30,000 are in Houston shelters.
Professionals, volunteers, and communities begin cleaning up. Donation drives and distribution points are set up across the city. Individuals are prompted to contact insurance companies and apply for FEMA assistance. Some begin returning to work.
SIX MONTHS LATER
Some reconstruction efforts begin. Nearly 894,000 FEMA applications are filed by the November deadline. An estimated 150,000 structures flooded in Houston. Houston residents must now consider whether to rebuild or permanently relocate. Many still reside in temporary, sometimes makeshift, homes. FEMA hotel programs extended through June 2018.
Edgebrook Location Map
ONE YEAR LATER
Over $2 billion in Recovery Funding is finally allocated to the City of Houston and Harris County for rebuilding. Codes and policies are being rewritten to mitigate flood risks. Efforts are lagging to ensure residents are more informed and prepared for future disasters.
THE MONTH AFTER
Mucking, demolitions, and citywide cleaning continues. Some schools reopen. Displaced families relocated to temporary housing. Insurance and FEMA agents begin property inspections.
Sims Bayou Watershed
ABOVE: Sims Bayou Watershed and Edgebrook Super Neighborhood
Edgebrook u yo Ba
Much of the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is inside the 100and 500-year floodplains. During Harvey, estimated structural flooding correlated with the mapped floodplains. The Freeway Manor and Sun Valley neighborhoods in Edgebrook experienced the most significant flooding. According to the Civic Club, 1552 homes were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Of the homes damaged in Freeway Manor, the City of Houston has mandated that 80 of these homes be elevated before being repaired. Edgebrook has experienced significant flooding three times, during Hurricane Claudette in 1979, Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and Hurricane Harvey.
The Harris County Flood Control District reports that 154,170 homes flooded during Harvey; 48,850 were within the 100-year floodplain and 34,970 within the 500-year floodplain. 70,370 flooded homes were not in an identified floodplain hazard area. Harris County Flood Control District estimates that 36% of flooded homes across the county were covered by flood insurance policies, while 64% were not.
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is located in southeast Houston in the Sims Bayou watershed. The neighborhood has a complex system of natural and man made drainage ditches that connect to Berry Bayou. Berry Bayou flows into Sims Bayou further north. In 2016, Harris County Flood Control District completed improvements along Sims Bayou, it was one of the only bayous to remain in its banks during Harvey.
ABOVE: Flood Map Floodway 100-Year Floodplain 500-Year Floodplain BELOW: Edgebrook Photo, 10 months after Harvey
Inundation Level Sunday August 27, 2017 1 a.m.. 6”
Inundation Level Sunday August 27, 2017 12 a.m.
Inundation Level Saturday August 26, 2017 11 p.m.
ABOVE: Hourly Rainfall Totals, Berry Bayou at Nevada Avenue
ON Top of Bank
ABOVE: Stream Elevation, Berry Bayou at Nevada Avenue 08.26.2017 08.27.2017 Source: Harris County Flood Warning System
The Harris County Flood Control District has compiled Hurricane Harvey rainfall data for gages across the county. The Edgebrook gage, located at Berry Bayou and Nevada Avenue, was used to identify maximum rainfall in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood. The total rainfall over the four-day event was 43.9”. Edgebrook rainfall measured near the Harris County maximums for nearly every time interval, from one hour to four days. Over 14 inches of rain fell in one three-hour period. Berry Bayou topped its bank late Saturday night during the first round of heavy rainfall. The Bayou remained over the top of bank for nearly 10 hours, until mid-day on Sunday August 27, 2017. The maximum stream elevation peaked at 31.3’, which is 6” below the 500-year flood level of 31.9’; and 6” above the 100-year flood level. According to data from the Harris County Flood Control District, 8,510 homes flooded along Berry Bayou, roughly 6% of the 154,700 estimated flooded homes county wide. FEMA estimates from September 2017 reported 1,684 of these homes were in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood, or roughly 20% of all flooded homes along Berry Bayou. Based on FEMA estimates 22% of all the homes in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood flooded during Hurricane Harvey.
