H-GAC's Livable Centers Workshops provide resources, training and information to help communities and local governments enhance their quality of life. You can find information on upcoming workshops in various topic areas at the links below, as well as presentations and materials from past workshops.

Check back for information on upcoming workshops.

Past Workshops

Elements of Placemaking Beyond Aesthetics - September 13, 2023

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Elements of Placemaking Beyond Aesthetics

At this workshop participants learned about Livable Centers projects that have been implemented around the region. Local sponsors described elements of placemaking beyond aesthetics, such as safety, economic development, and environmental impact. This event was eligible for 3 CM Credits from the American Planning Association.


Finding the Money - September 16, 2022

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Finding the Money: Getting Projects Prepped for Funding

At this workshop participants learned innovative strategies that leverage existing resources and expand active transportation projects' funding potential. Local area experts described how to evaluate projects using performance-based criteria for project planning and highlighted pilot projects and programs being implemented in the Houston-Galveston region today. H-GAC staff also gave an overview of H-GAC resources including future grant opportunities the agency is actively tracking.

Recording from Finding the Money workshop
Active Transportation Handouts
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Funding and Partnership Opportunities
Funding Sources
Self-Screening and Preparation

CM Credits

This event was eligible for 3CM Credits from the American Planning Association.

Elements of Placemaking - August 20, 2021


Elements of Placemaking

Placemaking is the act of fostering communities that allow everyone to thrive, prosper, and enjoy themselves in inspiring settings.

At this workshop Fred Kent, a pioneer of the placemaking movement, and local partners in the Houston-Galveston region shared their insights. Participants heard about projects in alleyways and on sidewalks, tips to re-energize underutilized buildings and open spaces, and quick placemaking solutions available to all communities.

Recording from Elements of Placemaking Workshop


Activating Alleyways
Kelly Violette, Executive Director, Tomball Economic Development Corporation

Activating Bikeways
Irma Sanchez, Vice President of Projects, Westchase Management District

Activating Transit Stops
Jorge Bustamante, Planning Manager, Harris County Precinct 2

Re-energize Underutilized Buildings
Derrick Dees, Financial Advisor and Developer, Dees Financial Services (Angleton)

Activating Bethel Church Preservation and Open-Air Park
Vanessa Sampson, Executive Director, Fourth Ward Redevelopment Authority

Activating Innovation District and Small-Town Charm
Zach Goodlander, Director of Development Services, City of Fulshear

Activating Art for Placemaking
Elia Quiles, Co-Founder and Public Art Administrator, Up Art Studio

Activating Space with Temporary Popups
Rik Adamski, Principal, ASH+LIME


Facilitating Parking Workshop - September 17-18, 2020

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The Future of Parking and Mobility Kickoff

September 17, 2020

H-GAC, local parking experts, and community partners explored how the current environment and future innovations are affecting how we plan for parking, and how parking may change how we develop in the Houston-Galveston region. Participants learned about topics are changing the way we think about parking and heard from an expert panel regarding COVID, Autonomous Vehicles, Rideshare, and more.

Future of Parking Agenda


Parking to the Future
Brian Lozano, PMP, Director of Parking Services - Walter P Moore

Parking and Curb Management
Maria Irshad, CAPP, Assistant Director - Park Houston

Parking Future in METRONext
Priya Zachariah, Manager - METROHouton

The Future of Parking
Lisa Nisenson, Vice President - WGI

Facilitating Parking for Livable Centers

September 18, 2020

During this half-day webinar, participants learned how to invigorate Main Streets, Downtowns, or Town Centers with parking solutions that leverage a community’s existing resources, enhance community context, and build community partnerships that incentivize new investment based on community needs. Gain free-expert insight, hear local case study examples, and find opportunity for future partnership.



General Trends in Parking and Why Parking Reforms Matters
Travis Liska, Senior Transportation Planner - North Central Texas Council of Governments

Parking Considerations at a City Level
David Fields, Chief Transportation Planner - City of Houston

Parking Consideration for the H-GAC Region
Nicole Chinea, Senior Project Manager - WGI

Right Size Parking and What You Need to Consider
Jeremy Rocha, Senior Project Manager - WGI

Parking from an Investment Perspective, Main Street Parking vs. Montrose Collective Parking Garage
Evan Peterson, Development Director - Radom Capital, LLC, Real Estate

Parking from a Municipal Lens and Toolbox
Kirk Myers, Associate Engineer and Planner - The Goodman Corporation

Shared Use Parking and Pedestrian Connectivity for Small Towns
Craig T. Meyers, Community Development Director - City of Tomball

