Mayor's Office

Press Release

Houston Earns Scenic City Award
2013 Scenic City Certification Recognizes High-Quality Scenic Standards



Scenic City Graphic

September 25, 2013 -- The City of Houston is one of seven Texas municipalities awarded Scenic City Certification today by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas. The City of Houston received Silver Certification. This five-year certification (2013-2018) was granted by Scenic Texas and its Program Partners pursuant to a very thorough review of infrastructure programs for public roadways and public spaces, in particular:


  • Strong standards to enhance the visual character of its streetscapes including sign regulation and landscaping
  • Emphasis on establishing and protecting parks, trails and open spaces
  • Clearly-stated unity of design standards
  • Firm prohibition on the conversion of existing non-electronic billboards to digital format


“The city of Houston is proud to earn this designation. It validates the work we have done over the years to strengthen our ordinances and invest in our public spaces and infrastructure,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “Programs such as Rebuild Houston and the Bayou Greenways initiative are creating a sustainable mechanism to keep up these standards.”


Of the 1200 cities and towns in Texas, only six earned new Scenic City designation in 2013. One previously-certified city earned an upgrade of its original certification level received in 2011.


The Scenic City Certification Program is the first in the United States to incorporate a comprehensive set of model standards for design and development of public roadways and public spaces into one program. Applicant cities present their existing standards for assessment and scoring against the model. Cities with the highest evaluation scores are certified.


Anne Culver, Executive Director of the Scenic City Certification Program said, “The certified Scenic Cities demonstrate that through implementation of strong scenic standards, citizens can enjoy an improved quality of life and businesses find it easier to attract customers and employees. It’s a win-win situation.”


The Scenic City Certification Program is a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners the Texas Municipal League, Urban Land Institute – Houston, American Planning Association Texas, Houston-Galveston Council, Houston Council of Engineers, Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Historical Commission, Scenic Houston and Scenic America. These partners believe see a direct correlation between the success of a city’s economic development efforts and the visual appearance of its public spaces. They developed the Scenic City Certification Program to support and recognize municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces.


For more information on the Scenic City Certification Program visit