Harris County Maximum Recorded Rainfall Eastex/Jensen Rainfall Kashmere Gardens Rainfall Edgebrook Rainfall East Houston Rainfall
35.2” 36.2” 38.2”
29.5” 18.3” 18.8”
12.6” 14.2” 14.8”
4.0” 5.3” 6.1” 6.8”
2.4” 3.7” 6.0” 3.9”
7.6” 9.4” 10.7”
TOTAL RAINFALL =
ABOVE: Harris County and Neighborhood Maximum Recorded Rainfall Source: Harris County Flood Control District
Socioeconomic Vulnerability Persons below poverty
Income and poverty impact a familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity to prepare for, react to and recover from a disaster
Civilian (age 16+) unemployed Per capita income Persons (age 25+) with no H.S. diploma Household Vulnerability Persons aged 65 and older
Seniors, children and single parents are more vulnerable to a disaster than other population groups
Persons aged 17 and younger Civilian non institutionalized population with a disability Single parent household with children under 18 Minority Status and Language Vulnerability
Access to information can be a challenge for those with language barriers
Minority (all persons except white, non-Hispanic) Persons (age 5+) who speak English â&#x20AC;&#x153;less than wellâ&#x20AC;? Housing and Transportation Vulnerability Housing in structures with 10 or more units
Access to transportation and quality housing that is outside of designated risk zones reduces vulnerability
Mobile homes estimate At household level, more people than rooms Households with no vehicle available Persons in institutionalized group quarters
Overall Social Vulnerability Vulnerability ranking (75% and over indicates social vulnerability)
ABOVE: Social Vulnerability Index Tracts in the top 10%, or at the 90th percentile (Indicate high vulnerability) Tracts below the 90th percentile Source: Social Vulnerability Index (2014), https://svi.cdc.gov/map.aspx
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood has a very high Social Vulnerability Index as developed by the ATDSR of the Centers for Disease Control utilizing 2014 Census data. Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, including natural or human-caused disasters. The social vulnerability index is the “degree to which a community exhibits certain social conditions, including high poverty, low percentage of vehicle access, or crowded households.” Each of these conditions can impact a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood includes three Census tracts: 3209, 3210 and 3213. An analysis of the specific social vulnerabilities are provided in the table to the left. Each of the three Census tracts that comprise the neighborhood are in the highest vulnerability category, averaging 87% compared to tracts across the United States.
ABOVE: Edgebrook Census Tract Map BELOW: Edgebrook Harvey Flooding
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Context The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood, located off the Gulf Freeway in southeast Houston, is fullydeveloped, densely populated and home to many young families. The cities of South Houston and Pasadena define the northern and eastern boundaries of the neighborhood.
Edgebrook began developing in the 1950s. Over the next two decades the neighborhood was built-out and the first wave of residents moved into the area. Single-family housing is the most predominant building type, making up the core of the neighborhood. The south, east and northeast edges are defined by multi-family housing, institutions, and industries. There is very little vacant land in the neighborhood.
ABOVE, Top: Edgebrook and City Boundaries ABOVE, Right: Figure Ground BELOW, Left to Right: Edgebrook Historic Aerials OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Edgebrook Aerial 2017
n to 1978
1961 1956 1975
Edgebrook, and the subdivisions that comprise it, is the quintessential post-war suburban community. Development began in the 1950s, sparked by the completion of the Gulf Freeway, and continued across the next three decades. The neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residential subdivisions are characterized by modest ranch-style single family homes. In the 1970s new multi-family developments were constructed along Galveston Road and the Gulf Freeway. In 2016, single family homes made up 50% of the housing stock in Edgebrook, slightly higher than the 45% in Houston overall. In the same year, 40% of housing was in apartment buildings with five or more units, lower than the 43% in Houston. Today, much of what exists in Edgebrook could not be built. Recently revised City floodplain ordinances will require any new construction in the floodplain to be elevated. The new ordinance is already impacting local rebuilding efforts post Hurricane Harvey. According to civic leaders, 80 area homes severely damaged by flooding have been unable to secure permits for rebuilding, unless the structure is elevated. ABOVE, Right: Residential Land Use Map Single Family Multi-Family RIGHT: Year Structure Built, Edgebrook and Houston, 2016 OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Median Year Structure Built by Census Block Group OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Edgebrook Home Source: ACS 2016
Edgebrook Drive is the essential commercial corridor connecting to destinations both inside and outside the neighborhood. Locallyowned restaurants and food trucks are becoming a crucial part of the economic resiliency of the neighborhood.
