DOWNTOWN GUIDE + EVENTS

About Us Overview

The Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) was formed by an act of the Texas Legislature in 1995 and has been in operation since 1996. During this time, Downtown has experienced an exciting renaissance and a remarkable economic rebound. Today more Houston residents as well as visitors see downtown as a place to do far more than work—downtown is now a place to live, dine, visit, play, enjoy the arts, worship and learn!

The Downtown District is bounded largely by the freeway ring around Houston’s central business core, including Interstate 10, Highway 59 and Interstate 45. The District is operated under the direction of a 30-member board of directors whose primary focus is to leverage public funds with private resources to improve facilities and services, as well as accelerate area improvements with widespread benefit above and beyond the level presently provided by local government or voluntary effort. 

 

Service Plan

In the new 2016-2020 Plan, services and capital improvements are proposed that continue the substantial revitalization presently under way while addressing new challenges as downtown experiences higher levels of activity resulting from success.  Since inception, the District has focused on improving downtown’s quality of life.  This focus remains a cornerstone of the 2016-2020 Plan.  The total expense of services and improvements increases relative to the 2011-2015 Plan; however, the maximum overall assessment rate will decrease to $0.120.  The capital improvements assessment rate will decrease over the previous Plan rate to a maximum of $.0135/$100 of assessed value, and operating assessment will stay the same at a maximum of $.1065/$100. Debt is not anticipated as improvements can be made on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

Annual operations and capital budgets and plans are developed and approved by the Board. The mission of the plan is to sustain and manage downtown while continuing redevelopment to make it a diverse, accessible and perpetually active core of the Houston region both in perception and reality.

Vision, Mission & Goals

Vision
Downtown will be the vibrant, livable and accessible center of the most thriving urban region in America.

Mission
Collaboratively plan, manage, maintain and develop downtown to make it a productive, inviting, safe, accessible, walkable, livable, interesting, and always active urban place.

Goals:

Goal 1:    Downtown feels comfortable and safe at all times

  • Expand collaboration to maintain low crime rate and make downtown feel safe
  • Reduce presence in the public realm of the homeless and street person population
  • Downtown’s sidewalks are comfortably lighted
  • Increase the standard of care for downtown’s cleanliness and well-kept appearance
  • Conditions of disorder are removed
  • Prepare for and respond to emergencies

Goal 2:    Public realm is beautiful and celebrates the life of the city

  • Make key pedestrian streets inviting
  • Managed, programmed and delightful public spaces
  • Place of civic celebration                                                                                                                             

Goal 3:    Accessible to the entire region all of the time and easy to get around

  • Effective transit access from more places, more hours of the day
  • Convenient, multiple means of circulation without personal vehicle
  • Easy to find way around
  • Connected, walkable neighborhoods and districts inside and outside of downtown
  • Convenient, understandable and managed parking

Goal 4:    Vibrant, sustainable mixed use place

  • Best place to work in region
  • Exciting neighborhoods to live in
  • Competitive shopping place
  • A remarkable destination for visitors

Goal 5:    Downtown’s vision and offerings are understood by all

  • Market downtown to region
  • Promote the ease of using downtown’s offerings
  • Vision plan/development framework for future understood by all
  • Tools to assist continued redevelopment
  • Information source to support continued development, investment and marketing of downtown

Goal 6:    District governance and service known for excellence

  • Board and administration: engage stakeholders in decisions regarding downtown
  • Communicate to owners, tenants and others about the District
  • Preservation of assets: build appropriate capital replacement reserves

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If you have any comments regarding the 2016-2020 Service & Improvement Plan, please submit to beth@downtowndistrict.org