Sunday, February 01, 2015

Announcing the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, new rankings, downtown tunnels, The Texas Miracle, and more

I apologize for the lack of posts the last couple of weeks - I was traveling in California.  But I'm back with a very big announcement.  As of January, the Center for Opportunity Urbanism - a national think tank - has been established in Houston with Joel Kotkin as its Managing Director and myself and Wendell Cox as Founding Senior Fellows!  This is really exciting, as it gives our Opportunity Urbanism work (scroll down to Independent Research here) a permanent home and allows us to continue the work and promote it around the country and the world.  As most of you know, we consider Houston to be the exemplar city of Opportunity Urbanism, and are really looking forward to promoting the Houston model to other cities.  Stay tuned for announcements about future events and publications - in the meantime, you can read more about the Center here.

Moving on to some smaller miscellaneous items from the backlog...
Finally, I'd like to end with some Houston excerpts from Joel Kotkin's newest piece in The Daily Beast "Why We Need More Lunchpail Liberals And Fewer Limousine Liberals: Blue state tech and clean energy economies sound nice, but they don’t do much for manufacturing, construction, or farming, and the real losers are middle-class Americans"
"Even in Houston, some academics hail the impending “collapse of the oil industrial economy,” even as they urge city leaders to compete with places like San Francisco for the much ballyhooed “creative class.” Yet University of Houston economist Bill Gilmer notes that low energy prices are driving tens of billions of new investment at the port and on the industrial east side of the city. This growth, he suggests, may help offset some of the inevitable losses in the more white collar side of the energy complex."
In contrast, the recoveries in the middle part of the country have been, to date, more egalitarian, with incomes rising quickly among a broader number of workers. At the same time, minority incomes in cities such as Houston, Dallas, Miami, and Phoenix tend be far higher, when compared to the incomes of Anglos, than they do in places like San Francisco, New York, or Boston. In these opportunity cities, minority homeownership—a clear demarcation of middle income aspiration—is often twice as high as it is in the epicenters of the ephemeral economy.
Under current circumstances, the centers of the ephemeral economy such as New York or San Francisco cannot accommodate large numbers of upwardly mobile people, particularly families. These, for better or worse, have been vast gated communities that are too expensive, and too economically narrow, to accommodate most people, except those with either inherited money or elite educations. This is why Texas—which has created roughly eight times as many jobs as California since 2007 and has accounted for nearly one-third of all GDP growth since the crash—remains a beacon of opportunity, and the preferred place for migrants, a slot that used to belong to the Golden State."

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At 2:50 PM, February 03, 2015, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The experiences you have in the tunnels pale in comparison to the experiences you have on street level. Plus, why would anyone want to miss out on seeing all the new construction and architecture as they walk around downtown?

Downtown Houston: A Love Story Set to Music


Houston #12

For the Best U.S. Architecture Per Square Mile, Head to Dallas
New York has the nation's tallest skyscraper. Chicago has some fancy buildings. But one city wins when it comes to sheer density of urban design.

Houston comes in at a close second. Steven Holl's expansion for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will not only add a signature building to a district that's already chock-a-block with them, it will upgrade the urban fabric connecting these buildings across the neighborhood...


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