Ashby, top rankings, smarter city, vs. Chicago way, importing talent, and moreJust back from a family visit to SoCal, and the smaller items have been stacking up fast...
- NYT op-ed on how young people are less and less willing to move. I think the rise of the Internet is a big factor - it can satisfy those bouts of boredom or restlessness that push people to move, either virtually or by helping you discover new options in your own region - plus I think we might also be learning the true value of social networks and how they relate to our happiness. In any case, it means Houston will need to work harder on growing our own highly educated talent, because importing it is just getting harder and harder. UPDATE: NYT story on the depressing long-term homesickness often found in people who move for economic reasons.
- The Economist on the Chicago way. Another reason to be thankful you live in Texas and no-zoning Houston...
"...the report documents a pattern of crime that has become synonymous with the Chicago or Illinois “way” of doing things. All the corrupt governors and 26 of the aldermen had tried to extract bribes from builders, developers, business owners and those seeking to do business with the city or the state. Those who paid bribes either assumed, or were told, that payment was necessary for zoning changes, building permits or any other government action."
- Houston and Texas top Zagat for dining out frequency, and an old post of mine with the reasons why.
- Houston most diverse city in the country. I wish the Chronicle had put comparative U.S. metros and local cities data graphs from the print edition online. They were pretty interesting.
- Pretty cool article on IBM's integrated "smarter city" operations center for the city of Rio de Janeiro. I know we have Transtar (which is excellent), but this seems like something Houston ought to at least explore - maybe for an upgrade to Transtar v2.0? Later I saw this story that IBM is sending some free consultants here to help the city. Hope it leads to something bigger. UPDATE 3/28/12: Mayor Parker checking it out!
- I was lucky enough to get to attend the premiere of Dr. Stephen Klineberg's new "Interesting Times" documentary (from Rice's Kinder Institute for Urban Research) on the past and future of Houston at the MFA. It is very well done - compelling and engaging - but unfortunately they are holding back from putting it online, at least for now (just an excerpt here). I'll let you know if that changes. In the meantime, you can read CultureMap's excellent coverage here or the Chronicle's here.
- That CultureMap story also points out that Dr. Klineberg's study shows 90% of area residents say that Houston is the best place to live.
- Pretty interesting NYT story on the topic of "how many people can Manhattan hold?" It's nowhere near full compared to some of the denser cities of the world.
- Houston ranks first in U.S. for business expansions and relocations
- The mayor has announced a settlement of the lawsuit, and the Ashby high-rise is moving forward. South Hampton residents should take solace in the fact that there are several high-rise towers around River Oaks, yet property values and quality of life are holding up quite fine there. And if the true concern was traffic, they should be thankful they didn't stick something much worse there, or even just a Whole Foods...