Recent severe weather events have caused considerable damage to the Houston region. After a major natural disaster there is always a push to quickly rebuild infrastructure and communities, so we can get back to “normal.” After three severe weather events in three successive years, there is now considerable debate about what “normal,” means in this region. It is apparent that rebuilding communities, homes and infrastructure should not occur in the same way and, in some cases, in the same locations. Rather, improved design and construction standards and the equitable deployment of nature-based infrastructure, stormwater infrastructure, home buyouts and other strategies to make neighborhoods and communities across the Greater Houston Region more resilient to future disaster is a must if we are to ensure the region’s future economic and social vitality and environmental quality.
HARC’s most recent Green Paper offers specific examples of how communities can fund recovery along with considerations that should be given to communities and the natural environment. While the bond funds and federal dollars are important to the recovery of the Greater Houston region, long-term resilience will require new and innovative public and private investment.