Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood 46
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HARRISBURGHARRISBURG LAWNDALE HARRISBURG LAWNDALE
FORT BEND Collaborative Community Design Initiative. No. 5 SPECIAL EDITION: HARVEY Community Design Resource Center 2018
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Granada Theater Jensen Square, Google Maps
Eastex | Jensen (Harvey)
Participants and Sponsors
Figure Ground Land Use Drainage and Parks Transportation Health Population and Age Race and Ethnicity Housing Income Education Bridging Barriers Re-Activating Jensen Transit Connections Co-op Strategies Resilient Housing
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 Eastex | Jensen 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.
Eastex | Jensen 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.
I-45 Halls Bayou Watershed
White Oak Bayou Watershed
Hunting Bayou Watershed I-10
ABOVE: Halls Bayou, Hunting Bayou and White Oak Bayou Watersheds and Eastex Jensen Super Neighborhood
Eastex | Jensen The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is located north of downtown Houston. The neighborhood is located at the intersection of three watersheds, Halls Bayou to the north (which is part of the larger Greens Bayou watershed), Hunting Bayou to the south, and a small section of the White Oak Bayou Watershed on the southwestern boundary of the neighborhood.
The Harris County Flood Control District data indicates that of the 154,170 homes flooded during Harvey 48,850 were within the 100-year floodplain and 34,970 within the 500-year floodplain. While 70,370 flooded homes were not in an identified floodplain hazard area.
d Toll R
Flooding along Halls Bayou has been a persistent hazard for residents, businesses and property owners. Flooding has been documented at least 14 times since 1970. During Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, more than 13,000 homes in the Halls Bayou watershed flooded.
The largest portion of the neighborhood is in the Halls Bayou watershed. The Harris County Flood Control District is currently undertaking improvements along Halls Bayou as part of the â€œHalls Aheadâ€? project.
Little York Rd
ABOVE: Flood Map Floodway 100-Year Floodplain 500-Year Floodplain BELOW: Bentley Street Photo by Jessica Trujillo
FEMA Flood Hazard Maps indicate the northeast section of Eastex | Jensen, adjacent to the Halls Bayou, is the area most vulnerable to flooding. Hundreds of properties have already been bought out in this area to mitigate future flooding. 7
ABOVE: Inundation Level Monday August 28, 2017 1 a.m.
ABOVE: Inundation Level Tuesday August 29, 2017 1 a.m.
ABOVE: Hourly Rainfall Totals, Halls Bayou at Jensen Drive Harvey Event: August 26, 2017 - August 30, 2017
1680 Halls bayou @ Jensen Drive Top of Bank
Top of Bank
54 52 48
ABOVE: Inundation Level Sunday August 27, 2017 1 a.m.
ABOVE: Stream Elevation, Halls Bayou at Jensen Drive Harvey Event: August 26, 2017 - August 30, 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 Eastex | Jensen gage, located at Jensen Drive and Halls Bayou, was used to identify maximum rainfall in the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood. The total rainfall over the five-day event was 35.2”. Compared to other rain gages across Harris County, and the maximum rainfall of 47.4”, the rainfall in this area was moderate. Halls Bayou topped its bank in the early morning hours of Sunday August 27, 2017 and remained over the top of bank until late afternoon on Tuesday August 29, 2017. The maximum stream elevation peaked at 57.5’, which is below the 100-year flood level of 58.3’. In this location, Halls Bayou has never reached the 500-year stream elevation of 59.7’. The maximum stream elevation was recorded during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, at 58.9’. According to data from the Harris County Flood Control District, 10,164 homes were flooded in the Halls Bayou Watershed, roughly 7% of the 154,700 estimated flooded homes county wide. FEMA estimates from September 2017 reported 1,404 of these homes were in the Eastex Jensen Super Neighborhood, or roughly 14% of all flooded homes in the Halls Bayou Watershed.
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€™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 noninstitutionalized 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€œless than wellâ€?
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 compared to U.S. Census Tracts (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 Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has a very high Social Vulnerability Index as indicated 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 â€œdegree to which a community exhibits certain social conditions, including high poverty, low percentage of vehicle access, or crowded households.â€? Each of these conditions can impact a communityâ€™s ability to recover. The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood includes eight Census tracts: 2305, 2220, 2211, 2210, 2209, 2208, 2207 and 2201. An analysis of the specific social vulnerabilities are provided in the table to the left. Each of the eight Census tracts that comprise the neighborhood are in the highest vulnerability category, averaging 91% compared to tracts across the United States.
