Third Ward Sustainability Project

Ray Carrington, Yate High School, HISDKrist Bender, Houston Advanced Research Center
Carroll Parrott Blue, University of Houston
Ray Carrington, III, Yates High School
Johnny Hanson, Houston Chronicle
Bob Harriss, Houston Advanced Research Center (PI)
Amy Webb, Houston Advanced Research Center
Scott Wharton, University of Houston

The project will document environmental, economic, and demographic trends in Houston’s Historic Third Ward, 1950-present. The quantitative environmental information will be complemented by qualitative interviews with three generations of Third Ward residents recording their personal memories and experiences with environmental and land use changes.  The outcome of the project will provide an important perspective on how the Third Ward community has perceived the costs, benefits, and trade-offs related to changes in their immediate surroundings. The period of study includes major changes in infrastructure, the rise of environmental justice concerns, and numerous extreme weather and climate events. To our knowledge this will be the first comprehensive environmental history of the Third Ward conducted at the community-scale and focused on socioecological resilience and vulnerability to environmental change. The results of the study will inform City of Houston decision-makers, and will contribute to fundamental knowledge on planning for more resilient and sustainable urban futures.

Johnny Hanson instructs Yates students in interview techniques at the Alabama Community Garden.
Johnny Hanson instructs Yates students in interview techniques at the Alabama Community Garden.

 

  

Students from Ray Carrington's class at Jack Yates High School discuss there activities during the first year of the Third Ward Sustainability Project and what they have learned about their community and its environment.
   
Documenting environmental, economic, and demographic trends in Houston’s historic Third Ward through the work of photography students at Jack Yates High School, this project complements existing quantitative environmental information with the memories and experiences of three generations of Third Ward residents through interviews and community storytelling. The Third Ward Sustainability Project provides an important perspective on how the community has perceived the costs, benefits, and trade-offs of changes in their immediate surroundings. Addressing major changes in infrastructure, environmental justice concerns, and a history of extreme weather events and climate change, this study is the first comprehensive environmental history of the Third Ward conducted at the community-scale. Focused on socioecological resilience and vulnerability, the project will inform both Third Ward residents and City of Houston decision-makers as they address the need for a resilient and sustainable urban future.

Bayou Voices Digital Media Workshop
Bayou Voices Digital Media Workshop with Matthew Williams, KQED & Carroll Blue, UH TLC2
May 25-28, 2012 in the Communication Technology Center, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, University of Houston

The Third Ward Sustainability Project is funded through a grant from Houston Endowment with additional support from the EPA Yates High School CAMERA Project, NEA Our Town Southeast Houston, and The Dawn Project. Special thanks University of Houston, Houston Independent School District, and the people of Third Ward and Southeast Houston.

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