Houston accolades, transit crises, worst-run city, happy TX, and moreFirst, let me apologize for the inconsistent posting over the last month or so. It's been crazy-busy, and not just because of the holidays either. I've decided to cut back blog posting to once a week (from twice/week now) for the indefinite future. If things lighten up again, or if I find I suddenly have more to say, I'll go back to twice a week. Hopefully this will also allow me to put a little more time into each post and write up more of the 'big idea' essays I have in mind, but take a serious time commitment to generate.
On to the backlog of smaller items:
- An indicator of the rise of government over the private sector during this great recession: the Wall Street Journal reports D.C. commercial rents are expected to surpass NYC.
- A nice quote from a Wall Street Journal editorial board op-ed on the new world's tallest tower, the Burj Dubai:
"By contrast, in cities such as Houston and Hong Kong the skylines are not the cause of their economic prosperity, but merely the most visible manifestation of it. That's a prosperity that has been built over the years on the basis of those old reliables: economic freedom, the rule of law, hard work and sound management. Without these, nations and cities alike build on nothing but foundations of sand."
Hat tip to James.
- Following up on my Metro post from a couple weeks ago is this article from the Wall Street Journal talking about the fiscal crises in transit agencies around the country:
Public-Transit Passengers Face Rough Ride
Agencies Nationwide Raise Fares, Cut Service as Budget Pressures Mount;
In Chicago, 'Less Frequent, More Crowded Service'
- A pretty brutal piece arguing that San Francisco is the worst run city in the country, with a nice Houston quote:
The city's ineptitude is no secret. "I have never heard anyone, even among liberals, say, 'If only [our city] could be run like San Francisco,'" says urbanologist Joel Kotkin. "Even other liberal places wouldn't put up with the degree of dysfunction they have in San Francisco. In Houston, the exact opposite of San Francisco, I assume you'd get shot."
Hat tip to James.
- Ten development projects that changed Houston this decade. Hat tip to lockmat at HAIF.
- Ben Smith at Politico talks about Houston electing Annise Parker mayor:
But the election of Annise Parker in Houston makes clear that the Charlottes and Houstons are now at the forefront of American political change, while the shrinking and declining big cities of the Northeast and Rust Belt are bringing up the rear.
"Houston is your post-racial, post-ethnic future of America," said demographer Joel Kotkin. "It's a leading-edge place."
- In case you didn't see it, Texas is again tops in population growth. Hat tip to Anthony.
- If this study is to be believed, Texas is the 15th happiest state. Not bad when you note some of the heavy hitters at the bottom of the list: NY, MI, CA, NJ, IL, MA. We also beat out some pretty nice trendy states like Colorado and Oregon. But if Louisiana is the nation's happiest state, how come I see so many of their license plates in Houston?
- Houston's economy looks good for 2010. Hat tip to Jessie.