2201 ABOVE: Eastex | Jensen Census Tract Map BELOW: Bentley Street, Photo by Jessica Trujillo
Of these tracts, two in particular have exceptionally high vulnerability at 98%, 2208 and 2207. Data from the 2016 American Community Survey indicates that these two tracts have the highest barriers to resiliency. In tract 2208 the majority of households are single parents with children, who are renting, and many of these households have incomes below poverty. In addition, in 2016 this tract had the highest percent of children under the age of 18, at 36% of the population.
History The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has a long and important history. In 1933, Epsom Downs opened in the northern portion of the neighborhood near the intersection of Jensen Drive and Tidwell. On opening day over 25,000 spectators came to watch the horse races and test their luck. The Race Track closed four years later in 1937, when betting became illegal. The site provides a window into the historic transformation of the neighborhood and Jensen Drive. Epsom Downs after closing, became the Epsom Downs Drive-In, which for a short time was a Spanish language theater. Once the Drive-In was shuttered, the site became the Tidwell Transit Center, which is what it is today.
The majority of the Eastex | Jensen neighborhood developed after the end of World War II, with the rise of the automobile. Jensen Drive, which becomes Humble Road north of the neighborhood was, and continues to be, the primary commercial corridor in the neighborhood. By the 1950s Jensen Drive was bustling with shopping and entertainment. Two theaters, both built in the late 1940s, drew residents from throughout the area. Weingarten’s Grocery served area families, Prince’s Hamburgers was a social gathering place, Jensen Square provided retail space and was anchored by innovative modern buildings, like Standard Brand TV and
Appliances. A shopping center along Luell Street, perpendicular to Jensen Drive, provided additional attractions, including one of the theaters. Once the Eastex Freeway was completed in the mid-1950s, Jensen Drive began a slow decline. Today, the theaters are closed, Weingarten’s is a Family Dollar store, and the innovative architecture of Standard Brand TV and Appliances has been modified beyond recognition. Yet, the beauty and utility of Jensen Drive has not been diminished. The street remains the central corridor in the neighborhood.
A timeline of the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood illustrates the transformations that occurred in our cities as we became more dependent on the automobile and freeways. Jensen Drive, once a thriving corridor, has experienced decades of disinvestment following the construction of the Eastex Freeway.
The Center Theater or North Houston Theater opens in 1948
The Granada Theater opens a year later, in 1949
Epsom Downs Race Track opens in 1933 on Thanksgiving day. The track closes less than four years later, in March of 1937. Later the same site would be home to the Epsom Downs Drive-In Theater, and is currently the Tidwell Transit Center.
In 1949 Houston produces the first freeway plan, the Eastex Freeway is included in the plan.
In 1946 Jensen Drive is established as the primary highway to and from cities north of Houston, including Humble. At this time new shops and entertainment venues begin to be developed.
Weingartenâ€™s Grocery opens in 1950 on Jensen Drive. Today, a Family Dollar occupies the original building.
In 1955 the Standard Brands TV and Appliance Store an anchor in Jensen Square is featured in Houston Magazine for its modern architecture. By 1978 the store was closed. In 2018, the building remains at the southern end of Jensen Square but has been substantially modified.
By 1955 the Eastex Freeway is complete and Jensen Drive begins a slow decline.
In 2018, there are many vacant storefronts along Jensen Drive, while historic structures, such as the Granada Theater, await transformation and re-use.
Little York Rd
d Toll R
Context The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood, located north of downtown Houston, developed along the spine of Jensen Drive. The Hardy Toll Road defines the western boundary, and the Eastex Freeway runs north and south through the eastern section of the neighborhood. Halls Bayou traverses the northern portion of the neighborhood. The neighborhood began developing in the middle of the twentieth century and today is nearly fully developed. Small subdivisions comprised of modest single-family homes make up the core of the neighborhood. Subdivisions include Huntington Place, Croyden Gardens, Epsom Downs and many others.
