Monday, July 04, 2005

Jobs in the core: Houston vs. other cities

The proposed new east-west light rail line got me thinking about Houston's core job centers: downtown, the Texas Medical Center (TMC), Greenway Plaza, and Uptown/Galleria - which will all be pretty well connected by the new network. Here's how they stack up jobs-wise, on a numerical and percent-of-region basis, in 2000 and 2025 according to HGAC projections:
  • Downtown CBD: 154K (7.1%) -> 179K (5.2%)
  • Uptown/Galleria: 116K (5.3%) -> 141K (4.1%)
  • Medical Center: 88K (4%) -> 108K (3.1%)
  • Greenway: 65K (3%) -> 80K (2.3%)
  • --------------------------------------------------------
  • Total: 423K (19.4%) -> 508K (14.7%)
If you're wondering how the numbers can grow but the percentage drop: the total number of jobs in the Houston region is expected to grow from 2,178K to 3,469K in 2025, with most of the growth outside the core.

Now, here's the interesting part: stack those up against some of the biggest cities in the country. These are the best stats I could find (bottom table), with two caveats: they are from 1990, which is a bit dated, and they are downtown/CBD only, which is not an entirely fair comparison to our four core job centers in aggregate. That said, our four job centers might make an odd shape but are very comparable to Manhattan on a land area basis (16m of light rail + 4m Uptown BRT = 20m total length x 1/2m on each side x 2 sides = 20 sq. miles vs. 23 sq. miles for Manhattan).

So, New York blows everybody away with 1.7 million jobs in Manhattan. But our total of 423K/19.4% compares very favorably vs. #2 Chicago (336K/9%) and #3 Washington DC (324K/14%), even allowing for their growth during the 90s or if you want to include some of their non-CBD job centers. I thought we might stack up pretty well, but not #2. Quite the impressive surprise.


At 3:08 AM, July 06, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CBD = Commercial business district?

At 8:31 AM, July 06, 2005, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

CBD = Central Business District


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