An Exploration of the Relationship between Street Patterns and Floodplains in The Woodlands, Texas
The objective of this thesis is to explore the relationship between street patterns and floodplains. Although some researchers have written about the relationship between land use and floodplains in The Woodlands, few have discussed how the city form was designed around the hydrological system. This thesis will focus on one aspect of the city form, the street pattern, to determine the effectiveness of street designs' response to floodplains. Unlike the grid-like pattern advocated by the New Urbanists, street patterns in The Woodlands are loops and cul-de-sacs -- a typical suburban pattern at the time it was developed; however, street patterns adapt to the boundaries of floodplains and protect them very well. Using a GIS tool to overlay 100-year floodplains on the street layer, it is clear to see that there are low percentages of streets in the 100-year floodplains. Thus, The Woodlands employed nonstructural techniques to mitigate flood hazard, which minimize the development in floodplains. Flood control in The Woodlands is much better than other places in the Houston area. From flood control and the protection of the natural environment standpoints, the nonstructural techniques are advocated more than structural techniques for floodplains in the development management. Therefore, the design of street patterns in an area is determined by both the aim of convenient transportation and the aim of hazard mitigation.
Xu, Junping (2009). An Exploration of the Relationship between Street Patterns and Floodplains in The Woodlands, Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from