ABOVE, Right: Figure Ground BELOW, Left to Right: Granada Theater and Area Park Photos by Pooja Shetty and Mario Lopez OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Aerial Map
ABOVE. Left: Vacant Land Vacant ABOVE, Right: Commercial and Industrial Land Use Commercial Industrial BELOW: Senior Housing
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is a historic community, with the majority of development occurring immediately after World War II. In 2016, single-family homes made up 74% of all housing units, compared to 45% in Houston. In the same year, large apartments comprised just 6% of all housing, compared to 22% in Houston overall. Small apartment developments (2-19 units) account for 16% of all housing in the neighborhood, below the 27% found in Houston. The median year that housing was constructed ranges from the early 1950s to the late 1960s. The age of housing is consistent across every Census Tract. Commercial uses are concentrated along Jensen Drive, Tidwell Road and the Eastex Freeway. Industrial uses are scattered throughout the neighborhood. Vacant land is also concentrated along Jensen Drive, illustrating the decades of disinvestment in this corridor. In total there are 969 acres of vacant land, of which the majority (582 acres) is residential. The vacant land along the spine of Jensen Drive is an opportunity to re-imagine the future of this important corridor.
ABOVE: Residential Land Use Multi-Family Single-Family RIGHT: Housing by Type, 2016 Eastex | Jensen Houston Source: ACS 2016
27% 75% 3% 5% Single Family Detached
Single Family Attached
16% 6% Small Apartments (2-19 units)
Large Apartments (20 or more units)
Little York Rd
ABOVE: Bayou and Drainage Map BELOW: Bretshire Detention Basin
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The Eastex | Jensen neighborhood is very well-served by parks. There are nine parks inside the neighborhoodâ€™s boundaries: Mary Withers, Shady Lane, Dodson, Warren, Veterans Memorial, Croyden, Reed (Harry), Milton and Curry Street Parks. Each park has different amenities, which are highlighted in the table below.
Dodson Park Parker Rd
Moody Neighborhood Library
Dixon Library Crosstimbers St
Veterans Memorial Park Croyden Park Harry W. Reed Park Milton Park
Curry Street Park
ABOVE, Right: Park Map (1/2-mile radius) BELOW: Shady Lane Park BELOW, Right: Park Amenities Chart
Shady Lane Park
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In addition to these parks, Eastex Jensen has over two miles of Halls Bayou Hike and Bike trails running through the northeast corner of the neighborhood. The trails connect to Keith-Weiss Park to the north and Tidwell Park to the east.
Pinewood Village/Mary Withers Park
Combined the parks encompass an area of 89 acres. Based on the recommended standards for park space developed in the City of Houstonâ€™s 2015 Parks Master Plan, the neighborhood has an abundance of parks, with an additional acre of park land for every 1,000 residents above the recommendations.
Little York Rd
Mary Withers and Pinewood Village Shady Lane Dodson Warren Vetrans Memorial Croyden Harry W. Reed Milton Curry Street 21
Tidwell Transit Center 45 80
To Northline Transit Center
To Northline Transit Center
To Kashmere Transit Center Hirs
To University of Houston
BELOW, Left: Transportation to Work, 2016 Eastex | Jensen Houston OPPOSITE PAGE: Photo of Jensen Square Source: ACS 2016
ABOVE, Left: Transportation Map Tidwell Transit Center Bus Route, 15-30 Min. Frequency Bus Route, 30-60 Min. Frequency
Little York Rd
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The Eastex | Jensen area is poorly served by bicycle infrastructure. Currently, the neighborhood does not have any on-street bike routes or lanes. In addition, the recently adopted Houston Bike Plan does not identify a single short-term or key project in this area. The Halls Bayou Greenway between Little York Road and Jensen Drive is complete, and provides the only high comfort bike trail in the area.
To Greenspoint Transit Center
In 2016, 75% of Eastex | Jensen workers over the age of 16 drove alone to work, 1% less than Houston overall. In the same year, 4% of Eastex | Jensen workers used public transit, while 5% walked, the same percent as in the city overall.
