“Bayou City” is starting to live up to its nickname. Bayou Greenways 2020 is transforming Houston: changing the way citizens get around and how they view their natural resources.

Bayou Greenways 2020 is creating a continuous park system along Houston’s major waterways, transforming more than 3,000 acres along the bayous into linear parks and adding more than 80 new miles of hike-and-bike trails. The project is being implemented across 150 miles of bayous, and when complete, 60 percent of Houstonians will live within 1.5 miles of a Bayou Greenway. Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public-private partnership between Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. It is being implemented in close collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District, which manages the county’s bayous and creeks for drainage and flood risk reduction. Thanks to a major bond referendum passed by voters in 2012, as well as a generous donation from the Kinder Foundation, the ambitious project is currently in various stages of development, with some sections already open to the public.

Project Details

Infrastructure Type Waterfront / Waterway
Status Open / Ongoing
Opening First segment: 2014
Full project: Ongoing
Size 3000 acres, 150 miles
Design Team Multiple

Managed and operated by Houston Parks Board in partnership with the City of Houston

Project Leader Beth White

Steering Committee Member

Latest News / Bayou Greenways

Harvard Social Impact Review / December 15, 2021

Escaping Infrastructure’s Shadow Puppets: Lessons From Equitably Repurposing Public Spaces

Washington has a consensus: American infrastructure is overdue for capital improvements and maintenance. The most fervent debates on this topic have focused on how much funding should be allocated. But the most important discussion, even when it comes to hard infrastructure (e.g., rail, bridges, roads, and sidewalks), should be about how funding should be spent.

May 28, 2021

A shift to green

A paper boat bobs eerily along White Oak Bayou while joggers, cyclists and walkers move with more determined purpose along a path at the top of its banks. The scene is quintessentially Houston: flowing green landscape punctuated by the yellow of black-eyed Susans and the white of other wildflowers and plenty of concrete. Barn swallows swoop past within sight of a freeway where cars move less freely.