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Imagine a mixed-use community where all the neighborhood residents live, go to the library, work and receive health care, while utilizing public transportation, bicycle lanes and pedestrian crossings. Robins Landing will be the first mixed-use town center developed by Habitat for Humanity in the United States – and it will be carbon-free and environmentally driven.

Photo courtesy of UH College of Architecture and Design

Houston Habitat for Humanity and Bruce Race, director of UH’s Center for Sustainability and Resilience (CeSAR), are working to build a Net Zero, sustainable community in Houston. It sounds like a utopia, but by 2030, Race hopes it will be a reality.

Photo courtesy of UH College of Architecture and Design

How can we build more sustainable and flood-resilient neighborhoods? How can we facilitate climate friendly transportation systems that meet the aggressive net zero targets in the Houston Climate Action Plan? How can we develop net zero buildings and districts?

Researchers in CeSAR, a multidisciplinary research center that focuses on economic and environmental resilience and helps to facilitate policy surrounding a number of environmental justice issues, hope to find out.

Photo courtesy of UH College of Architecture and Design

Race wishes to see Houston as one of the first cities with connected smart mobility hubs in the nation. Imagine a carbon-neutral city where clean electric vehicles, walking, and transit services provide equitable access to places we need to go. It can happen and the plan for Robins Landing Town Center shows us how.

Photo courtesy of UH College of Architecture and Design

CeSAR is focused on healthy and sustainable cities and will inform climate change discussions in the coming years. Additionally, Race's habitat project, Robins Landing Town Center: Strategies and Guidance for Resilience, was awarded the 2021 APA Texas Gold Award for Resilience.

See more stories about UH research impacting the city of Houston.

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