83 To Eastex Park and Ride
75% Eastex Jensen
Eastex | Jensen is served by six METRO bus routes, four are midfrequency routes running every 15-30 minutes and connect to downtown and other major shopping destinations. The four routes are 80 MLK/ Lockwood; 45 Tidwell; 29 Cullen/Hirsch; and 52 Hardy. There are two additional bus routes that run every 30-60 minutes, the 83 Lee Road / JFK, and 06 Jensen/Greens. The Tidwell Transit Center, located on Epsom Drive, serves three of the area bus routes, the Jensen, Lee Road/JFK and MLK/Lockwood. The Transit Center is very isolated and not well-used.
Little York Rd
10.0% 5.0% 0.0%
36% Without Health Insurance
25% Without Health Insurance Houston
ABOVE: Percent of Residents Without Health EJ 2016 COH Insurance, Source: ACS 2016
+ + +
The Eastex | Jensen area has many small convenience stores, two neighborhood markets selling a selection of groceries, La Michoacana Meat Market and Jensen Supermarket, and one full-service grocery store, Fiesta. A Mi Tienda grocery store is located just outside of the neighborhood boundaries, at I-69 and Little York Road.
y Toll Rd
In addition, the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is well served by medical clinics and pharmacies. However, more than one-third of residents do not have health insurance. People without health insurance are more vulnerable to health emergencies that can have a critical financial impact.
According to the USDAâ€™s Food Desert Atlas, 214 households in the neighborhood are without a vehicle and more than a half-mile from a grocery store, only 3% of all households.
La Michoacana Meat Market Mi Tienda
Little York Rd
Access to quality healthcare and fresh food are important aspects that impact the capacity of a neighborhood to prepare for and recover from a disaster.
ABOVE, Right: Map of Grocery Stores Grocery Stores Neighborhood Markets Convenience Stores BELOW, Left to Right: Neighborhood Grocers, Photos by Pooja Shetty OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Map of Health Clinics and Pharmacies Health Clinics Pharmacies OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: UT Physicians
Eastex | Jensen 2010
Race/Ethnicity White Black or African American Asian Other Hispanic or Latino
10% 22% 0% 1% 66%
5% 21% 1% 1% 72%
Age 17 Years or Younger 18 - 64 Years Old 65 Years or Older
34% 58% 9%
Place of Birth Foreign Born Residents
5% 19% 0% 1% 75%
31% 25% 5% 2% 37%
26% 23% 6% 2% 44%
26% 23% 6% 1% 44%
33% 59% 8%
35% 61% 8%
28% 64% 8%
26% 65% 9%
25% 65% 10%
Means of Transportation to Work Drove Alone Carpooled Public Transportation Other (Walk, Bicycle, Work at Home, etc.)
61% 26% 6% 7%
66% 23% 5% 6%
75% 14% 4% 7%
72% 16% 6% 5%
75% 13% 5% 7%
73% 12% 4% 8%
Educational Attainment 25 Years + Less Than High School High School Graduate (includes equivalency) Some college Bachelor's degree Master's degree Professional school degree Doctorate degree
61% 24% 12% 2% 0% 0% 0%
53% 28% 14% 4% 1% 0% 0%
51% 27% 19% 3% 0% 0% 0%
30% 20% 23% 17% 6% 3% 1%
26% 22% 24% 17% 7% 2% 2%
23% 23% 24% 19% 8% 2% 2%
25,177 $ 69%
28,164 $ 76%
8,404 92% 8%
8,809 85% 15%
8,968 83% 17%
782,009 92% 8%
889,489 86% 14%
937,245 89% 11%
Tenure Percent Owners Percent Renters
Households without access to a vehicle
Median Household Income Percent of Houston's Median Percent of Population Below Poverty Housing Units Occupied Vacant Housing Units
Persons per Household *Sources: Census 2000, Census 2010, ACS 2016
Demographics The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is 7.5 square miles in area and was home to 26,081 people in 2016. The population density was approximately 3,500 people per square mile, only slightly lower than the Houston average density of 3,737 people per square mile. Between 2000 and 2016 the neighborhood population declined by over 3%, from 27,703 to 26,081. In the same time period the city of Houstonâ€™s population grew by over 8%.
Under 18 Years
Eastex | Jensen
Under 18 Years
In 2016, Eastex | Jensen had a young population, with 31% of residents under the age of 18, significantly more than Houston overall where 25% of residents were under 18 years of age. Between 2000 and 2016, all age groups declined in population, yet the greatest decrease was in the number of residents under the age of 18 years.
