Our global ranking, Dallas sends us some respect, where we are on the political spectrum, problems of HSR in America, and more
This week's items:
"In our assessment, the three US cities with the best long-term prospects to enter the top ranks of global economy are Houston, Washington Metropolitan Area, and the San Francisco Bay area. The rise of 14th ranked Houston is based largely on its role as the “Energy Capital of the World”. The world’s oil supermajors are dispersed geographically (and include a number of state owned firms), and Houston is clearly the centre of the industry. The majority of traded foreign oil majors have their US headquarters in Houston and companies that are technically based elsewhere boast a significant Houston presence. In fact, Houston seems to be becoming more dominant. For example, Exxon, based in Dallas-Fort Worth, is opening a massive Houston campus that will be home to 10,000 employees. Additionally, a majority of the world’s largest oil services companies, such as Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and FMC Technologies, are based in Houston. The Texan city is also a centre for energy trading. Altogether, over 5,000 energy-related companies call Houston home. Houston has also developed other critical aspects of a global city, including the nation’s largest export port and the world’s largest medical centre. It has also become, by some measurements, the most diverse region in the country ethnically. In the last decade, for example, Houston increased its foreign-born population by 400,000, second only to New York and well ahead of much larger Los Angeles."
Still, even if the California, Florida and Texas projects all succeed, transportation experts say it is unlikely that the United States will ever have the same kind of high-speed rail systems as China or Europe.
C. William Ibbs, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, said countries with successful high-speed rail projects had higher population densities, higher gas prices, higher rates of public-transportation use and lower rates of car ownership. “So it wouldn’t make any sense to have a high-speed rail train in most areas of the United States,” he said. “The geography is different and other factors are just too different.”
Labels: affordability, energy, high-speed rail, home affordability, opportunity urbanism, politics, rankings, world city