rethinkHOU :: No.001

Place a cover on the Katy Freeway and create a linear park with transit, running/bike trails and retail opportunities.


The idea isn’t new. Covering large roadways in major cities in an effort to reduce negative impacts brought upon the urban environment has been studied for years in design universities and implicated in a few places around the world. With the widespread success in the media of the New York Highline project, people are becoming more open to the ideas of using transportation infrastructure in new public programs. With new methods of personal and urban transportation Using the massive girth of this as a new green space, could attract mid-rise living entities flooding the local areas with consumers. The park can bring people together. It can give them the ability to transverse both sides of a manmade structure that divides land more than the Rio Grande connecting communities and businesses. It would give available land and long stretches for the implication of a mass transit network. For the commuter of the automobile, it would eliminate the long mornings and afternoons of constantly driving into the sun. It would potentially lower the temperatures of all the users, be they living in the area, taking advantage of shade giving trees upon the newly developed parkways, or driving in a constant state of shade. This has the added opportunity at creating a new sectional layer of retail opportunities along the corridor. Clusters of bars, cafes, and bookshops can string along the route creating nodes of interest and commerce previously unseen.

About pettydesign

James Petty is an American architect experiencing and contributing to the Yale School of Architecture.