Fairmont Pkwy e b ro o k D r Edg
Fairmont Parkway Shopping
Industrial uses are concentrated along Galveston Road. ABOVE, Right: Commercial and Industrial Land Use Map and Main Commercial Corridors Commercial Land Use Industrial Land Use RIGHT: Retail Transition Diagram OPPOSITE PAGE: Edgebrook Drive 2018, Best Products Store 1975, Foleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Almeda Mall 1965
Almeda Mall, which opened in 1966 and is located just south of the neighborhood, was a destination for shoppers for decades. While the mall remains open, many large national franchises have moved to other areas, particularly the Fairmont Parkway area in Pasadena. In the last ten years, the Almeda Mall area has lost a Target, Circuit City, JCPenney and a number of other big box stores. However, the most iconic of these losses was the demolition of the Best Products store in 2003.
Edgebrookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major commercial corridors are the Gulf Freeway and Edgebrook Drive. Along these two corridors there are two major grocery stores, numerous retail outlets and dozens of restaurants, fast food chains and food trucks. The eight food trucks sited along Edgebrook Drive are a destination for many residents and visitors.
R EL O
IO T A C
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is nearly fully developed with very little vacant land. However, much of the vacant land in the community is south of Edgebrook Drive, an area with a diverse pattern of land uses that includes industrial uses, residential developments and commerical spaces. on
ABOVE, Right: Park Map Public Parks 1/2 Mile Radius SPARK Parks RIGHT: Park Needs OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Vacant Land Vacant Land OPPOSITE PAGE, Left to Right: Freeway Manor Park, Garfield ES SPARK Park
Garfield and Freeman Elementary Schools in the Pasadena Independent School District both have SPARK Parks. Parks are a crucial asset to the health and well-being of a neighborhood. Approximately half of Edgebrook families and residents are more than a 10-minute walk to a public park.
Edgebrook is home to two neighborhood parks: Freeway Manor and Wilson Memorial. Combined the parks encompass 39 acres. Based on the recommended standards for park space developed in the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2015 Master Plan, Edgebrook needs an additional 20 acres of park space. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Freeway Manor Park served as an emergency distribution point for food and necessities.
Wilson Memorial Park Area: 29 acres Amenities: Water Feature Trails Plaza/Picnic Area Playground Open Field Baseball Field (2) Soccer Field Swimming Pool
Freeway Manor Park Area: 10 acres Amenities: Trails Plaza/Picnic Area Playground Open Field Baseball Field Tennis Court
HPARD Recommended Park Area for Neighborhood, Community, and Pocket Parks 2.5 acres/1,000
Existing Park Area 1.7 acres/1,000
Park Area Needed 0.8 acres/1,000= 20 acres
1% Use Public Transportation
95% Drive to Work
In 2016, 95% of Edgebrook workers over the age of 16 drove to work, either alone or in a carpool. In the same year, only 1% used public transportation to get to work, while 2% walked or biked. Currently, the Edgebrook neighborhood is not served by public transportation, there is not a single bus route that traverses the community.
Pearl Hall Elementary School
The lack of public transit has left many residents dependent on automobiles for transportation. This dependency is evident in the number of households without a vehicle. In 2016, only 1% of home owners and 4% of renters were without a car. In addition, only 10% of home owners and 27% of renters in the area have only one vehicle. Hurricane Harvey was paralyzing to many in the neighborhood who lost cars in the flood and had no alternative means of transit.
