Loun Neff Point in Austin, Texas.
Lou Neff Point Loun Neff Point in Austin, Texas. © Brandon Watts

Stories in Texas

Building Healthy Cities

Imagining Texas cities that are not apart from nature, but a part of nature.

By 2050, two-thirds of the world will live in urban areas. As our cities expand, nature can help us provide equitable access to clean air and water and increase our resilience to a changing climate. Greener cities can even help promote mental and physical health and improve neighborhood livability.

That’s the vision at the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s Building Healthy Cities initiative: helping people and nature flourish together.

We’re setting a bold precedent in our Lone Star Cities. Texas is the second most populous state in the country with five of its top 15 fastest-growing cities, and we see all the pressing issues facing urban areas today: excessive heat, flooding, air and water pollution and lack of access to parks and green space. With our population expected to double by 2050, we’re also contending with how best to use and manage water in a state that suffers from both severe hurricanes and drought. To address these challenges, The Nature Conservancy is building strong partnerships with city, county and community organizations across four major priorities:

  • Urban heat and air quality
  • Managing urban water
  • Transforming the city landscape
  • Mitigating and adapting to the challenges of a changing climate

Across the state, we’re working together to green our cities, advocate for nature-based solutions in urban planning and connect people to nature in new and creative ways. This work continues a long legacy of collaboration to safeguard our most cherished places and spaces—from the far West Texas desert to the Gulf shore to the growing cities dotting the landscape between. It represents a shared understanding that preserving and restoring natural resources across the state will help create a healthy, thriving Texas for generations to come.

Cool and Connected Oak Cliff The Trust for Public Land, the Texas Trees Foundation and The Nature Conservancy are uniting with the Dallas community on “Cool and Connected Oak Cliff,” a project that brings together community members, students and volunteers to plant and care for 1,000 trees in and around the neighborhood.