ASPIRE Speaker Series

Stanford University, Serra Mall, Stanford, CA, USA

Date and Time

Monday, May 21 2018 - 3:22 PM

Event Details

On Monday, May 21, ASPIRE hosted Mr. Chris B. Brown, City Controller for Houston, in conversation with Professor Claire Thielke from the Program on Urban Studies, to talk about the mechanics of city government as it relates to land use, planning, and real estate development. Mr. Brown’s talk focused on some of the challenges the City of Houston faces as one of America’s fastest growing cities and as it prepares to welcome more than a million new residents in the coming decades. He spoke at length of how the city government and his office in particular is able to create smarter, more sustainable development in the city through innovative incentive structures for companies and developers. Some examples he brought up included ways to make the city’s infrastructure more resilient in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, to encourage denser, more walkable development to counteract urban sprawl, and to use fiscal policy and financial incentives to direct a more equitable distribution of resources across different parts of the city. Mr. Brown ended his talk by encouraging students to engage themselves with the public sector and public service as a viable means of making real difference in the communities around them.