Announcing the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, new rankings, downtown tunnels, The Texas Miracle, and moreI 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...
- Houston ranked the #2 best cities for singles (behind Miami). Take that New York, LA, San Francisco, and Austin!
- Houston is #4 on the list of best cities for Hispanics
- Texas has created nearly one of every four jobs nationwide since 2009
- The Atlantic on The Texas Miracle
- Houston #1 for STEM jobs.
- Great arguments in support of downtown's tunnel system, instead of the constant lament that they "kill the street life".
"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."