Houston's Resilience Strategy

The Challenge

On Aug. 25, 2017, the Category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas causing widespread damage and flooding. According to the Harris County Flood Control District, 4.7 million people in the county were impacted directly or indirectly by the flooding. Just one day after the storm made landfall, parts of all the 22 major freeways in the Houston metro area were flooded and impassable.

The Approach

The Institute was tasked with advising the city throughout the resilience strategy development process, including helping to synthesize and analyze current flood mitigation initiatives, holding an agenda-setting workshop to launch the effort, developing a stakeholder engagement plan, working with Houston to review existing neighborhood and city plans as well as identifying gaps in those plans, and helping the city customize its approach to resilience. A number of workshops have already been held including “Living with Water” in November 2018 and May 2019, working group meetings, and a public comment session that ran through September. All of this will culminate into the launch and implementation of Resilient Houston in the coming months.