Town Center Special Zone for Parking and Future Development of Old Sugar Mill Site
Doug P. Schomburg, City Planner – Development - City of Sugar Land

Midtown Parking Adaptations to Induce Development and Investment
Marlon Marshall, Director of Engineering and Construction - Midtown TIRZ

Pattern Zoning and Pre-approved Housing Development Templates in Midtown, Bryan
Lindsay Hackett, Project Planner, City of Bryan

Facilitating Housing - September 20, 2019

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Facilitating Housing

Participants in this workshop gained insight on how to incorporate housing into planning strategies and learn about the tools available in our region to help promote successful housing development. They also had a chance to join in a conversation with an expert panel to see what it takes to make a housing development “pencil,” and ask questions about localized housing strategies in their communities.



H-GAC's Livable Centers Program
Jeff Taebel, FAICP, H-GAC

Plan Development: Livable Centers Study
Nick Finan, Executive Director of Management Services, City of Texas City

Toolbox Development: What's available in our region?
Alexandra Miller, Managing Principal, Asakura Robinson

Resources and Upcoming Events
Toolbox Implementation: 3 Tools & 3 Partners, Houston Examples

Community Redevelopment Corporation (CRC)
Kathy Payton, President, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation

Community Development Corporation (CDC)
William H. Merrick, Real Estate Projects Coordinator, Neighborhood Recovery Community Development Corporation

Community Land Trust (CLT)
Ashley Allen, Executive Director, Houston Community Land Trust

Toolbox Test Case: 1 Developer & 1 Property, A Small-town Example
Lance Gilliam, Partner, Waterman Steele Real Estate Advisors

Future of Retail - September 21, 2018

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Future of Retail: Your Community Destination

Participants at this workshop gained insights from experts on retail trends and future opportunities. They learned how communities like Navasota, Rosenberg, Huntsville are attracting and retaining retail tenants while rebranding their retail destinations through practical policies, programs and projects.



H-GAC's Livable Centers Program
Jeff Taebel, FAICP, H-GAC

Retail Trends
Steven R. Spillette, CDS Community Development Strategies

Local Examples - Navasota
Brad Stafford, City of Navasota

Local Examples - Huntsville
Aron Kulhavy, City of Huntsville

Retail Toolbox
Austin Farmer, The Retail Coach

Creating Walkable Places: Sustainable Transportation Workshop - September 30, 2016

Participants at this half-day workshop learned how communities can create more walkable places by investing in sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities.

Private Development Workshop Series

The Houston-Galveston Area Council hosted a three-part workshop series focused on how to attract private development for our Livable Centers Study Sponsors. Workshop 1 'Land/Property and Regulation/Permitting' was held on Friday, May 10, 2013 followed by 'Finance, Incentives and Value Added' on June 21st. A third workshop was held on September 7, 2013. Workshop presentations have been posted below.

Private Development Workshop 3

Livable Centers Speed Dating
Friday, September 27, 2013

Private Development Workshop 2

Finance, Incentives and Value Added
Friday, June 21, 2013

This workshop focuses on the financial side of development and funding mechanisms and concludes with a reality check.


The Competitive Edge: The Added Value of Livability
Jeff Taebel, Houston-Galveston Area Council
Amy Harbert, SWA Group

We Are Open for Business: Getting Public Infrastructure Right
Rebecca Leonard, Design Workshop

Reality Check: Your Communities' Development Market
Doug Childers, Morris Architects

Terra Firma: Land as an Incentive
Todd LaRue, Robert Charles Lesser & Co.

The Basics – The Development Financing Process
Bill Odle, Cobb, Fendley & Associates

The Role of Public Entities - Cities, Counties, 4A and 4B Corps and Special Districts
Alan Mueller, Marsh-Darcy Partners

Non-Traditional Finance: CDFIs, CDCs and more
Amanda Timm, Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Private Development Workshop 1

Land/Property and Regulation/Permitting
May 10, 2013

Creating your development team, Land and Property, Regulations and Permitting.


What is the purpose of this workshop and what should you expect?
Jeff Taebel, Houston-Galveston Area Council

The Livable Centers Coach
Bill Odle, Cobb, Fendley & Associates

Just Do It: Case Study - Nassau Bay Town Center
Sue Darcy, Marsh Darcy Partners

Property Acquisition, Assembly, and Partnerships
Matt Stovall, Crosspoint Properties

Livable Centers Reunion - March 30, 2012

Local project sponsors and interested parties discussed Livable Centers challenges and opportunities in a roundtable forum.