Livable Centers Call for Planning Study Partners

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is seeking proposals from local governments or other eligible project sponsors to conduct Livable Centers planning studies. View the information below to prepare your applications.


The objective of the Livable Centers planning studies is to reimagine auto-focused infrastructure and to help create quality, walkable, mixed-use places, create multi-modal travel choices, improve environmental quality, and promote economic development and housing choice. Study recommendations will ideally lead to locally sponsored Livable Centers projects for possible inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and future Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP).

To date, H-GAC has worked in partnership with local sponsors to complete 29 Livable Centers planning studies in the 8-county Transportation Management Area (TMA) with the average cost per study being $200,000 – $250.000.

Submitting an Application

The deadline for all submissions was 10 p.m., Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Submissions are no longer being accepted at this time.

Important Dates

Application Deadline

All submittals must have been received by H-GAC no later than 10:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Any submissions received after this deadline did not receive further consideration.

Pre-Submittal Q&A Meeting

A pre-submittal meeting for potential sponsors was held at H-GAC on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, TX. Sponsors were not required to attend this meeting. The meeting was an opportunity to have any questions answered regarding this call for partners.

Notice of Intent to Apply

Applicants are required to notify H-GAC of their intent to apply no later than Friday, December 6, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. Intent to apply must include proposed study area location. Intent to apply should be submitted online.


  1. This call for planning study partners is limited to local governments, management districts, municipal utility districts, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ), and other entities that can receive federal transportation funding and implement transportation projects.
  2. The proposed study must be located within H-GAC’s eight-county TMA, which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties. (Study areas adjacent to the TMA may be considered under special conditions.)
  3. If the applicant is not the primary owner of the streets and sidewalks in the study area, the applicant must provide a letter of support from the owning agency (i.e., the city or county that owns and maintains the streets and sidewalks).

Funding Availability

H-GAC anticipates identifying several locations for new Livable Centers studies to recommend for funding during fiscal years 2021-2024. The total funding level available will be determined by H-GAC’s Transportation Policy Council. As such, a successful recommendation from this application process does not guarantee funding and may be altered based on Council’s direction.

Project sponsors must indicate their estimated costs for completing the study. Project sponsors are not limited to applying for one study but must submit a separate complete application for each proposed study.

H-GAC reserves the right to negotiate final budget amount for each study based on the study scope and available funding levels.

Local Funding Match

Livable Centers: Sponsoring agencies must demonstrate a financial commitment to provide not less than a 20% local match for the proposed studies plus an additional 3.5% TxDOT fee. The 20% local match is calculated based on the total funding level of the study (federal funding level plus local match) and the 3.5% TxDOT fee is calculated based on the local match amount.

Local match must be in the form of cash match. Generally, local match commitment is demonstrated by a letter from the highest local elected official that explicitly commits to the local match (this can be included in the letter of support). H-GAC reserves the right to negotiate the final funding amount depending on the specifics of the project and available funding levels.

Project Evaluation and Selection

Proposals will be evaluated by a project selection committee comprised of H-GAC staff and representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation and former study partners. The selection committee recommendations will be submitted to the Transportation Policy Council for potential funding award. Upon identification of funding levels, the recommendations will be submitted to the H-GAC Board of Directors for approval. H-GAC reserves the right to make all final decisions and to withdraw this call for planning study partners.