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Navigation Esplanade Earns Prestigious ULI Development of Distinction Award

The Navigation Esplanade was recently awarded the prestigious designation of best Urban Open Space at the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Development of Distinction Award Ceremony.

Navigation_Esplanade from Urban Land Institute on Vimeo.

“The Navigation Esplanade exemplifies what a community can achieve when it works together. A weekly farmers market in a food desert, and support of local artists through commissioned work are just two ways the Esplanade connects the community through its thoughtful programming and design. The judges appreciated the development team’s attention to community concerns while still designing with the future in mind.”

The Navigation Esplanade, a project completed by the Greater East End Management District (GEEMD) and operated by the East End Foundation was completed in 2013.

“The Navigation Esplanade is a direct result of the Greater East End Management District working with the local community. They wanted that space to be something that reflected this community” says Diane Schenke, President of the GEEMD.

Diane Barber, Managing Director of the East End Foundation says “I think it’s very important for the residents of the East End to know that this is their space.”

The Navigation Esplanade hosts more than 12 major events per year as well as a weekly Street Market from 10am to 2pm every Sunday.


East End Improvement Corporation (EEIC) and Wells Fargo unveiled the first of seven BCycle “Art Stations” as part of a community program to connect residents and visitors to public art and businesses in East End Houston. The unveiling ceremony included the donation of 36 bicycles and helmets to East End students in coordination with local non-profit Wellness On Wheels (WOW). 
longest-serving urban farms, Finca Tres Robles, is getting ready for some big changes in the year ahead. Umbrella organization Small Places is transitioning to a 501(c)(3) to help revamp the farm and increase its impact in serving the East End community. In the months ahead, Finca Tres Robles will be celebrating 7.5 years of work in the East End as it pauses field operations at the end of 2021 to prepare for its next chapter.

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