Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The booming population of downtown Houston

I eagerly searched a recent Brookings report on the population growth of downtowns for information specific to Houston. The good news is we had an incredible 200% growth rate during the 1990s. The bad news is, well, in this footnote from the report:
Many cities have historically viewed their
downtowns as repositories for locally
unwanted land uses, especially prisons,
homeless shelters, group homes for delinquents,
and treatment facilities for the
addicted. For example, Houston, which is
not included in this study, represents an
extreme case as 81 percent of its downtown
population is incarcerated. Their increase
in the 1990s yielded a growth rate for the
city of more than 200 percent. Subtracting
inmates, Houston actually lost downtown
population in the 1990s. Downtowns in the
sample cities with high proportions of prisoners
are: Pittsburgh (34 percent), Cleveland
(23 percent), Indianapolis (23
percent), San Antonio (22 percent), Charlotte
(16 percent), and Milwaukee (12 percent).
In the 1990s, these places built more
jails, collectively increasing the number of
incarcerated by 53 percent.
I still find it hard to believe we actually lost downtown population during the 1990s, esp. if you were to consider Midtown as really an extended part of downtown - or consider the new residential just east of Minute Maid and the GRB. But, hey, at least you can say we have high-density residential downtown - although I don't think the guards encourage a very pedestrian-friendly environment...


At 9:59 PM, November 30, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what do the other 19% do for a living?

At 12:55 PM, December 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5,275 words... don't ever do that again.

At 2:12 PM, December 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

drbloggingon, that was some awesome smack! Loved every word of it.

100% uppercase no less!


At 8:07 PM, December 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michelle? Michelle Malkin? Is that you?

At 2:15 PM, August 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the first to say that I'm not the best at grammar , but good lord, other than the fact that you have an obvious love of caps lock, your grammar really sucks.
I honestly think you must have some situation in your own life that leads you to verbally assault anyone that has a life anywhere near as difficult as your own. I'm sorry if your own life has been that hard, but you should understand that many other people out there have had bad things happen in life that lead them where they are.
I bet you're thinking that I'm just talking a buch of BS , but I am being thrown out of my own home in the next few days. Thankfully the girl I was with is giving me the choice to either leave or get myself on my feet.
I'll find a way, one way or another, to live and make my living on my own so that ignorant people like you have nothing to complain about. It must be SO hard on you having hungry people ask for some help, god your day must be so rough after that. What do you do? go cry in your hot tub?
Go yell and scream your point at the mirror because no one else in their right mind cares until you confront your own issues.

At 12:59 PM, April 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can actually speak from a homeless perspective and agree a lot with what the writer says. I got myself in trouble through drinking, debt, and mental health issues ignored. But I have two degrees and am once again employed as a a professional. Over a period of three years I lived at Star of Hope and other places downtown. I agree that many organizations support dysfunction. