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Neighborhood Design Enhances Quality of Life for Mueller

Walkability, density, connectivity – any conversation about the built environment today will almost certainly involve these buzzwords.  Sometimes we hear and use these words so frequently that they can start to lose their impact.  So when we learned about a recent study by Texas A&M associate professor of architecture Xuemei Zhu that measured the results of community design in terms of increased physical activity, quality social interactions, and better overall health – we were all ears.

Zhu surveyed 449 residents of Mueller Austin, a community which was designed to promote quality of life through walkable, tree-lined streets, an abundance of well-spaced parks, an extensive trail system, and a mix of densities and income levels.  The study found evidence that these design choices yielded a big payoff for residents, who reported a 40% average increase in walking or biking activities when compared with their previous residences.  Forty eight percent of the residents also reported improvements in their overall health.  Other findings included improved social interactions with neighbors and as stronger sense of neighborhood cohesion.  You can read more about the study on the Texas A&M College of Architecture website.

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On the Boards: Deer Park Wetland Park


RVi Houston was recently selected by the City of Deer Park to design a new 38-acre Wetland Park to serve residents and visitors to the city.  Located on an environmentally-sensitive site with just over 15 acres of wetlands, the park is envisioned as a model for sustainable design and environmental stewardship.  Working with our friends at SWCA Environmental Consultants, the RVi team will restore the wetlands to a more natural condition by removing invasive species that have overtaken the area. The park vision also includes educational components such as a sensory garden and interpretive signage, as well as permeable trails and boardwalks throughout the site.  The project is being funded through a combination of bond money, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grants, and private donations.

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TREC Young Guns Making a Difference


Nothing feels better than making a tangible difference right in your own backyard. RVi’s Dallas office joined alongside 40 TREC Young Gun volunteers to begin what will be a series of renovation projects for the Genesis Women’s Shelter. This project entailed demolishing an old playground and prepping the site for a new playscape that will be installed in just a few weeks. This new play structure will provide a fun and safe environment for the children living in the shelter.

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