Freeman Elementary School
Milstead Middle School Garfield Elementary School
There are no existing bike routes in the Edgebrook neighborhood. However, the Houston Bike Plan identifies seven future routes, that when built, will create greater connectivity to area parks and schools. ABOVE, Right: Proposed Bike Lane Map Dedicated On-Street Shared On-Street Off-Street Parks BELOW, Right: Vehicles by Households by Tenure OPPOSITE PAGE, Middle: Edgebrook Drive OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Means of Transportation to Work (Based on Concept by Gabriela Espinoza, Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Andy Rowell, and Jose Vazquez) Source: ACS 2016
1% Households without access to a vehicle, 2016
Households with access to one vehicle, 2016
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood has one of the most complex drainage systems in the City. The system is dependent on many small drainage easements and ditches, in addition to the storm sewer, that move water towards the two major channels on either side of Galveston Road, and from there to Berry Bayou. The conceptual section of the area illustrates that the residential areas of Edgebrook become a bowl, holding water, and Galveston Road acts as a levy. Two storm water detention basins, both constructed within the last ten years, sit at the southern end of this system. These basins failed to mitigate flooding in Edgebrook during Harvey.
ABOVE, Right: Drainage and Storm Water Detention Map Primary Drainage and Flow Secondary Drainage and Flow Storm Water Detention Basin Utility Easement BELOW: Edgebrook Conceptual Section OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Gilpin St Drainage Easement (Conceptual Section by Gabriela Espinoza, Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Andy Rowell, and Jose Vazquez)
35’ 31’ 27’ Gulf Freeway
Race/Ethnicity White Black or African American Asian Hispanic or Latino Other
30% 10% 3% 55% 1%
14% 10% 14% 71% 1%
9% 7% 15% 81% 2%
31% 25% 5% 37% 2%
26% 23% 6% 44% 2%
26% 23% 6% 44% 1%
Age 17 Years or Younger 18 - 64 Years Old 65 Years or Older
31% 61% 8%
33% 60% 7%
32% 61% 7%
28% 64% 8%
26% 65% 9%
25% 65% 10%
Place of Birth Foreign Born Residents
Means of Transportation to Work Drove Alone Carpooled Public Transportation Bicycled and Walked Other
74% 21% 1% 2% 0%
74% 19% 1% 3% 2%
76% 19% 1% 2% 1%
72% 16% 6% 3% 1%
74% 14% 5% 3% 2%
76% 12% 4% 3% 2%
Educational Attainment 25 Years + Less Than High School High School Graduate (includes equivalency) Some college Bachelor’s degree Master’s degree Other Professional School Degree
33% 32% 24% 8% 3% 1%
38% 28% 26% 6% 2% 1%
36% 31% 24% 8% 1% 0%
30% 20% 23% 17% 6% 4%
26% 23% 23% 18% 7% 4%
23% 23% 24% 19% 8% 4%
7,163 94% 6%
7,675 87% 13%
7,810 87% 13%
782,009 92% 8%
889,489 86% 14%
937,245 89% 11%
Households without access to a vehicle
Persons per Household
Total Population Population Change Population Density (per Sq Mile)
Median Household Income Percent of Houston’s Median Percent of Population Below Poverty Housing Units Occupied Vacant Housing Units Tenure Percent Owners Percent Renters
Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
Demographics Edgebrook is one of the smallest Super Neighborhoods in Houston, at just three square miles in land area. In 2016, the neighborhood was home to 23,652 people, a 14% increase since 2000.
The neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population density, which has risen steadily since 2010, is twice as high as the average in Houston with 7,816 people per square mile.
Edgebrook is a community of families, many with young children. Since 2000, the number of residents under the age of 18 has grown substantially from 6,077 to 7,542, a 24% increase. In 2016, 32% of area residents were under 18 years of age, a much higher percent than Houston overall at 25%.
Edgebrook Population in 2016
Between 2000 and 2016 the population of Edgebrook increased by 14%
ABOVE, Top: Census Tract Map BELOW: Edgebrook Population by Age Over Time Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
Under 18 Years
Over 65 Years
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic or Latino. Between 2000 and 2016 the Hispanic or Latino population rose steadily, from 55% of the total neighborhood population to 81%. In 2016, White residents made up 9% of the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population and Black or African American residents 7%. In 2000, 25% of the Edgebrook population were born outside of the United States. By 2010, this number had increased to 31% and remained the same through 2016. In Houston 29% of the population was born outside the U.S. in 2016. While the population diversity of the neighborhood has transformed over the last several decades, the civic leadership in the neighborhood has not made the same transition. Nurturing a new set of leaders in the community will build social cohesion and resiliency. RIGHT: HCDD Housing Recovery Meeting BELOW: Population by Race and Ethnicity Over Time Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016 81% 71%
10% 3% 2000
Black or African American
10% 3% 2010
9% 7% 2% 2016
In 2016, the median household income in Edgebrook was $42,791; 9% lower than the Houston medain of $47,010. Nonetheless, in four of the twelve Census block groups that comprise the Edgebrook neighborhood, the median household income surpasses that of Houstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, these block groups are characterized by single-family homes. The lowest median household income block groups are located in areas with predominantly multi-family housing units.
