Houston, Texas




The Bayou Greenways initiative in Houston, Texas is an ambitious city-wide project that aims to connect nearly 150 miles of linear greenways into one large network of open space and trails.  ETM was hired by the Houston Parks Board to assist in the process of defining the potential maintenance costs of this schematic-level design by SWA Group.


To do this, ETM transposed a conceptual drawing for nearly 5,000 acres of open space into a quantifiable group of “landscape categories” and “landscape types”.  This approach allowed the team to define the necessary tasks and maintenance extents required of this vast project.  After careful analysis of these components, ETM developed an estimated annual budget for maintenance of the Greenways project.


The bayous are currently maintained by several City and County organizations, and future roles and responsibilities were explored by ETM to determine the best maintenance approach for the completed project.


Frequent storms and flooding, paired with illegal dumping and vandalism along the bayou channels required an innovative approach to defining maintenance needs and standards.  Given these challenges, ETM prepared a “Maintenance Standards” document that can be used as a tool to define both basic standards of care and protocols for dealing with the realities of maintaining a stormwater conveyance channel and linear public space.


The project won an ASLA Analysis and Planning Award in 2016.