ABOVE: Eastex | Jensen Census Tract Map BELOW: Population by Age, 2000-2016 Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
Eastex|Jensen Population in 2016
Under 18 Years
Over 65 Years
10% 6% 3%
Percent Black/African American Population 2016
Percent Hispanic Population 2016
Percent White Population 2016
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has steadily changed over the last three decades. In 1980, the neighborhood was predominantly Black or African American at 45%. At this time, the percent of White and Hispanic residents was roughly equal at 28% and 27% respectively. Over the next three decades the Hispanic or Latino population increased substantially, and by 2016 was the majority in the neighborhood at 74% of the total population. Over the same time period, the percent of Black or African American residents declined from 45% to 19%, and the White population declined from 28% to 5%. In 2016, 28% of Eastex | Jensen residents were born outside of the United States, a percent that has decreased slightly since 2000. In Houston overall, 29% of residents were born outside of the United States in 2016.
Asian or Other
BELOW: Percent Population by Race and Ethnicity Over Time OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom Left to Right: Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church, New Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church Sources: 1980, 1990, 2000 Census, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
27% Hispanic or Latino
50% 66% 45% 31%
Black or African American
23% 28% White 1980
Harris County Flood Control District identified approximately $500 million in projects to reduce the risk of flooding in the Halls Bayou Watershed as part of the Harris County bond election. Combined the projects would reduce flooding risks for over 4,000 existing structures and provide the resources to buy out 830 additional properties. Proposed bond election projects include drainage and conveyance improvements, storm water detention basin design and construction and needed drainage repairs after Harvey.
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has a history of flooding. In 1985, the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) established a Buyout Program designed to reduce recurring flood damages in areas deep within the floodplain. Over 400 properties in the northern portion of the neighborhood have been bought out through this program. Yet, hundreds of units in the neighborhood remain in the floodway. Stormwater detention basins have been completed and are under construction in the area of bought out properties along Halls Bayou. Completed in 2013, the Bretshire Stormwater Detention Basin near Jensen Drive and I-69 is a 68 acre site and designed to hold 167 million gallons of stormwater. Just east of this basin is the Hall Park Stormwater Detention Basin, which is currently under construction. The Hall Park Basin site is 97 acres and designed to hold 250 million gallons of stormwater.
Structures Before Buyouts
Structures After Buyouts
Parcels Owned by HCFCD
In 2016, 55% of Eastex | Jensen households owned their own homes, which was much higher than Houston overall where only 43% were homeowners.
In contradiction to the declining population, the number of housing units in the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood increased by 7% between 2000 and 2016, from 8,404 to 8,968. During the same time period the percent of vacant housing units soared from 8% to 17% of all units. In 2016, over 1,500 housing units in the neighborhood sat vacant. In Census Tract 2208, 29% of all housing is vacant.
ABOVE, Right: Percent Homeowners by Census Tract, 2016 BELOW: Persons per Household, Percent Vacant Housing Units and Total Housing Units Over Time OPPOSITE PAGE, Top Left: Buyout Area Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016
Persons Per Household
Vacant Housing Units
8% Total Housing Units
Median Household Income, 2016
Percent of Families Below Poverty, 2016
Housing Costs > 30% of Income, 2016
In 2016, the median household income in the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood was $30,550, 65% of the Houston median income of $47,010. Since 2000, the Eastex | Jensen median household income has increased by 20%, while the median income in Houston increased by 26%. Many residents are financially vulnerable. In 2016, median household income varied across the neighborhood, ranging from just over $20,000 to $40,000. Overall, 34% of families living in Eastex | Jensen had incomes below the poverty level in 2016, compared to 19% in Houston overall. In a single Census Tract (2208) 60% of families lived below poverty. In 2016, 59% of renters and 21% of homeowners spent more than 30% of their income on housing. Income and poverty impact a familyâ€™s ability to prepare for, react to and recover from disasters.
36% without insurance 64% without insurance
ABOVE: Flood Insurance Coverage for Homes Flooded in Harris County, 2017 BELOW: Median Household Income 2000-2016 Sources: Census 2000, ACS 2010, ACS 2016, Harris County $47,010
+ 9% + 17%
$45,000 $40,000 $35,000 $30,000
+ 8% $30,550
$25,000 $20,000 $0
The Eastex | Jensen neighborhood is served by four area high schools: Sam Houston, Kashmere, and Northside High Schools are part of the Houston Independent School District, and Macarthur High School is in Aldine ISD. Each of the four high schools are located outside of the boundaries of the Super Neighborhood.
