Gonzalo Echeverria, director of design and planning for McCord Development, the company behind the nearly 4,200-acre Generation Park development off Beltway 8, said no less than 50 miles of trails will connect all areas of the park at the July 8 Summer Creek BizCom hosted by Partnership Lake Houston. The trails also aim to link with the surrounding communities, schools, colleges, parks and businesses. While Echeverria did not give a hard date for completion, he said they will deliver the project "very soon for the community."
“We're making sure that the trail system becomes the backbone of this community,” Echeverria said. “So whoever comes to Generation Park would love to move around, not by car, but by option will choose to use the trail. They can hop on the trail and get anywhere they need to go.”
McCord Development is drawing on the idea of a 15-minute city—a concept cities such as Paris and Melbourne have proven achievable, Echeverria said. The goal is to allow people to access all essential activities such as shopping, education, recreation and work without a traditional vehicle like a car.
Generation Park alone aims to host a regional hospital, hotels, restaurants, an event center and different industry businesses such as an Ikea distribution center and Service Wire Co., a family-owned cable and wire manufacturer, according to previous reporting by Community Impact Newspaper. But expanded access to surrounding communities via an electric scooter or bike can expand connection opportunities.
“The 15-minute walk ... will start touching some areas of Summerwood, and then you will start reaching some surrounding neighborhoods of Generation Park,” Echeverria said. “When you extend the concept of the 15-minute city to the bikes, which many cities are doing, you start to reach out to a broader area, which gets all the way to like Eagle Springs, The Groves all the way down to all the parks that are surrounding us to the east, plus Fall Creek all the way to the golf course and golf clubs.”
Trail North East, a project McCord Development has in mind, will create a sequence of trail stations following along a railroad track that aims to connect areas like West Lake Park Houston and The Groves without crossing a road.
“It's like not even crossing a street, which is a big deal. When a community is able to connect itself without crossing any road, just by trails, it takes you to a different level,” Echeverria said.
Echeverria and his team are also working on a trail to connect Generation Park to Fall Creek.
“Where you have everything that you need within 15 minutes, and not using your car, but using another way of mobility, micromobility as it is called," he said. "So by walking or by bike, you will be able to reach any service you need because we have it all. We have it all in the area. We have the hospitals, we have all the things that you might need in your life.”