City Plans

On this page are specific plans that affect, or have the capacity to affect, the health and human development of the citizens of the city of Galveston. These plans are generally relevant only to residents of the city of Galveston, and no other wider geographic area.

The plans and documents below are of all kinds: accepted or proposed; active or inactive; official and unofficial. What they have in common is that they all have the capacity to affect the health and human development of the city’s residents.

If you know of a plan, report, study, document, or other information that contains information on the health and human development of the citizens of Galveston, and it’s not listed here, please send us an email at cehd(at)

The City of Galveston has several plans and initiatives that it has adopted (and several more in process as of June 2012) with the potential to impact health and human development. The first of these is the 2011 Comprehensive Plan, or Comp Plan, which is an update of the city’s 2001 Plan and “offers goals, objectives, actions, and strategies for the community's long-term growth and development.” The Comp Plan, which is the main product of the city’s “Progress Galveston” project, covers such areas as housing and neighborhoods; economic development; land use & community character; historic preservation; natural resources; transportation; infrastructure; disaster response; and the human development / services. Detailed information on the contents and history of the Comp Plan, which was adopted by the city council in October 2011, can be found here. Also shown below are CEHD’s proposed edits to the draft Comp Plan, some of which were adopted in the final version. CEHD also conducted a series of focus groups with low- and moderate-income city residents to obtain a more complete picture of how they see the future of Galveston (also shown below).

- Galveston City Comprehensive Plan

- Health Impact Assessment of the City's Draft Comprehensive Plan

- Envisioning Galveston

In addition to the Comp Plan, the city is also developing a set of “specialized plans” on select topics. These plans “are designed to support the policies and guidance of the Comprehensive Plan and ensure City actions are consistent with federal and state regulations.” The three completed plans (Parks, Historic Preservation, and Erosion) are available below. Expected in the fall of 2012 are the remaining specialized plans: the Thoroughfare Plan; the Disaster Recovery Plan; and the Sustainability Plan. Check here for more information on the specialized plans.

- Parks Plan

- Historic preservation plan

- Erosion plan

The final piece of the city’s Progress Galveston work is a comprehensive overhaul of the island’s Land Development Regulations (LDRs) as well as a revision of the review and approval processes. According to the city, “updated and enhanced LDRs will enable Galveston to pursue its economic development and revitalization objectives more effectively, while also improving the community's preparedness to withstand and ability to recover more rapidly from future natural disasters.” More information on this process can be found here. The slideshow below, though difficult to follow in some places, appears to describe the current state of the LDR project. The Phase 1 adoption document is the part of the plan that has been accepted by the Galveston city council as of June 2012.

- LDR briefing

- LDR phase 1 adoption document

The city of Galveston also commissioned several other activities to assist in the recovery planning process after Hurricane Ike. In the first few months after the hurricane made landfall, the city council made citizen appointments to the Galveston Community Recovery Committee (GCRC), which was “charged with developing a vision, goals and projects that would move Galveston along the road to full recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Ike.” With assistance from FEMA and Galveston city staff, GCRC developed the comprehensive long-term recovery plan below. A complete listing of the materials and deliberations of GCRC can be found here.

- Long term community plan

As part of its recovery process, the city council invited the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to hold two advisory panel discussions oriented around the recovery process. These panels of volunteer national-level experts held discussions with city residents, toured Galveston, and produced two reports. The first ULI report, produced in 2009, was in response to a charge “to consider sustainable neighborhood development strategies - strategies and actions the city should undertake to create healthy, socially diverse, affordable, and resilient neighborhoods for Galveston.” The second report, produced in 2010, was intended to “address the need for more sustainable middle income and workforce housing within the City of Galveston as well as to recommend the development and implementation strategies deemed to be most effective in realizing that vision. A related topic was how to increase homeownership in the city.”

- First ULI Report

- Second ULI Sustainable Neighborhoods Report

The city of Galveston was not the only public entity in the city to be involved in recovery planning. The Galveston Housing Authority (GHA), the public housing authority for the city of Galveston, has also produced several documents that contain plans for post-Ike recovery. GHA’s Rebuilding Plan for Public Housing, adopted in June 2011 and listed below, was the most comprehensive description of the housing authority’s plans for housing recovery after the storm. Also listed below is the Master Development Report, produced by McCormick Baron Salazar for GHA. This report is a description of the mixed-income development portion of GHA’s recovery plan. In the first six months of 2012, there was much public discussion about GHA’s plans, and subsequently the rebuilding plan was amended. The most recent document that details those changes - a June 2012 memo with a legal opinion provided to GHA on various possible plans for rebuilding the public housing is listed below.

- Approved GHA Rebuilding Plan

- MBS Master Dvpt Report

- GHA Public Statement and Memo

Finally, several groups have produced documents intended to serve as plans for, or guides for planning, the recovery of the city. The Historic Downtown Strand Seaport Partnership, a nonprofit organization, has produced a Galveston Downtown Redevelopment Plan with a wealth of statistics and information, along with a specific set of plans for the redevelopment of the downtown Galveston. The Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University, which was recently asked by several city residents to map and evaluate areas of opportunity in the city, produced a report intended to inform planning for public housing and other housing recovery and investment programs.

Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability teamed up with Rice’s School of Architecture to produce a recent study on sustainable development, with the purpose of presenting “sustainable urban strategies for Galveston Island that rely on the most current scientific information followed by advanced design thinking as a framework for future development.” The most remarkable, and controversial, conclusion reached by the authors of this report were that the West End of the island faces serious problems in next hundred years due to rising sea levels (among other things) and that Galveston’s best bet for long-term sustainable development is to focus on the East End.

- Rice atlas of sustainable strategies for Galveston island

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