HOUSTON -

Houston is nicknamed Space City and the Bayou City, and now we can add "Scenic City" to the list.

Houston is one of seven Texas municipalities awarded Scenic City Certification Wednesday by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas. The certification program supports and recognizes municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces.

"The city of Houston is proud to earn this designation. It validates the work we have done over the years to strengthen our ordinances and invest in our public spaces and infrastructure," said Mayor Annise Parker.

The 5-year certification (2013-2018) was granted after a review of: strong standards to enhance visual character of streetscapes, including sign regulation and landscaping; emphasis on establishing and protecting parks, trails and open spaces; clearly-stated unity of design standards, and converting existing non-electronic billboards to digital format.

Of the 1,200 cities and towns in Texas, only six earned new Scenic City designation in 2013.

The Scenic City Certification Program is a project of Scenic Texas and its program partners the Texas Municipal League, Urban Land Institute – Houston, American Planning Association Texas, Houston-Galveston Council, Houston Council of Engineers, Keep Texas Beautiful, Texas Historical Commission, Scenic Houston and Scenic America.

For more information, visit ScenicCityCertification.org.