Our boom, Houston's other mission control, a top-tier blog-savvy town, videos and more
Time again to cover the smaller miscellaneous items. Been coming across a lot of these lately.
- Houston tops the residential construction rankings (thanks to Hugh for the link)
- Why is Houston booming, you might ask? Well, the most recent issue of Fortune magazine contains a clue: 6 of the top 10 Global 500 are energy companies, all with their largest U.S. employment base in Houston. Three more of those top 10 make cars that use the fuel created by the other six. And where are all those cars going, burning that gas? You guessed it: #1 is Wal-Mart - which also happens to be one of the largest employers in Houston, and has one of its largest distribution centers at the Port of Houston.
- A graphic in Business Week's cover story on global youth culture on the web shows Houston to be a top-tier blog-savvy town, ahead of cities like Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Portland, and even cross-state rivals Dallas and Austin. As far as I can tell, it's all me (just kidding! ;-)
- A blog post about high-rise bland "condo sprawl"
- NYT story on personalized traffic alerts, with some specifics about Houston's other, lesser known, mission control:
"In pitching its reports, whether on radio or pager, to broadcasters and motorists alike, Westwood One emphasizes its process for checking and rechecking its findings. Its version of Mission Control is in Houston, in a gleaming skyscraper down the road from NASA’s. From a room crammed with flat-panel television and computer screens, four fact checkers continually scan databases for outdated information and browbeat affiliates around the country to update drivers."
One concluding note: Thanks to a generous invitation from Ron Woliver, I saw David Crossley
make a very good presentation to the Rotary Club today on improving Houston's quality of life as we grow tremendously over the next 30 years. I'd say we agree on most of the types of things that would be good for Houston - I'm just more "encouragement, markets and facilitation" vs. a more activist government intervention. Oh, and we also differ a bit on transportation: I believe the aggressive expansion of our freeway network (as outlined in the 2035 plan
) is a more practical mobility strategy than transit, which I think has realistic limits on ridership in a dispersed, decentralized city like Houston with very pedestrian-hostile weather much of the year.
Labels: companies, economy, energy, growth, opportunity urbanism, rankings