Free market urbanism conference, QoL metrics, hypocritical neighborhood activists, and moreLots of small misc items have been building up - so many I'm going to break them up into two posts. More next week.
- The CEOs for Cities blog covers 8 quality of life metrics for Houston. Can't really argue. All good stuff (assuming by "Tax Delinquent or Abandoned Lots" they mean ones that have been reclaimed and redeveloped).
- That same CEOs for Cities blog came to Houston for NCAA tournament basketball and liked Discovery Green, Metro rail, The Menil and CAM. Not so thrilled though with the "express" bus from the airport...
- Great quote from new blog I found called the Austin Contrarian:
"Among other things, I'll talk about why Austin's neighborhood activists are such enemies of increased density. The short answer, IMHO: they want to maximize home value. I don't know that you can expect anything else, really -- people generally will act to maintain or increase their net worth. But we should be spared the moral posturing. There's nothing noble about asking the city council to crimp the housing supply for your economic benefit. These same neighborhood activists who do their best to limit the supply of housing and drive up home values are also the most vocal advocates of affordable (i.e., subsidized) housing, environmental protection, and the preservation of inner city schools -- all goals perfectly incompatible with their agitation for less density.
These inconsistencies will be one of the main themes of this blog."
- From that same blog, an analysis shows that Houston doesn't use much more gas than far denser cities, despite our reputation for sprawl, and the assumption that that leads to far more driving and gas consumption.
In just seven weeks, dozens of the world's leading experts on urban growth and transportation will converge on Houston to talk about housing affordability, traffic congestion, and how freedom and property rights can produce urban livability. I hope you join us at the 2008 Preserving the American Dream Conference.
With no zoning, Houston is the nation's freest and most affordable major city, and the optional tour on Friday, May 16, will show some of the region's beautiful privately planned communities. On Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, more than 40 experts will talk about such topics as:
* Recovering from the housing crisis
* Problems with ballot-box zoning & form-based codes
* The truth about global warming and peak oil
* The environmental cost of rail transit
* The state of property rights in the U.S.
* How planners are impeding the reconstruction of New Orleans
See http://americandreamcoalition.org/pad08.html for the latest list of speakers and details about how to register.
I know you won't want to miss the greatest national gathering focusing on free-market solutions to urban problems. I hope you can also forward this email or link to your friends and associates who might also be interested.