Macarthur High School
Sam Houston High School
The majority of neighborhood students attend either Sam Houston High School west of the neighborhood or Kashmere High School to the southeast. The demographics of the students attending each of these schools is very different, with Sam Houston High School being majority Hispanic or Latino and Kashmere High School majority Black or African American.
ABOVE: Area High School Boundary Maps BELOW, Left to Right: Sam Houston High School Photo, Sam Houston High School Student Demographics 2017, Kashmere High School Student Demographics 2017 Sources: HISD School Profiles 2017
Kashmere High School Northside High School
Sam Houston Populaďż˝on byKashmere Race Student Populaďż˝on by Race 1% Other 9% African American
1% American Indian
65% African American
Sam Houston High School: 2,816 Students
Kashmere High School: 606 Students
Asian Hispanic Other African American
Within the boundaries of the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood are six elementary schools and one middle school. Area schools received very low rankings in the 2017 Children At Risk report, with four F grades, three D grades, and a single C-.
Garcia ES Grade F
James Berry ES Grade D-
Eastex | Jensen 2016
Sam Houston HS NA
27% High School Graduate
51% Less than High School
Mendel ES Grade F
19% Some College
Coop ES Grade D
ABOVE: Map of Area Schools BELOW: Educational Attainment (25 Years +), 2016 Sources: ACS 2016, Children At Risk 2017 3% Bachelorâ€™s Degree
Patrick Henry MS Grade F
In 2016, 51% of Eastex | Jensen residents over the age of 25 did not have a high school diploma or equivalent. In Houston, 23% did not complete high school in 2016. Furthermore, while 19% of neighborhood students pursued some college in 2016, only 3% completed a college degree. In Houston, 27% of residents earned a college degree in 2016. Since 2000, educational attainment has improved in the Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood but additional work is required. Ensuring quality educational experiences for young students will provide greater opportunities to succeed.
Scarborough ES Grade C-
Little York Rd
Roderick Paige ES Grade D-
8% Graduate or Higher 19% Bachelorâ€™s or Higher
24% Some College
Kashmere HS Grade F
23% Less than High School
23% High School Graduate
Little York Rd
“Bookshop” Proposed Library and Wood and Metal Shop
Proposed Public Gym
“Car Shop” Proposed Co-Operative Auto Repair Training Shop
ABOVE: Architecture Proposals Developed for Jensen Drive in Fall 2017 by Alex Bishop, Joey Khong and Stephanie Lau
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.
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 can develop strategies that create greater resiliency.
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?
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is rich with opportunities. Halls Bayou meanders through the northern section of the neighborhood and is lined by trails and parks. Jensen Drive, running north and south, is an important historic corridor and the central
The opportunities identified here build on the prominence of Jensen Drive and the civic strength of the neighborhood. The opportunities seek to expand economic opportunity, improve community amenities and transit access, while looking forward to more resilient housing and cooperative neighborhood models.
spine of the neighborhood. Small subdivisions and neighborhoods of homes, schools, and parks fill in the gaps. The neighborhood is easily accessible to freeways, the Hardy Toll Road defines the western boundary and I-69 runs north and south through the neighborhood.
Little York Rd
ad | U il Ro y Ra Hard
e Sam Houston High School
2 2 Moody Neighborhood Library
BNSF Rail Line
Bridging Barriers: Freeways and Rail
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood is bounded by railroad lines and highways. The Hardy Toll Road and parallel Union Pacific Rail Line bound the western edge of the neighborhood, the North Loop and a BNSF Rail Line bound the southern edge, and an additional Union Pacific Rail Line bounds the eastern side of the neighborhood. I-69 runs north and south through the eastern portion of the neighborhood. Seven local streets cross both I-69 and the Union Pacific Line on the eastern edge; while only five local streets cross the Hardy
BELOW: I-69 at Jensen Drive OPPOSITE PAGE, Right: Infrastructure and Street Map Highways Rail Lines Through Streets OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Focus Areas
Toll Road on the western boundary. In the over four mile length of the neighborhood, only four local streets are continuous across the eastern and western boundaries: Little York Road, Parker Road, Tidwell Road and Crosstimbers Street. Developing design strategies to bridge the barriers in the neighborhood will lead to greater connectivity, particularly to the resources outside of the community such as the two area high schools and libraries. Strategies could include public art, lighting and pedestrian bridges.
