Houston Department of Transformation

The Urban Development, Transportation and Placemaking program investigates issues associated with the growth and development in Houston on both a large and small scale.

Among the fastest growing regions in the country, the Houston metropolitan area has a large and growing footprint. Long a car-centric city known for little regulation, Houston’s development as a city and region has immense implications for equity, quality of life and other concerns. Under the Urban Development, Transportation and Placemaking (DT&P) program, researchers seek to better understand the region’s growth as well its impacts on residents.

Houston is simultaneously expanding its suburban reach and becoming a much more urban metropolitan area. Indeed, a great deal of suburban Houston is densifying and becoming more urban. The program’s research focuses on how those portions of the Houston region that are urbanizing and how they can do so in a way that benefits the region and its residents.

The team’s analysis includes neighborhood-level research as well as regional investigations. Topics include infill and suburbanization housing and demographic trends, developable/protected lands analyses, greenspace and urban development, patterns of transit-oriented and mixed-use development, health and the built environment, and the region’s transportation system and future transportation choices. At smaller geographies, DT&P focuses on placemaking efforts as well, including walkability and pedestrian improvements, signage and way-finding improvements, traffic-calming measures and communal spaces such as pocket parks and parklets.



Luis Guajardo

Luis Guajardo

  • Urban Policy Research Manager, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Head shot of Han Park

John Park

  • Senior Research Fellow, Development, Transportation and Placemaking, Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Steve Sherman

Stephen Averill Sherman

  • Research Scientist, Kinder Institute for Urban Research