Houston one of five cities that will rise in the new economyThe Christian Science Monitor recently named Houston one of five cities that will rise in the new economy, along with Boston, Seattle, Huntsville-AL, and Fort Collins-CO. Not bad company. In fact, they open the main article with us:
In Houston, the Texas Medical Center is expanding so quickly that it will soon become the seventh largest downtown in the US. By itself. The hospital complex brims with restaurants, shops, and hotels, and employs 100,000 people – the population of Billings, Mont.Later they mention the power of affordable housing to attract young talent. They also have detailed profile article on Houston with some good excerpts:
The article also includes a couple of nice Houston pictures here and here.
...Many say the city is poised to do well because of its ties to the global marketplace. Houston is home to NASA, as well as the largest medical complex in the world, the second-busiest port in the nation, and a strong international business sector....“To me, Houston is the perfect intersection of old industry stepping up to advance leading-edge industries,” says Vivante’s founder and president, J. David Enloe Jr.
But Houston has much more than energy experience powering its future. It is the largest US port in foreign tonnage and the second largest in total tonnage. (including strong exports)
Then there is the Texas Medical Center, which may be Houston’s version of the Great Pyramids, only with windows and an antiseptic smell. More than $3 billion is going into expanding the Med Center’s footprint from 30 million to 40 million square feet – making it larger than the size of the area inside Chicago’s Loop. The complex currently serves up to 65,000 patients a day, says Richard Wainerdi, the CEO.
Still, even with the port, the medical center, and NASA, the petrochemical industry remains the flywheel of the economy – accounting for about half the area’s total output. Eager to be in the vanguard of the New Economy, city officials are trying to redefine Houston as more than just an oil and gas capital. They want it to be an energy capital – including renewables.
Last summer, for example, Houston became the No. 1 municipal purchaser of green power in the nation, with 25 percent of the city’s total electricity load coming from wind energy. (Texas leads the US in wind-energy production.)
Hat tip to Jessie.