Ashby and the z-word, TX Toyota, happy Texans, big Houston, and more
An assortment of smaller items this week:
"The researchers say Los Angeles has lost 3.1% of its employment base since 1990, more than Cleveland (-0.2%) and Detroit (-2.8%). Job growth over the same period has exceeded 50% in Phoenix, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
The study says that flourishing metro areas like Houston and San Antonio with low-educated workforces make up for their skills deficit by being far more hospitable to business. San Antonio and Houston received an overall grade of A+ on the 2013 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey. Los Angeles County got a D. (Tax code D+; licensing D; regulation D; zoning D; ease of starting a business D+.) L.A.'s hostile business environment harms the poor and middle class far more than the affluent."
- WSJ.com - Toyota Escapes to Texas: Another engine of middle-class jobs flees California.
- Joel Kotkin on what Toyota's move to Texas says about complacent business-hostile California.
- States Americans Want to Flee Kind of Suck on Freedom and Taxes. As Goode BBQ says, "You might want to give some serious thought into thanking your lucky stars your in Texas!"
- Texas has very happy and loyal residents: only 24% of residents would leave if they could, very close to the bottom of the list with 23% (Hawaii, Montana, Maine). Illinois and Connecticut were the worst off, with nearly half wanting to leave.
- And a companion article: Texans are very happy with their state, with 68% believing it's the best state to live in, among the highest of the states. And people in Illinois really, really hate their state... (hat tip to Senthil)
- WSJ.com - As Texas economy booms, state copes with crowded highways, strained water supplies
- Beltway 8 freeway map of Houston overlaid on top of 5 world cities (more here from Texas Monthly). Kinda interesting, and Houston certainly goes out well beyond Beltway 8 now. The SF Bay area has a similar population to us but is much more spread out. How come nobody complains about their sprawl?
- NYC's Amanda Burden TED Talk: How public spaces make cities work (hat tip to Jay). She’s clearly done good things for NYC, although she’s more anti-developer than I’d like. I’m all for well-designed public spaces. They did an amazing job with Discovery Green and I think the new Buffalo Bayou will be the same way. I’m definitely opposed to everything she says about zoning. Let there be a free market in land use, and developers will naturally migrate to be close to the transit stops (at least in NYC) because that’s an amenity. It just adds *so* much friction/waste/expense to development to have this constant battle between idealist urban planners/architects, politicians, and developers.
Speaking of which, let's hope this zoning talk
after the Ashby high-rise ruling dies a quick death. The new ordinances are already in place to separate high-rises from residential - give them a chance to work (Ashby was grandfathered under older rules). To paraphrase Nancy Reagan, "Just say NO to zoning!" It's a bad path to go down, kids.
Labels: development, economic strategy, economy, growth, identity, land-use regulation, planning, rankings, sprawl, zoning