Little York Rd
Little York Rd
1 Parker Rd
Hard y Ra
Halls Bayou Site
Berry Road Site
Bridging Barriers: Dead Ends
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has a high number of dead end streets. Many of the dead end streets have become sites for illegal dumping and other nuisances. The dead end streets can also create safety challenges for area residents because of the lack of activity.
Exploring the potential to create, at minimum, pedestrian linkages to area amenities could mitigate both dumping and safety concerns in these areas. Three specific sites have been identified to explore how connections can be made where dead end streets currently exist. The links would utilize the Halls Bayou Trails, a utility easement, and vacant land. Each site is adjacent to area parks, schools and residential developments that create opportunities for greater connectivity.
Veterans Memorial Park Site
OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Map of Dead End Streets Dead End Streets Parks Schools OPPOSITE PAGE, Far Left, Top to Bottom: Site 1: Halls Bayou and Site 2: Berry Road ABOVE, Right: Site 3: Veterans Memorial Park Site and Dumping Photo (Dead End Design Concept and Photo by Nicholas Seckfort)
WHAT IT IS
Jensen Drive Today
VACANT BUILDING PARKING
WHAT IT COULD BE
Jensen Drive in the Future
SIDEWALKS and BIKE LANE FAMILY EVENTS
SHADE FOOD TRUCKS
To bring back Jensen Drive a comprehensive strategy needs to be developed for both short and longterm interventions. The interventions should focus on infrastructure, community and family amenities, economic development, activation, historic preservation and art. Infrastructure needs include sidewalks, shade and transit amenities, such as benches and shelters. Needed community amenities include a library, grocery store, and other services. Important historic buildings, such as the Granada Theater, should be reused and re-purposed and public art and community events can work to activate vacant sites along the street. Jensen Drive is the heart of the neighborhood, and innovative programming and adaptive re-use strategies could create greater social cohesion and community resiliency.
ns en D
INFRASTRUCTURE Sidewalks, Shade, Protected Bike Routes, Transit Amenities
Jensen Drive is the primary spine of the Eastex | Jensen neighborhood. Yet, decades of disinvestment have resulted in vacant storefronts, vast empty parking lots, deteriorating historic buildings such as the Granada Theater, and a lack of services and amenities that once lined this great street.
Tidwell Rd FAMILIES Library, Grocery Store, Family Activities and Spaces
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Jobs, Urban Farming and New Businesses
ACTIVATION Temporary Re-Use of Parking Lots and Other Vacant Spaces with Events, Food Trucks, and Other Community Gatherings
PRESERVATION Re-purposing Historic Buildings
ART Public Art to Activate Vacant Spaces
ABOVE, Right: Jensen Drive Map ABOVE, Left: Proposed Programs and Strategies OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Jensen Drive Collage, Present and Future (Collage Concept by Gabriela Espinoza)
Dr en ns Je
Tidwell Transit Center
Eastex | Jensen is served by six METRO bus routes. The Tidwell Transit Center, located on Epsom Drive just north of Tidwell Road, serves three of the areaâ€™s bus routes: 06 Jensen; 83 Lee Road/JFK; and 80 MLK/Lockwood. The 45 Tidwell does not enter the Transit Center. In 2016, 75% of Eastex Jensen workers over the age of 16 drove alone to work and 4% used public transit. In the same year, 12% of area households were without a vehicle.
transit ridership. In addition, this intersection, which is already bustling with bus riders and pedestrians, is served by four bus routes instead of the three serving the Transit Center. The Transit Center property could be redeveloped into housing or other needed amenities. Improving access to transit and encouraging ridership could lead to greater resiliency in the neighborhood over the long-term.
