Houston vs. NYC, density does not equal wealth, DART's poor rail investments, good rankings, and more
Another round of smaller misc items:
"What’s happening in New York is just part of a national shift. Highly paid, college-educated people are increasingly clustering in the college-graduate-dense, high-amenity cities where they get good deals on the stuff they like, while low-skilled people are increasingly flowing out to cheaper places with a worse quality of life. The end result, Diamond’s research shows, is that measures of the growing income gap between the high-skilled and the low-skilled, which already look pretty shocking, seriously understate the inequality between these two classes.
This two-tier economy can seem inevitable, but other middle-income cities — particularly Sun Belt hubs like Houston and Charlotte — are now offering a third option, says Edward L. Glaeser, an economist at Harvard. A large part of their appeal has to do with policies that make it easier to build homes and expand the affordable housing stock for those people fleeing cities like New York. Places like Detroit are cheap, Glaeser told me, because they have become drastically less attractive locations to live and work. But places like Houston are cheap — and staying cheap, even as they grow — because the local governments have realized their comparative advantage is in deregulation, not in fancy cookies."
No. 7: Houston, Texas
"Houston's close tie to the Caribbean, as well as its dominant global energy industry, thriving industrial base, huge Texas Medical Center complex and first-rate airport all work to its long-term advantage. Arguably the big city in the U.S. with the healthiest economy, Houston is also investing in a "green" future; last year it was the nation's largest municipal purchaser of wind energy."
- Houston was recently named the fifth most attractive investment market in the world by AFIRE (trailing only New York, San Francisco, London, and Washington D.C.). Hat tip to Jessie.
- Reason TV: CA vs. The Suburbs: Planners, Smart Growth, and the Manhattan Delusion
- How driverless cars will both expand sprawl and increase core density simultaneously. Hat tip to Charles.
- A nice writeup in Voxxi: Houston, Texas: A vibrant city of immigrants. Hat tip to Jessie.
- Joel Kotkin demolishes the "density = wealth" assertion used to justify forcing density.
- Dallas Area Rapid Transit gets taken to task for poor rail investments. Let it serve as a warning to METRO to not make the same mistakes...
- Mayor Parker's excellent State of the City address from last week. We are really on a serious roll.
- In the "unintentional humor" department, check out this Atlantic Cities article predicting that cars will go the way of the steamship or landline and slowly fade away. Of course that premise is absurd unless we develop teleportation. What they're really saying is that cars may run on something other than the internal combustion engine (some already do), or that widespread private ownership may end (we may just order up a temporary automated car from our smart phone anytime we need one). But the personal vehicle, i.e. "car", is certainly not going away any more than ships and phones have gone away.
Labels: affordability, demographics, density, economy, home affordability, Metro, opportunity urbanism, planning, rail, rankings, sprawl, technology