Gardengrrl likes being outside and watching "Sky-TV"
By: GardenGrrl , 7:20 PM GMT on June 28, 2014
When I was a little girl my Dad would drive us to the Gulf Coast. When we saw a green hazy sky on the highway horizon we knew we were close because that was Houston. A city built from petroleum refineries and large chemical processing plants. I guess a green polluted sky was to be expected.
Today, a few years later, okay more than 40, Houston is listed as number four in the top five cities in America with green certified commercial real estate. This means the political folk and business folk of Houston have been working very hard at retro fitting existing real estate with energy and water saving updates.
Houston has over the years planned and provided better public transportation. Currently they are testing a program to make city owned cars electric. Dedicating large areas of the city as parks and green space, planting trees, all in the name of making a livable less polluted city.
Today there are 345 miles of inter connected bike ways which include more shared lanes and bike friendly streets. Houston has also taken part in a bike share program where rental bicycles are parked in various parts of the city. Sign up, grab a bike, go where you want to go, park it at another bike share rack and leave it.
Urban planning can make a difference in how a city transforms from stinking and polluted to one with better (not perfect, it is a huge city), air. New high rise housing is planned around parks and stores to create urban villages. It is an ongoing project but it is working.
Every time I go to Houston I am more impressed with these green features. We went on a spur of the moment road trip to see one of the contestants from the hit show "The Voice", MIchelle Chamuel, sing at an outdoor concert. Of course she was great.
What really impressed me though was the park called Discovery On the Green, It is a modern park made for people to hang out in. There is a community vegetable garden, a library, open space for impromptu soccer games, benches with get this, USB ports to charge your phones or lap tops. Dancing water features sprung up from paved areas complete with lots of children chasing moving fountains of water. There is a small fenced dog run. Mostly there are people outside enjoying the park. Oh, and did I mention how they use solar panels to help power the area? Now this is a fun city park.
Pictures of the road trip.
Here is Michelle Chamuel during the concert
Night view from the hotel window
Here is one of the Share A Bike Stations.
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