Keep Texas Beautiful and Scenic Texas are each organizations that support vibrant, healthy communities across our state. Partnering with Scenic Texas to form the Scenic City Certification Program has been a natural fit for Keep Texas Beautiful. Cities and towns with strong infrastructure standards prove to be resilient, distinctive cities known for a strong sense of civic pride and well-positioned for economic growth. Scenic Texas is on the road this October, sharing information about the Scenic City Certification Program. First stop? The Texas Municipal League (TML) annual conference, October 10-12, in Fort Worth. All three days, Scenic Texas will set-up shop in the Exhibition Hall, booth #601 to discuss the Program with TML members (giveaways promised!). KTB will also be in attendance. On October 11, Scenic Texas will moderate a panel among city managers and planning directors from Pilot Point, Bastrop, Marble Falls and Cuero – all certified Scenic Cities – in a session on Shaping a City’s Identity and Distinctive Sense of Place.
The following week, Fort Worth will also serve as the host city for the Texas Economic Development Council annual conference October 17-19. Scenic Texas, along with Scenic City Program Partners Texas Downtown Association, will give a presentation on The Economic Impact of a Distinctive City. What makes a Texas city scenic? Find out at the American Planning Association Texas Chapter 2018 conference in Galveston, October 17-19. Scenic Texas will moderate a panel on the development of the Scenic City Certification Program, its value as a low-cost diagnostic tool for cities, and how it is shaping the future development of cities statewide. APA members on the panel will point to the Streetscape Resource Guide as a valuable tool for planning.
Since 2010, the Scenic City Certification Program has certified 75 Texas cities for their commitment to high-quality infrastructure standards for public roadways and public spaces. Any Texas city may apply to receive an objective points-based evaluation and assessment of its existing municipal language, reviewed against the Scenic Model devised by Scenic Texas and its 16 Program Partners. The Scenic Model is a framework composed of 11 sections (and one Bonus section), of municipal infrastructure standards that impact public roadways and public spaces. Official certification is earned by cities that score in the upper range of points and can verify three threshold standards: a landscaping/tree planting program, prohibition on new billboards, and regulation of on-premise signs.
There are five certification levels: Recognized, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Interest piqued? See the full roster of certified Scenic Cities and review Program requirements by exploring www.sceniccitycertification.org. The 2019 application will go live September 5, 2019 and the 2019 application period is January 1 – March 31, 2019.
Blog post written by Chris Cantu of Scenic Houston.