The number of Edgebrook families living below the federal poverty level increased between 2000 and 2016, rising from 12% in 2000, to 18% in 2010, and to 21% in 2016. In Houston the poverty rate was 19% in 2016. In Edgebrook, 39% of children lived in households with incomes below poverty in 2016, compared to 34% of children in Houston overall.
ABOVE, Right: Median Household Income by Census Block Group BELOW, Right: Poverty Level Over Time by Age Group Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016 39% 31%
e, U by Ag
Years Poverty by Age, 18-64
Poverty by Age, 65+ Years
Students in Edgebrook attend schools in the Pasadena Independent School District. Two high schools serve area students: Memorial and South Houston High Schools; while students are also zoned to two intermediate schools (grades 5-6) and two middle schools (grades 7-8). The Children at Risk rankings for the majority of area schools have steadily declined over the last three years.
Graduate Degree or Higher 1% Bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Degree
Graduate Degree or Higher 8%
Some College 24%
Less than High School 36%
High School Graduate 31%
Edgebrook 2016 Matthys Elementary
South Houston Intermediate
Pearl Hall Elementary
Less than High School 23%
Bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Degree 19% Some College 24%
High School Graduate 23%
Houston 2016 South Houston High School
Freeman Elementary Garfield Elementary
Milstead Middle Schneider Middle
Memorial High School
There are four public schools located in the Edgebrook neighborhood, all of which are part of the Pasadena Independent School District: Pearl Hall Elementary School, Freeman Elementary School, Garfiled Elementary School and Milstead Middle School.
Pearl Hall Elementary School
Freeman Elementary School
In 2016, 36% of the Edgebrook population over the age of 25 had not completed high school, much higher than the 23% in Houston. Unlike many other neighborhoods in Houston, educational attainment is declining in Edgebrook. In 2000, only 33% had not completed high school.
In 2016, 9% of Edgebrook residents had a college education, much lower than the 31% in Houston. Again, the number of college graduates has declined in Edgebrook since 2000, when 12% had a college education.
Milstead Middle School Garfield Elementary School
ABOVE, Right: Edgebrook School Map BELOW: Children at Risk Grades OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Houston and Edgebrook Educational Attainment OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: School Boundaries Sources: ACS 2016, Children at Risk Freeman Elementary Pearl Hall Elementary (B.R.) Matthys Elementary Garfield Elementary Young Elementary Milstead Middle Schneider Middle South Houston Intermediate Miller Intermediate (B.R.) South Houston High School Memorial High School
CCC A C+ DDCC-
C D C B CCD D+ C
D BCCCCF C B-
FEMA estimates that 1,684 homes flooded in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood during Harvey, 22% of all homes.
ABOVE: Inundation Map HCFCD Estimated Inundation Housing Parcel Building Footprint Sources: Harris County Flood Control District Inundation Map, HCAD
Edgebrook, once a typical post-war suburb, has transformed over the years. Since 2000, the number of housing units have increased from 7,163 to 7,810 in 2016. During the same time period the number of vacant units doubled. In 2016, 13% of area housing was vacant. In 2016, single family homes made up more than half of area housing, while apartments in buildings with five or more units comprised 40%. In 2016, 45% of area households were homeowners, a number that has declined slightly since 2000. Homeownership varies widely across the neighborhood, with a number of Census block groups having near 90% homeowners, while others are over 90% renter households. In 2016, 47% of renters and 27% of homeowners living in the neighborhood spent 30% or more of their income on housing. In Houston 47% of renters and 23% of owners spent more than 30% of their income on housing. Additionally, the neighborhood has experienced an increase in the number of persons per household, from 3.2 in 2000 to 3.5 in 2016. In Houston the number of people per household is 2.7.
