Shifting focus from car culture, Houston hires first chief transportation planner

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city coordinate its urban planning efforts with other agencies such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city coordinate its urban planning efforts with other agencies such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city coordinate its urban planning efforts with other agencies such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Visit Houston)

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David Fields will serve as Houston's first chief transportation officer.
In an effort to make Houston a less car-centric city, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has hired the city’s first chief transportation planner, a new release stated Feb. 24.

The position will serve as a liaison between Houston Public Works, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation with a goal of streamlining city planning and improving access to alternative methods of transportation.

The first person to fill the role, David Fields, comes to Houston with experience working for the cities of New York, New Orleans and San Francisco. He has also won awards for plans he formed for Washington, D.C.; Cleveland; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In his most recent position, Field worked for planning firm NelsonNygaard Associates, leading the firm's multimodal efforts.

“Transportation can change people’s lives. Doing it right starts by making sure every Houstonian can safely cross the street and ends when everyone can safely and easily connect from their home to their job, their school, and all Houston has to offer,” Fields said in the release.

The new hire comes alongside several city-led efforts to influence mobility throughout Houston such as improving sidewalk accessibility, removing parking minimums, promoting walkability and density along transit corridors, reducing traffic fatalities and proposing alternatives to TxDOT’s I-45 plan.


“Houston needs a Chief Transportation Planner who can create safe and efficient transportation options for all Houstonians. I am confident that David Fields will break down the silos and fully integrate the city’s mobility solutions with all our partners,” Turner said in the release.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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