What are the biggest problems facing Houston? What tools do we have to solve them? Rice University and the City of Houston have joined forces to create Houston Solutions Lab, building on other recent efforts to bring together research and policy to help answer those questions.

The Houston Solutions Lab has announced funding to support three projects focusing on flooding issues and a sustainability plan for the city’s fleet of vehicles.


The Houston Solutions Lab (HSL) aims to find innovative ways of making the city work better. The hope is to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing Houston, leveraging city leaders’ inside knowledge of city operations and Rice University researchers’ analytical capacity.

The partnership allows city departments and researchers to work together toward common goals on critical issues, including flood prevention and public safety. Intended to bridge what is often a gap between research done on campuses and the needs of cities, HSL also aligns research and policy timelines for better outcomes.



Phil Bedient. Small-Scale Applications of Distributed Hydrologic Model Vflo® to Characterize Impacts from Mitigation Projects and Site-scale Re-development on Street-Level Flooding.

Jamie Padgett. Coupled Flood Alert System and Infrastructure Risk Modeling for White Oak Bayou.

Andrew Schaefer and Illya Hicks. An Optimization Solution Approach for the Location of Temporary Holding Facilities within the Houston Police Department.


Gary Woods. Scalable and Robust Prototype of Sensor Network for Real-Time Street Level Flood Measurement.

Bob Stein. Urban Flooding: Identifying where it floods and evaluating remedies.

Dan Cohan. A roadmap toward a sustainable fleet in Houston.