RIGHT: Percent Home Owners by Block Group, 2016 BELOW: Percent Home Owners, Persons Per Household, Percent Vacant Units, and Total Housing Units Over Time Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
Percent Owners 48%
Persons per Household 3.2 Percent Vacant Housing Units 6%
Total Housing Units
FEMA estimated that 1,684 homes, or 22% of all homes, in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood were damaged by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. 7,163 2000
Improved Drainage and Flood Protection Expanded Mobility Networks New Public Transportation
+ Expanded Economic Opportunity New Community Amenities Social Cohesion
Opportunities At the time of publication it has been nearly a year since Hurricane Harvey began dumping rain at unprecedented rates and flooding much of Houston. City leaders report that over 150,000 homes were damaged by flood waters across the city. Lives, routines and resources were disrupted. Important questions are being asked about how do we prepare for, react to and recover from disasters of this magnitude, both now and in the future? Furthermore, what can we do collectively to identify the opportunities and challenges in our communities?
can develop strategies that create greater resiliency. The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood, bounded by the cities of Pasadena to the east and South Houston to the north, is an island within the Houston city limits. The neighborhood is without access to public transit, a community center, or a neighborhood library. Yet, Edgebrook is a family-oriented, young and dense community with great needs for these public amenities.
The opportunities identified here work together to expand economic opportunities, improve access to public transit and other alternative modes of transportation, create amenities for the community to meet and gather, further protect the neighborhood from future flood risks by improving the drainage system and strengthen the overall resiliency of the neighborhood.
New Community Amenities
It is critical to identify opportunities, across scales, that have the potential to reduce future risks, assist with recovery and lead to greater resiliency over time. By building on the assets of our communities, while understanding the challenges, we ABOVE: Concept Diagram (Concept Diagram by Gabriela Espinoza, Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Andy Rowell, and Jose Vazquez)
Expanded Economic Opportunity
New Public Transportation
Expanded Mobility Networks
Improved Drainage and Flood Protection
st ve al
ABOVE: Drainage Flow and Flood Plains Berry Bayou Berry Bayou Tributaries Ditch or Channel Detention Utility Easement
To Richey Bus Route
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is located in the Sims Bayou Watershed. The neighborhood drains north into Berry Bayou through a web-like system of tributaries, ditches and channels. This system represents approximately 11 miles of above ground drainage easements traversing the neighborhood. There are a number of locations where the drainage channels turn at 90 degree angles. Following Hurricane Harvey the Harris County Flood Control District removed debris at 17 separate locations, and identified 11 erosion problem areas. Residents note that Frey Road becomes a river during a flood event. Exploring how the drainage system could be improved, identifying where detention areas are possible, as well as understanding the choke points in the system, could reduce flooding risks in the long-term. Exploring how the easements could become amenities, such as bike routes or trails is also a priority. A key opportunity site is the primary northsouth drainage route, which is also a Centerpoint easement (see image below and maps).
To Sagemont Bus Route
ABOVE, Top: Map of Easement ABOVE: Section of Easement
na de ry sa ibra Pa c L To bli Pu
n tow wn Do To 40
M 1. 5
ABOVE: Transit Map METRO Bus Routes Proposed Harris County Transit Routes Potential Routes BELOW: Edgebrook Drive Photo
Proposed Edgebrook to Galveston Road Connector (Links to Routes 76 Hobby, 05 Southmore and 88 Sagemont)
To San Jacinto College
To Fairmont Plaza
The Automobile Association of America reports that the cost of owning a car in 2017 was just under $8,5000 a year, which is approximately $700 a month. That same $700 would cover the majority of a mortgage payment on an affordable home in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood. Yet, residents of Edgebrook have little choice on whether to drive or take transit to work as there are no public transit lines that serve the neighborhood. As a result, only 1% of workers over the age of 16 ride transit to work, while 95% drive. When you put Edgebrook sideby-side with the Montrose Super Neighborhood the inequities become clear. Montrose, for example, is served by seven transit lines, while Edgebrook has zero, even though the two neighborhoods cover roughly the same land area, and both have a high population density compared to Houston. Equitable access to transit should be a priority for transit agencies across the region. Harris County has recently completed a public transit plan which includes a series of Pasadena bus routes, but none of these will directly serve Edgebrook. Identifying both new and existing routes, such as the proposed Edgebrook Drive and Galveston Road connector (see map opposite page, left), to serve the Edgebrook neighborhood could ensure that residents and families have access to transit.
