Delay renovating NRG, don't incentivize local movies, USA rail beats Europe, Astrodome, anti-zoning PSA, visualizing our density, good gentrification, and moreQuite the backlog of items to get through this week:
- Why do we want to incentivize movies to be filmed here? Not only is it a waste of taxpayer dollars (Hollywood goes with whoever gives them the most money), incentive movies I've seen out of Atlanta and NOLA make those cities look like crime-infested war zones! Why would we want to give the same image to Houston?! Or any Texas city?
- Good suggestion from Purple City on encouraging raised floor homes to open up more land for rain absorption and reduce runoff and flooding.
- A compelling argument for why America does rail better and far more efficiently than Europe
- Hilarious! “Talk to Your Friends About Zoning”: A PSA Campaign for the NIMBY in Your Life
- The Astrodome Conservancy has big plans for activating it! "Sports, sculptures, stargazing: What could be in store for the Astrodome"
- Speaking of the Astrodome, a great argument for saving it!
- Companies fleeing California look at Arizona and Texas. Hat tip to Sheila.
- NY Post extolls Houston's restaurant scene, with consolations to Austin.
- The infographic is too large to embed here, but check out visualizations of Houston's population density showing how big we would be if we had other cities' densities, from as low as 21.3 sq.miles if we had Manila density to 13,121 sq.miles if we were the same as Anchorage! (vs. our actual city size of 599 sq.miles) And note that we are more dense than both Austin and Dallas - thank you, no-zoning.
- The Atlantic: In Defense of Gentrification. Turns out it actually has good effects on the residents living there.
"While the gentrification narrative (having rich neighbors makes life harder for poor people) is common, news stories seldom promote the narrative of concentrated poverty (having mostly poor neighbors makes life harder for the poor), which is both more prevalent and demonstrably more harmful."Finally, Houston beats Dallas handily for Super Bowl hosting, but we're still not likely to get it again anytime soon. There's just too much new/renovated stadium competition out there. In fact, despite their last disaster, Dallas is likely to get it again before we do because of their palatial $1B stadium. Other cities in the pipeline include Atlanta, Minneapolis, Miami, NOLA, Phoenix, and a $2 billion behemoth being built in LA (count on at least two Super Bowls there after it's built). If we're going to renovate NRG to make another run at a Super Bowl, it sounds like we need to wait at least half a decade or more for the NFL's hosting backlog to clear out before doing it. Why invest a ton in NRG now when the upgrades may already be out of date by the time our next potential Super Bowl slot opens up??