Greener Gulfton effort plants seeds for alleviating neighborhood’s nature inequity

HARC in the News


By John Brannen, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

In August of 2020, a heat mapping campaign identified Gulfton as the hottest neighborhood in Houston. The effort, co-led by The Nature Conservancy and the Houston Advanced Research Center, indicated that the southwest Houston neighborhood was 17 degrees warmer than the coolest neighborhood measured. A community-driven plan, “Greener Gulfton,” seeks to decrease the sweltering temperature, while adding an array of benefits to the immigrant-rich area that 45,000 residents call home.

Jaime González serves as the Houston Healthy Cities Director for The Nature Conservancy, which helped to

develop Greener Gulfton. He works with decision-makers and scientists to bring nature-based solutions to communities throughout the Houston area to be climate-ready, healthier and more biodiverse. He outlined several challenges that need addressing to make Greener Gulfton a reality.


Gulfton has several different aspects of nature inequity. Although residents are genuinely concerned about the increasing burden of climate change, many residents are genuinely concerned about the increasing burden of climate change, many of them come from rural backgrounds. They want their children to have the wonder and awe of nature — the soul-affirming part of nature. Being in a community that doesn't have as much nature means there isn’t room for those meaningful perspectives.

Jaime González, The Nature Conservancy