Population Density: 7,816 People/Per Square Mile
Population Density: 9,759 People/Per Square Mile
ABOVE, Left to Right: Edgebrook and Montrose Bus Routes, Population, and Density (Based on Graphics by Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Jose Vazquez, Andy Rowell, and Gabriela Espinoza) LEFT: Flooded Car, Edgebrook
Proposed Bike Lane
The Edgebrook Super Neighborhood, sandwiched between the cities of South Houston and Pasadena, is not served by METRO Transit nor does the neighborhood have a single bike lane. Combined, these facts have led to a community that is highly dependent on the automobile.
Theta St wy
The Houston Bike Plan includes proposals for seven separate routes in the small neighborhood of Edgebrook. The routes follow the north south drainage easement, Galveston Road, Frey Road, Theta Street, Edgebrook Drive and South Shaver Street. While bike infrastructure is badly needed, focusing public investment to make sure the routes provide access to opportunities, such as schools, parks and other amenities, is a priority, including identifying the safest routes.
In contrast, the area has a bike riding group, the South Houston Bike Riders, who meet regularly at the South Houston City Hall for an evening bike ride. The average trips are over ten miles and attract people of all ages, including families.
TOP: Proposed Bike Lanes and Drainage Easements Programmed Bikeways Potential Short-Term Bike Routes Potential Long-Term Bike Routes Drainage Easements (Bike Route Opportunity) Parks Schools RIGHT: South Houston Bike Ride Photo OPPOSITE PAGE: Galveston Road Proposed Bike Lane Route (Based on Concept by Gabriela Espinoza, Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Andy Rowell, and Jose Vazquez)
The Freeway Manor Civic Club reports that 80 homes in the subdivision have to be elevated before being rebuilt. The cost of elevation averages $75 per square foot, and would change the character of the neighborhood significantly.
Freeway Manor Home Repair
Edgebrook Drive Flooding, 1979
Elevating flooded home
In 2016, the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood had 7,810 housing units. FEMA estimated that 1,684 homes in Edgebrook flooded during Hurricane Harvey, or 22%. Inundation levels across the neighborhood varied, ranging from 18” to over 3’. According to area residents the neighborhood has flooded three times: In 1979 with Hurricane Claudette; In 2001 with Tropical Storm Allison; and, in 2017 with Harvey. Chapter 19, the City of Houston’s flood plain ordinance, was recently amended. The new code requires that structures in the 100- and 500year floodplain be elevated two feet above the 500-year flood elevation. In Edgebrook, this will require a 5’ elevation in most areas of the neighborhood, which would change the character of the community greatly. In addition, the Freeway Manor Civic Club reports that according to the City of Houston 80 homes in the subdivision have to be elevated before being rebuilt.
Each subdivision in the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is unique, each has different challenges and assets. Developing flood and hazard mitigation strategies that are specific to each subdivision is a priority.
Repairing flooded home
Elevating flooded home
Not surprisingly, recovery from Harvey is moving slowly in the Edgebrook neighborhood. Many residents are only now returning to their homes, nearly a year after the storm. Developing resiliency strategies for the area’s existing housing, including elevating, buy outs, on-site detention, flood-proofing, and other mitigation strategies could work to ensure that future flood risks are minimized. Ensuring greater resiliency of area housing will help to protect the wealth and stability of area families.
Flooded home buyouts
ABOVE: Mitigation Strategies and Area Subdivisions (Home Recovery Strategies Developed by Rocio Alonso, Canston Fitzwater, Shoaib Nizami, John Taylor) OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom Left: Conceptual Neighborhood Section
Globe St Elton St
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church
Freeway Manor Park
Roper St Bronson St
Berean Christian Church
Sulphur St Regal St
Freeman Elementary Edgebrook Dr
Child Care Providers
IN BA S ON R
Edgebrook, without the public facilities and civic or non-profit associations many neighborhoods depend on, received very little attention following Hurricane Harvey. One of the major challenges was identifying local organizations and places to provide services.
