Through an ongoing relationship with Rice University’s School of Social Science, the West Houston Association has engaged students in research projects to explore quality of life factors across the greater West Houston region. Over the last four years, WHA has engaged with 48 students through 14 projects. Students work with WHA members and other community partners on semester long projects culminating in presentations to stakeholders. These projects provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in project management, research design, data analysis, and communication while learning about factors that contribute to quality growth across the greater West Houston region and beyond.
We currently have four series of projects: Place Based Research, Quality of Life Metrics, Return on Investment of Sustainable Infrastructure, Revitalization and Redevelopment.
- Place Based Research uses an Asset Based Community Development approach to identify ways to improve quality of life in a particular area. These projects are often done in partnership with the local communities based on their interests. So far projects have included focusing on Katy, Cypress, Jersey Village, Hempstead, and Alief.
- Quality of Life Metrics projects work to identify what metrics might be able to quantitatively measure the concept of “quality of life.” This line of research is leading to ways to better model how various forms of development can impact quality of life.
- Return on Investment of Sustainable Infrastructure refers to the financial benefits and value generated by investments in projects or developments that prioritize environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Beyond this triple bottom line approach, these projects focus on tangible returns that could encourage developer investments in sustainable elements.
- Revitalization and Redevelopment examine both specific areas as well as specific types of developments. These projects emphasize infrastructure changes to existing communities that better meet the current needs and standards through restoring the vitality of a place and/or rebuilding existing structures.
Place Based Research
Generating Cultural Appeal in Katy, Texas (Fall 2020)
Trisha Gupta, Alicia Wu, Grace Wei
Recommendations for Best Practices to Improve the Music Scene in Cypress, Texas (Spring 2021)
Christi Nguyen, Jennifer Jia, Adam Oscislawski
Hitting it out of the Park: What Baseball Can Do for Jersey Village (Fall 2021)
Brianna Bennion, Pahola Canavati, Ana Hogan
Making Hempstead “Cooler” (Spring 2022)
Isis Burgos, George Huang, Chrystal Hughes, Miguel Luna
Dog Park for Alief (Fall 2023)
Elizabeth Quach, Ben Teddlie, Genesis Hahn
Quality of Life Metrics
Quantifying the “Cool Factor” of the Greater West Houston Region (Fall 2021)
Naman Dandia, Austin Escamilla, Stephanie Kwak
Quantifying the “Cool Factor” of the Greater West Houston Region – Part 2 (Spring 2022)
Joyce Li, Jordan Ngo, Hitesh Vavilapalli
Identifying what Locations, Attributes, and Factors recognized as “Cool” (Fall 2022)
Ellie Bichelmeyer, Grant Levesque, Cameron Valentine
Return on Investment of Sustainable Infrastructure
Understanding the Economic Benefits of Sustainable Infrastructure (Spring 2023)
Ruoqing Wang, Emma Chen, Berkan Gedik, Stuti Jain
Analyzing Sustainable Solutions for Houston (Fall 2023)
William Grayer, Eliza Jasani, Amber Liu, Sienna Tu
Analyzing Returns on Sustainable Infrastructure Investment (Fall 2023)
Sofia Dzodan, Tyler Field, Arielle Hayon, Matthew Hong
Revitalization and Redevelopment
Neighborhood Revitalization: Focus on Alief & Gulfton (Fall 2022)
Andrew Murray, Emery Engling, Jonathan Cheng
Shopping Mall Renewal and Redevelopment (Spring 2023)
Erica Friedman, Bianca Chen, Pablo Solano, Guangshun Chen
Shopping Mall Repurposing (Spring 2023)
Kaylah Cantu, David Davisson, Connor Hughes, Christia Westheimer