Number of Texas Certified “Scenic Cities” Now at 85
AUSTIN, TX – September 1, 2021 – Scenic Texas today announced 22 Texas cities have been recognized as 2021 Certified Scenic City award recipients through the Scenic City Certification Program, a program of the statewide nonprofit and its 17 partner organizations.
The Scenic City Certification Program recognizes cities for their demonstrated commitment to high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and spaces.
One city, Edinburg, has earned certification for the first time and 21 are recertifying or upgrading existing status, bringing the number of certified cities across Texas to 85.
“This year followed similar trends as 2020, when Texans found themselves spending more time in their neighborhoods and considering investments in their immediate communities,” said Sarah Tober, Scenic Texas President. “The Scenic City designation is fast becoming an acknowledgement that residents are committed to creating a more scenic environment for themselves and for visitors, whether that means creating scenic roadways, preserving historic sites, or improving parks and green spaces.”
Tober explained that the certification process provides cities with a roadmap for future growth and development, and the nonprofit is working on a resource guide that will further outline best practices for Texans who are interested in working to enhance their community’s visual environment and certify their cities.
The Scenic City Certification Program is a nationally recognized, one-of-a-kind model, developed to provide communities with a comprehensive set of standards and evaluations for the design and development of public roadways and spaces.
Cities earning first-time certification or recertification in 2021 and their rankings are:
Bastrop (Ranked up) | Gold
Bee Cave (Recertified) | Platinum
Benbrook (Recertified) | Gold
Buda (Recertified) | Platinum
Cedar Hill (Recertified) | Gold
Cibolo (Ranked Up) | Gold
Edinburg (New) | Gold
El Campo (Recertified) | Gold
Fairview (Recertified) | Platinum
Fort Worth (Recertified) | Gold
Frisco (Recertified) | Platinum
Heath (Recertified) | Gold
Hutto (Recertified) | Gold
Manor (Ranked Up) | Gold
Mansfield (Recertified) | Gold
McAllen (Recertified) | Silver
Nolanville (Ranked Up) | Gold
North Richland Hills (Recertified) | Platinum
Pearland (Ranked up) | Platinum
Pharr (Recertified) | Silver
Roanoke (Recertified) | Platinum
Shavano Park (Recertified) | Recognized
The Scenic City application period for 2022 opens January 1, 2022. Any interested Texas municipality may go online now to review the Program standards and application process at www.sceniccitycertification.org.
Any Texas city may apply to the Scenic City Certification Program for an objective review of its existing municipal infrastructure ordinances as they relate to the model standards. Assessment is points-based, and every city applicant receives a detailed, scored evaluation that identifies both strengths and areas for improvement. Official certification is earned by cities that score points in the upper range and meet threshold standards for landscaping, tree planting, and sign regulation.
Joining Scenic Texas as partners in the Scenic City Certification Program are the Texas Municipal League, Urban Land Institute — Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, American Planning Association Texas, American Society of Landscape Architects Texas, Houston-Galveston Area Council, American Council of Engineering Companies Houston, Hill Country Alliance, Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Downtown Association, Texas Economic Development Council, Texas Historical Commission, Association of Rural Communities in Texas (ARCIT), Texas Association of Regional Councils, North Central Texas Council of Governments, and Scenic America.
Through the Scenic City Certification Program, Scenic Texas provides educational resources to Texas cities that are establishing or revising ordinances that impact the streetscapes. Additionally, Scenic Texas supports urban forestry projects, tree planting and preservation initiatives, the creation of scenic roads and districts, the establishment and funding of parks and green space, the forestation of our highways, and the preservation of historic areas.