Global and racial Houston, top rankings, good govt, healthy housing, and more
Another week to clear out the rapidly growing list of smaller items:
- Some very cool maps of cities with racial/ethnic color-dot overlays, including Houston, which seems a bit less rigidly segregated than most other cities (maybe from the lack of zoning?), but that may just be an illusion of the lower density. You can keep clicking down on it to get to the full detail version where you can make out individual dots - which, in turn, can help you identify areas of higher density (note the low density west villages and the high-density apartment-heavy areas of town). If you're wondering what the large blobs in north downtown are, think 'jails'. Who says downtown can't attract residents? They're just not supporting much walkable retail. It will be very interesting to see how this map changes when the 2010 census data comes out. I think we will see some substantial densification - and, frankly, some white gentrification - in the core, especially in the Washington Ave. corridor. Hat tip to John (JT).
- Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review have just named the University of Houston’s Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship the #1 entrepreneurship program for undergrads: Houston Biz Journal article and Entrepreneur article.
- Entrepreneur magazine, in the same ranking, has rated Rice University as one of the top grad schools for entrepreneurship at #6: Houston Biz Journal article and Entrepreneur article.
- David Brooks on good government in old California and where it all went wrong. Definite lessons and warnings for Texas and Houston in here. I wanted to do excerpts, but it's already too tightly written to cut. Instead, here's the opening to draw you in to click the link and read the whole thing:
"Sometimes it’s hard to remember what good government looks like: government that disciplines itself but looks to the long term; government that inspires trust; government that promotes social mobility without busting the budget."
- Some good news: Houston is predicted to lead home price gains nationally over the next year, +3.8%. Not bad. Hat tip to Nick.
- Next American City on How Houston Became A Global City. Good essay mostly focused on our impressive array of international air service. Clearly not written by a local, though, with reference to the "Bellaire Beltway" (I imagine they misheard Dr. Klineberg saying "Bellaire to the Beltway" for Chinatown) and, more puzzling, the notation that we're not on a coast. Really? I guess in the world of urbanist conversations, America only has two coasts... Hat tip to blogHouston.
- Houston considered a top city for young adults by Kiplinger’s. Cost of living, diversity and job prospects are listed among the reasons. This is after Houston was named the best city for new college graduates in the latest annual listing by Bloomberg Businessweek.
- Austin bus riders are protesting the cancellation of existing commuter bus routes that parallel the new rail line. Why? Because the buses are *faster*. This is one of the key arguments I've made against commuter rail in Houston: net-30mph commuter trains are much slower than 60mph express buses in HOV lanes, especially when considering the long walk or connection after getting off of the train vs. buses that can circulate around the job center to get you close to your building.
- "According to Travel + Leisure magazine readers, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) are ranked No. 1 for Best Airports in the Country as world travelers were asked to rate 35 U.S. airports on a variety of topics."
- A city's size no longer is the key factor in building vibrant local economies, according to a new study. Instead, it's the national and international networks that are key, both areas where Houston does well. Hat tip to Karl.
"Zachary Neal found that although America's largest cities once had the most sophisticated economies, today that honor goes to cities with many connections to other places, regardless of their size... The rise of commercial aviation, high-speed rail, the Internet and other technological advances have allowed smaller cities to compete with urban powers such as New York and Chicago, Neal said."
And finally, kudos to the Houston 311 service line
, especially the traffic light synchronization group. Lately I've put in a couple requests to them that have been fixed very quickly, with very professional and friendly follow-up phone calls explaining what was found and fixed. Color me impressed.
Labels: aviation, commuter rail, demographics, density, entrepreneurship, identity, mobility strategies