Skip to main content

Statement on TX Transportation Commission Decision on NHHIP

Published Aug 31, 2021 by A.J. Mistretta

BBVA stadium small.jpg

Statement Attributable to Bob Harvey, President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership

"We are pleased the Texas Transportation Commission has maintained the NHHIP within the state’s master transportation plan. We believe the project offers an unprecedented opportunity to improve Houston’s transportation safety and mobility, and we appreciate TxDOT’s continued investment in the Houston region. We will work closely with local and state leaders to resolve any outstanding issues with the Federal Highway Administration over the next 90 days, as outlined by TxDOT, so that we can move this transformational project forward."
 

Related News

Economic Development

Regions and Neighborhoods: Fortifying a Resilient Economy with Trade, Tourism and Tech in Galveston

8/30/21
Ranked as one of the best places for young professionals to live in 2020, Galveston is home to a major academic health sciences center and is a significant trade hub for the region. Located just 50 miles southeast of Houston, the historic beach town’s economy is driven by a diverse range of industries, from tourism and education to health care. Galveston welcomes more than 20,000 commuters each day, as well as millions of visitors and tourists each year. We chatted with Jeffrey Sjostrom, President of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership, about the island’s economic prosperity and ongoing development.  How does Galveston contribute to the fabric of the greater Houston region? Galveston Island is a coastal barrier island that provides the first line of defense from coastal storms impacting our region. Our largest employer, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB), is home to the Galveston National Laboratory, one of only two in the country dedicated to biodefense and bioterrorism. The Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) is one of only six federal maritime training academies in the United States. The Port of Galveston is Texas’ premiere cruise port terminal; our robust tourism industry welcomes over 7 million visitors per year, and growing, onto the Island. These and a host of other historic, natural and human resources contribute to the overall strength and diversity of this dynamic region. What are some unique characteristics that really set this area apart? Within 30 to 45 minutes of downtown Houston, Galveston is strategically positioned as an intermodal transportation hub for rail, water, air and road assets. Galveston Island has seen an economic resurgence fueled by investments in parks, neighborhoods and infrastructure. Historically, Galveston has always been a city of "firsts." Innovation and entrepreneurship are at the very core of Galveston’s resiliency that continues to be displayed through the years. Describe the business community in Galveston. What are some of the most active industry areas? Maritime, tourism and education/health care industries drive Galveston’s economy. These industries, coupled with a very strong financial/insurance sector, as well as a concentration of small businesses, yield positive economic momentum driving Galveston forward. Galveston County has a robust economy that is enhanced through emerging technologies in aerospace, petrochemical assets, biotech and life sciences, as well as maritime, marine, resiliency and environmental initiatives. These have resulted in approximately 50 emerging tech companies across the county and the growth of an emerging technology ecosystem. What attracts most businesses to relocate or expand in Galveston?   Location, quality of life, accessibility for telecommuting, historic and natural resources, proximity to Houston and regional connectivity. In addition to these characteristics, Galveston is a city that has a base population of approximately 50,000 residents, but is a community that operates with a daily population center of 75,000 to 100,000 people. Galveston’s base population is expanded with daily commuters who work on the island—almost 40,000 jobs—own second homes on the west end, are college students attending UTMB, TAMUG and Galveston College, or are one of the 7 million visitors per year.  What’s been the biggest recent change that has propelled the efforts of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership?   The mission of the GEDP remains focused on growing Galveston’s employment and tax bases. Most recently, UTMB enhanced its relationship with the GEDP through the UTMB Customs House Emerging Technology Incubator. Significant initiatives are underway collaboratively between UTMB, the GEDP and beyond. Locally, and regionally, Galveston City and County are driving toward a new level of awareness and activity in the emerging technology sectors.   How has Galveston worked to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic?     Collaboratively, proactively and with purpose.  As a result of prior events, Galveston is blessed with an educated and prepared framework for confronting natural disasters and catastrophic events.   In March of last year, Galveston’s community banks came together to relaunch their model business recovery loan program, created after Hurricane Ike in 2008, to make financial resources available to Galveston and Galveston County businesses. When the SBA unveiled the EIDL and PPP loan programs, our lenders rose to the challenge and extended their services throughout the business community. The City, Galveston Island Park Board, the Port of Galveston, Scholes International Airport at Galveston and our educational partners and others immediately went to work on contingency plans and concentrations on growing out from the pandemic.   UTMB continues to play an exemplary role in serving Texans during this time. Consistent and trustworthy messaging increased our areas’ confidence throughout this pandemic. UTMB managed students, patients, researchers, faculty and the general public in an unprecedented way. Their excellence was on full display and their value to our entire region cannot be over-emphasized. What are 4 to 5 signature spots to visit? Any hidden gems people need to know about?  Signature spots consist of our beaches, the Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, attractions, the golf course, Pleasure Pier, the cultural arts scene, events, festivals, restaurants, Downtown’s Strand area and more. Some of our hidden gems are the Penguin Encounter at Moody Gardens, the world’s tallest water coaster at Schlitterbahn Park, touring the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa and the dolphin tours.  What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for Galveston right now? The return of cruise ships, events and festivals, a new “National Security Multi-Mission Vessel” (NSMV) for the cadets of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, the return of the historic rail trolleys and beach nourishment projects. What’s missing from the conversation about Galveston? As quoted by our Mayor, Dr. Craig Brown, and the Chair of the GEDP, Mr. Keith Bassett: “Galveston continues to exemplify a resilient community that is positioned to grow out of this pandemic with boundless opportunities ahead!”   Learn more about Galveston and explore the greater Houston area.
Read More
Economic Development

