Wednesday, July 26, 2017

COU Houston video, market urbanism, Super Bowl impact on HTX, open transportation markets in TX, and more

Before getting to this week's items, I want to put in a plug for Scott Beyer's new Market Urbanism Report website (introductory video here). Definitely worth checking out and subscribing if you're a fan of the type of stuff I discuss on this blog. His intro:
"For about a decade, there’s been a growing bipartisan consensus that America’s cities need liberalization. This consensus formed because of the problems our cities now face thanks to government control. Urban housing supply has been artificially limited by regulations, causing price inflation; publicly-run transportation systems create gridlock and delay; and other services are riddled with patronage."
Definitely check it out. And here's a good introduction to market urbanism to go with it, with three key arguments:
  1. Housing is expensive, in part, because of bad regulations.
  2. Don’t underrate the importance of bottom-up solutions to urban problems.
  3. More money isn’t the solution to America’s urban transit woes.
Moving on to this week's items:
"No city in America runs on anything resembling a free-market model. But Texas' major cities are probably the closest thing, with vast improvements to their economies and living standards to show for it. Their looser land-use laws mean that housing supply grows quickly, stabilizing prices. Their lighter tax and regulatory structure helps businesses locate there and grow. And—shenanigans from the governor's office notwithstanding—their openness to immigrants means they have cheap and robust labor forces.
Another thing Texas' toll roads have accomplished is greater mobility. The Dallas and Houston metros, in particular, have been the nation’s two fastest-growing metros by net population since 2010. But their congestion levels are not as bad as similar-size metros, according to traffic studies by Inrix and TomTom. This is because they've expanded highway capacity to accommodate population growth, acknowledging that the laws of supply and demand apply to roads like with anything else. Perhaps more crucially, though, they’ve priced the use of these roads, to avoid a tragedy of the commons. And it has worked at creating many excellent, self-funded roads: as I can attest from having lived last summer in Houston, Dallas and Austin, toll roads proliferate throughout each metro, are free-flowing, and charge users electronically, so that they're not having to stop and pay at booths."
"In many ways, Houston’s Super Bowl was a tremendous success. On the field, it was perhaps the most exciting game in the 51-year history of the event. The weather was perfect, the mild Texas winter providing a comfortable respite for visiting fans and media. For locals and visitors alike, the events at Discovery Green and throughout the Super Bowl Live experience offered engagement with the event regardless of whether they could afford a (minimum) four-figure ticket to the game itself. Taylor Swift had a good time! So did Sting, The Goo Goo Dolls, Travi$ $cott, and the other entertainers who visited and performed for the crowds.
Still, even with the fuzzy math of an economic impact report, the Houston Super Bowl was a success.
The impact of Super Bowl 51 on Houston also highlights the significance of events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, or SXSW and the Austin City Limits Festival in Austin... Cities around the country compete, year after year, with aggressive bids for the chance to host Super Bowls. The Rodeo happens every year and brings in more money, while SXSW annually serves as a recurring pitch to the 85,000 or so people who come to town that Austin is a cool place to live, work, run a business, and spend money. No matter the exact numbers, the Super Bowl seems to have worked out for Houston—but the most impactful events seem to be the ones that are annually in our backyard."
Finally, our COU video on Houston has just been released! I'm really proud of it - it came out great. Definitely check it out - it'll make you proud to be a Houstonian.

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At 4:11 PM, July 28, 2017, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't use "HTX." That's what people from Austin say. Houston has always been "HOU." Otherwise, please keep up the great work!

At 4:30 PM, July 28, 2017, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Thanks! I know that's a point of debate, but I prefer HTX, since it differentiates from HOU Hobby Airport. Plus anything with TX is inherently cool ;-)

At 8:08 AM, July 31, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:09 AM, July 31, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

Look how much money the left is leaving on the table!

At 8:23 AM, July 31, 2017, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

How do you mean?

At 8:51 AM, July 31, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

Read the link, the chart shows the difference between GDP per capita and RPP per capita.

At 10:59 AM, July 31, 2017, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I'll be honest, I had some trouble interpreting the chart. Can you give a more detailed explanation?

At 12:22 PM, July 31, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

Take the gdp of the msa and subtract the gdp rpp of the same msa is approximately the wealth the msa leaves at the table because of bad housing policies.

At 12:28 PM, July 31, 2017, Blogger George Rogers said...

The chart shows the absolute difference between nominal gdp and rpp gdp.

At 4:23 PM, July 31, 2017, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Ah. Gotcha. Very cool! Definitely quantifies Houston's cost advantage!


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