Houston tops growth, Energy Capital, bike lanes, and more
Got to clear out a stack of smaller misc items this week:
- Houston #1 for population added and #2 for jobs added in the last decade, just behind, you guessed it, Washington DC and our insatiable, ever-expanding federal government. What I can't understand from the table is how all of these metros like DFW (+12 people for every job added) and especially Atlanta (a million people added but negative 30k jobs) add so many people without proportional employment increases. Very confusing. What are all these new people doing? Hypotheses behind this dynamic welcome in the comments.
- Friday I attended the Center for Houston's Future panel on keeping Houston the Energy Capital of the World. Interesting stuff, and the Chronicle has a good write-up here. My suggestions were increasing local venture capital with a 401k option for local employees and an Energy SXSW mega-conference (and update) - both of which were well received.
- Friday I also attended the Mayor's State of the City address, which went well. Nothing too new that we weren't already aware of, but it was nice to hear a complete summary of all of the past and upcoming initiatives. Mayor Parker had a great zinger line that got a laugh from the audience: "A tight budget is like a corset - it holds some things in and emphasizes others!" Coverage: full text, Chronicle, Kuff.
- P.J. O'Rourke amusingly goes after urban cyclists and their dedicated lanes in a Wall Street Journal essay. I generally support bike lanes as long as they don't remove traffic lanes (narrowing is usually ok, but dropping Westpark from 4 lanes to 3 is not - esp. when it would have been trivially easy to put an bike lane on the adjacent power line right-of-way), but this is funny enough I can't help but pass it along: Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic
- A pass-along that I thought might be of interest to my readers: a new iPhone app called PIM lets you find, reserve, and pay for your parking spots across the US, Canada and Europe, and also gives the driver occupancy information in certain locations in real time. It contains more than 250 locations in Houston alone, complete with rates, hours of operation, and other useful info.
- New Geography has an interesting essay, "The Evolving Urban Form: Dallas-Fort Worth", much of which could also be applied to Houston (although we have a healthier core city than Dallas). Here's one Houston-related stat indicated how strongly we're growing vs. other large cities not just in the U.S., but around the globe:
"On an international scale, the United Nations estimates indicate that only Singapore, Houston and Atlanta had greater percentage growth between 2000 and 2010 among high-income world urban areas that exceed 4,000,000 in population."
That's enough for this week. Have a great Easter weekend.
Labels: census, economy, energy, entrepreneurship, growth, identity, rankings, tech