Impressive Houston stats you don't know, Ashby densification vs the courts, national transit scandal, and more
A couple of weeks ago Joel Kotkin came to town to present at May meeting of the Houston Economics Club at the local Federal Reserve bank branch. It was their highest attended session of the season and very well received. He brought an excellent set of slides chock full of insightful stats on Houston
- well worth a skim
. Some key highlights:
- We're one of the only major cities in the country adding high-value blue collar jobs, and the fastest grower of middle-skill jobs not requiring a college degree - crucial to social mobility and opportunity.
- We have the second-highest concentration of engineers in the country after Detroit.
- We work for a living - we have the lowest percentage of income from investments of any major metro (i.e. living off of existing wealth).
- Houston, with 6m people, is issuing more building permits than all of California combined with 38m people!
- And my absolute favorite chart on page 20, showing Houston with a significantly higher cost-of-living-adjusted average annual wage than any other major metro ($75k vs. $62k for #2 Dallas and #3 Austin), meaning we offer the highest standard of living in the country and probably the world (objective standard of living, not arguing subjective quality of life, which is heavily dependent on personal preferences).
Moving on to a few smaller misc items this week:
"The real point of the report is that almost all proposed new rail lines are high-cost, low-capacity transit. Double-decker buses can move 18,000 people per hour on city streets, twice what three-car light-rail trains can move; double-decker buses can also move more than 100,000 people per hour on a freeway lane, twice what a subway line can move."
Houston would be able to do *so much* so affordably with express buses in a comprehensive managed lane network connecting up all of the city to all of the major job centers...
Labels: affordability, census, commuter rail, density, economy, growth, home affordability, Metro, mobility strategies, perspectives, rail, rankings, sprawl, tech, transit