Sunday, April 26, 2015

ULI finally respects Houston, better federal transit funding, growth, rankings, New Zealand, and more

Lots of big news this week about TXDoT's proposed expansion and revamping of I45N, including eliminating the Pierce Elevated downtown, but I'm going to hold off posting about it until I get a chance to go to the Tuesday public meeting information session.  Instead let's clear out some smaller misc items this week:
  • ULI writes a positive article about Houston! (who would have predicted?) I think planner attitudes are starting to turn our way as they see how vibrant and diverse our open approach is.  Goes into detail about Houston’s approach to land-use regulation. Whenever you hear criticisms of the "Houston way" of development, send them this article.  Hat tip to Josh.
“Proponents of “the Houston way” argue that its combination of patchwork regulation and local control provides valuable flexibility to respond quickly to market shifts and reduces costs for developers, while still protecting neighborhoods’ character and ensuring quality in the built environment.”
"Some of the others in our top 10 are not as renowned as tech centers, but have experienced rapid growth over the past decade. The biggest surprise may be No. 4 Houston, which enjoyed a 42.3% expansion of jobs in tech industries and a big 37.8% boost in STEM jobs from 2004-14. Much of the growth was in the now sputtering energy industry, but also medical-related technology, which continues to grow rapidly. Houston is the home to the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest concentration of medical facilities. It also ranks second to San Jose in engineers per capita."
Finally, Randal O' Toole at Cato has a great idea for a better way to allocate federal transit funding - more equitable with fewer rail boondoggles.  It might actually get traction in the Republican Congress.  Full report here.

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2 Comments:

At 2:56 PM, April 29, 2015, Anonymous Rich said...

Here's a prominent real estate developer in Houston who is publicly calling for greater mass transit here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/breaking-ground/2015/04/gerald-hines-calls-for-more-mass-transit-in.html

The article doesn't mention the importance of Metro's potentially incentivizing entrepreneurship by outsourcing more with its lofty budget (80% of which comes from us taxpayers). What if a law is passed that FORCES Metro to outsource more, sort of like the federal law that NASA has to abide by?

 
At 12:22 AM, May 03, 2015, Anonymous Rich said...

Houston is once again among the ten smoggiest cities in the USA:

http://www.chron.com/news/science-environment/article/Houston-among-the-smoggiest-cities-in-the-U-S-6234292.php#photo-5811777

Air pollution has recently been found to accelerate the aging of the brain, too:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/air-pollution-tied-to-brain-aging/?_r=1

***

http://stroke.ahajournals.org/content/46/5/1161.abstract


Rail expansion is overpriced here in Houston, but unlike buses rail doesn't pollute...

 

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