Houston’s 90th-Minute Play to Host 2026 World Cup

8/25/21
The world’s most popular sporting event is coming to North America in 2026, and Houston’s on a mission to be one of the cities to host it. With viewership for the last FIFA World Cup of more than 3.5 billion, the quadrennial event is one of the most-watched and highly anticipated events for soccer enthusiasts. The 2026 World Cup will be hosted in 16 cities across Canada, Mexico and the United States. Currently, 17 cities in the U.S. are vying for a spot. Only 11 will win the bid to host 60 official matches. Houston’s 2026 World Cup Bid Committee, dedicated to bringing the World Cup to Houston under the direction of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, continues to push for making Houston a host city. According to Committee President Chris Canetti, hosting six games at NRG Stadium would be equivalent to hosting six Super Bowls. Experts estimate hosting the major event could mean a $1.3 billion economic impact for Houston. In an event hosted by the Partnership in 2019, Canetti said Houston’s diversity makes the city a strong contender to secure a spot. “Soccer is indeed the world’s game, and Houston is the most ethnically diverse city in the country. So some might say it’s a perfect match.” The Federal International Football Association, FIFA, is expected to visit Houston in the coming months as an important step in deciding host venues. The Art of Soccer is one of the Houston committee’s latest campaigns. The project invited companies to financially back the bid in a fun and creative way by collaborating with Houston artists to decorate soccer balls. Similar to a soccer match approaching the final 90th-minute mark, this initiative is one of Houston's final plays to host the 2026 World Cup. Joseph Macas is one of those artists. He’s an instructor at the Houston School of Art & Design. We chatted with Macas about the soccer ball he decorated for the campaign.  How did you become a part of the Art of Soccer project? As an instructor for the Houston School of Art & Design, the school has been involved with painting some of the soccer balls for various clients: Enbridge, Region’s Bank, Intel, NRG/Reliant and Sugar Land. When the Chevron Houston Marathon inquired about having their soccer ball painted, my supervisor Amber Cleveland informed them that I am going to run in the 2022 Houston Chevron Marathon. They thought that it would be awesome for me to paint the ball as both an artist and marathon runner.  I had already been painting soccer balls under the artist Amy Malkan and Shell.  I was already signed up and training for the Houston Marathon before the client came to the school. I was super excited to be able to work and design a soccer ball of my own. It just felt like the perfect fit. How was this project important to you on a personal and professional level? I would say that this was my first big project outside of teaching. Professionally, this was a huge step towards working for larger clients. This project really gave me the platform to showcase some of my abilities to design and paint. On a personal level, it's just been amazing to work on something for the city, especially in relation to the World Cup. All my friends in Houston are excited about it and my parents are proud that my artwork is being showcased. I'm just grateful to be part of the experience of it all and contribute. What inspired your artwork for this project? After talking with the client, we agreed on the theme of running around the world. We used the soccer ball as a giant globe. Medals are placed to showcase where major marathons are run across the world and are connected by footsteps.  I think it was very important for those viewing the soccer ball to be able to say, "hey there's my home country," and then follow the footsteps around the world. Moreover, I think it was important that the trajectory of the footsteps resemble a heartbeat to signify the connection that we share through sports. Showcasing Houston, they are crossing the finish line at the Chevron Houston Marathon. As a native Houstonian, how would you pitch Houston's pitch to FIFA? We've got beer, brisket and bodies of water. What more can you ask for?  Learn more about the Art of Soccer project and explore Houston’s arts and culture scene. 
Read More

Related Events

Living In Houston

Arts, Culture, Tourism & Sports Council

Houston's rich arts and culture scene is integral to the quality of life enjoyed by Houstonians. This Council serves as a vital link between businesses and the arts community, creating connections to ensure that our…

Learn More
Learn More