Houston demonstrates social mobility, attracts millenials, ranks #1 for charity, beats Dallas; fixing transit to Galveston, and more
Lots of items this week:
"Notably, cities where incomes grew at the top overlapped very little with those where incomes grew at the bottom. Of the 11 cities where 20th-percentile incomes increased by a statistically significant margin from 2012 to 2013, just two (Jacksonville and Houston) also posted gains at the 95th percentile."
- Can somebody explain to me why it's news that low-income individuals can't afford median-price apartments? (which, btw, have on average more than one bedroom, so are really designed to accommodate two or more anyway) Why would you ask if bottom of the bell curve incomes can afford middle of the bell curve rents? Wouldn't it make more sense to see if median-income individuals can afford median-price one-bedroom apartments, and assume that low-incomers are going to be renting the half of apartments below the median? It just seems like a strange mismatch of a comparison to me.
- Forget New York and San Francisco; Millennials are flocking to Houston, according to Bloomberg LP - Houston Business Journal
- Houston ranks #1 in national charity rankings. I think Houston's strong philanthropic culture is one of our great unsung strengths.
- Interesting infographic on where people are moving and which cities and metros are the most dense (and increasing). Houston is in there. Hat tip to Matt.
- Growth Concentrated in Most Suburbanized Core Cities. "An analysis of the just-released municipal population trends shows that core city growth is centered in the municipalities that have the largest percentage of their population living in suburban (or exurban) neighborhoods." In other words, cities that let their suburbs grow the most also enable their urban core to grow the most.
- Hooray for this - I love Houston's responsiveness: New fee to speed review process for developers
- An interesting analysis of "transit deserts" in Houston, identifying areas where METRO needs to improve bus service for the people who truly need it outside the loop instead of more light rail in the core.
- Houston ranks #9 on the Brookings list of the hottest 15 metros for advanced industries, ahead of Austin at #11. Not bad, and not bad company on the list (sorry, Dallas ;-)
- METRO doesn't do too badly on this chart of how much each transit agency loses/tax-subsidizes per trip. It's a reasonably efficient system, and one that hopefully will get more so when the bus system redesign rolls out in August. We certainly do *much* better than Dallas DART, which sank way too much money into underutilized rail - glad we didn't make (as much of) that mistake. We made a superior strategic choice to use Park-and-Ride HOV buses for long-distance commuting. Hat tip to Mihir.
Finally, a Chronicle piece on how difficult it is to use transit to get from Houston to Galveston
, which reminded me of my old proposal to move the Clear Lake Park-and-Ride to Space Center Houston
to improve tourist access. It would be pretty awesome if both Metro and Island Transit cut a deal with Space Center Houston to use their underutilized-on-weekdays parking lot for Park-and-Ride service, enabling tourists both from Houston and Galveston (like cruise-shippers) to visit NASA (Houston’s #1 tourist attraction) while also creating a natural Houston-Galveston connection…
Labels: affordability, commuter rail, density, economy, growth, Metro, mobility strategies, NASA, opportunity urbanism, philanthropy, rail, rankings, sprawl, tourism, transit