The Edgebrook neighborhood is home to many young families with children. In 2016, one of every three residents was under the age of 18 years, a much higher proportion than most Houston neighborhoods. Yet, community amenities and family services are scarce in the area, and the Edgebrook Super Neighborhood is without a library or a community center, in addition to not having access to public transportation. The closest public library is Harris Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s South Houston Library, north of the neighborhood. There are no public community centers within a two-mile radius of the neighborhood, however Harbach Ripley House is located to the east. Children at Risk has also identified the neighborhood as a childcare desert.
UN M M CO
New Community Center
ABOVE: Freeway Manor Park Program Concept BELOW: Freeway Manor Park Photo OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Freeway Manor Park Opportunity Site Aerial OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Neighborhood Amenities Map Child Care Desert Source: Children at Risk
(Community Center Concept based on work by Joshua Garcia, Luis Garcia, Gabriela Espinoza, Danielle JohnsonHazelwood, Andy Rowell, and Jose Vazquez)
Freeway Manor Park, in the center of the neighborhood, has the potential to become home to a new community center. Programs could include a library, community center, market, recovery hub and other programs. In addition, identifying new uses for the church sites that adjoin the park to the north, such as additional park spaces or a community garden, would provide much needed amenities for families in the neighborhood. 43
Taconmadre Campo Azul El Borrego
La Borrega El Gallito Regio
G Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
ABOVE: Edgebrook Drive Food Truck Sites RIGHT: El Borrego Photo and Site BELOW: Edgebrook Drive Food Truck Section OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Edgebrook Drive Commercial Corridor OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Program Interventions (Section and Concept by Luis Garcia, Danielle Johnson-Hazelwood, Jose Vazquez, Andy Rowell, and Gabriela Espinoza)
140 ft Taqueria Castillo
Food Truck Spark
Edgebrook Drive, between the Gulf Freeway and Theta Street, is the most important commercial corridor in the neighborhood. Along this twothirds of a mile stretch of Edgebrook Drive there are eight taco trucks that draw patrons from both the local neighborhood and throughout the city. On a Friday night the parking lots adjacent to the taco trucks are full of people. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, these food trucks provided much needed relief to area residents who had lost their appliances and cars in the flood.
ER MM CO
The food trucks are an opportunity to expand economic activity in the neighborhood while also building places for people to come together. Interventions in the adjacent parking lots could include lighting, shade, seating or other elements.
El Gallito Regio
Participants and Sponsors Participants
Community Design Workshop University of Houston College of Architecture + Design Student Team, Spring 2018 Kaihan Chen Peter Eccles Yan Lu Caroline Smith Vilma Umanzor *This document includes research prepared by students in Spring 2018
Community Design Resource Center Susan Rogers, Director Adelle Main, Assistant Director Angelica Lastra, Design Strategist Jose Mario Lopez, Design Strategist Gabriela Degetau, Research Assistant Constanza PeĂąa, Research Assistant Honored Guests and Critics Kinder Baumgardner Antoine Bryant Margaret Wallace Brown Amanda Burden Robert Burrow Alan Cisneros Catherine Dietrich Keith Downey Dineta Frazier Niel Golightly Secunda Joseph Juli Jungwirth
Hiroko Kobayashi Kimberly Hatter Brandi Holmes Alex Lahti Elaine Morales Lauren Racusin Jeff Reichman Patricia Oliver Jasleen Sarai Preetal Shah Juan Antonio Sorto Christof Spieler Amanda Timm Jenifer Wagley Kenneth Williams Huey Wilson
The Collaborative Community Design Initiative is supported through a generous gift from the Japan Business Association of Houston and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The initiative would not be possible without the generous commitment of time from community leaders and stakeholders and professionals across Houston. We would like to thank all of our partners and supporters. We would like to send a special thanks to Amanda Burden and Lauren Racusin of Bloomberg Associates.