Re-locating the Transit Center to the intersection of Jensen Drive and Tidwell Road could create greater visibility and encourage more
Supporting and enhancing transit ridership in the neighborhood could provide residents with a viable
alternative to the private automobile. One of the first steps is to re-think the Tidwell Transit Center. The Transit Center is very isolated, particularly for people walking, and not well-used. For example, the road leading to the Transit Center from Jensen Drive is fenced on both sides, creating a very uncomfortable condition for pedestrians. In addition, while the investment was made to connect the Transit Center to the HOV/HOT Lane on I-69 there is not a park and ride bus serving this location.
New Transit Center Entry to Tidwell Transit Center from Jensen Drive
Intersection of Tidwell Road and Jensen Drive
Vacant Lot Co-op Grocer
Employees Religious Institutions
The Eastex | Jensen Super Neighborhood has 77 faith-based institutions and nearly 1,000 acres of vacant land. Over 2,000 people need gainful employment, while over 4,000 people are food insecure. Developing networks of organizations and resources could facilitate cooperative economic growth in the neighborhood that would create jobs, spark business growth and provide needed food security.
Vendors Farmers Employer
A proposed model for creating a cooperative economy is provided to the right and left. The models focus on urban farming as an economic engine for both individuals and the cooperative, and includes the development of urban farms, local restaurants, a co-operative grocery and food pantry. The overall goal is for the Eastex | Jensen neighborhood to become more resilient and selfsufficient.
RIGHT: Co-op Model BELOW: Employment and Food Security Data OPPOSITE PAGE: Co-op Urban Farming Concept (Concept and Graphics Developed by Tran Le)
2046 PEOPLE NEED JOBS
1 IN 6 TEXANS FACES UNCERTAINTY ABOUT HAVING ENOUGH TO EAT (FOOD INSECURITY DATA 2015)
2046 PEOPLE NEED JOBS
1 IN 6 TEXANS FACES UNCERTAINTY ABOUT HAVING ENOUGH TO EAT (FOOD INSECURITY DATA 2015)
4261 PEOPLE NEED FOOD
4261 PEOPLE NEED FOOD
ABOVE: Jensen Drive Vacant Land Vacant Land ABOVE, Top: Eastex | Jensen Resilient Housing Concepts ABOVE, Right: Concept Site OPPOSITE PAGE, Middle: Buyout Section Diagram OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Halls Bayou (Halls Bayou Section Concept by Caroline Smith, Kaihan Chen, Peter Eccles, Vilma Umanzor, Yan Lu)
The Eastex | Jensen neighborhood has had a series of property buyouts since 1985 when the Harris County Flood Control District developed the program. In total, over 400 properties have been purchased and demolished to make way for additional stormwater detention projects to reduce the future risks of flooding. The impact of these buyouts has been substantial, and has saved hundreds of homeowners from recurring flood damage.
As the flood risks in the neighborhood have been mitigated, there is increased interest in developing affordable housing that is combined with additional amenities and resources, such as urban farming, to create a more resilient and sustainable neighborhood. This idea was tested on a vacant site on Jensen Drive (see drawings to the left), additional vacant sites were also identified to explore future housing typologies.
500 Year Floodplain
100 Year Floodplain
New Park and Detention
Participants and Sponsors Participants
Community Design Workshop University of Houston College of Architecture + Design Student Team, Spring 2017 Afreen Ali Abhilasha Bisht Filza Khan Angelica Lastra Tran Le Jose Mario Lopez Nicholas Seckfort Pooja Shetty Architecture Design Studio University of Houston College of Architecture + Design Student Team, Fall 2017 Alex Bishop Doumit Doumit Gabriela Espinosa Saraa Hussein Joey Khong Stephanie Lau Matthew Nguyen Stephanie Oropeza Kelvin Rodriguez Michael Zepeda *This document includes research and concepts developed by students in Spring 2017 and Fall 2017
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 Council Member Karla Cisneros Tanya Debose Keith Downey Dineta Frazier Niel Golightly Secunda Joseph Hiroko Kobayashi Kimberly Hatter Brandi Holmes Alex Lahti Elaine Morales Lauren Racusin Jeff Reichman Patricia Oliver Jasleen Sarai Preetal Shah Pastor David Smith
Linda Hicks Smith Juan Antonio Sorto Christof Spieler Amanda Timm Anibeth Turcios 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.
Briefing Book for the fifth biennial Collaborative Community Design Initiative for the Eastex/Jensen Super Neighborhood