Construction science students at Texas A&M recently got a peek at two alternative futures for the city of Houston in the year 2040 during a video presentation showcasing future scenarios imagined in a two-year research project undertaken by the Center for Houston’s Future.
Details on the March 27 presentation at the Langford Architecture Center, a joint meeting of all construction science-related student organizations, were reported in the Bryan-College Station Eagle’s March 28, 2012 issue.
"The decisions that drive what 2040 looks like will be made in the next five years," center director Donna Rybiski told the students.
One scenario sees Houston as an environmentally friendly city rich in local culture and diversity with clean air, quality education, entrepreneurial collaboration and effective leadership, but it takes nearly two decades of high taxes and slow growth to get there.
The other scenario envisions Houston’s coastline in 2040 lined with refineries, port infrastructure and desalination plants. The city, in this scenario, is a global center for medical research and treatment internationally recognized for its strong economy and healthy business climate, but with a gap between the rich and poor that had grown so wide there was no more middle class.
Jason Carroll, a senior construction science major and president of the Associated Builders and Contractors’ student chapter, told the Eagle’s Maggie Kiely that given the two options he'd prefer the environmentally friendly Houston.
Carroll said he wants to integrate what he's learned about sustainable building into his projects when he enters the construction industry.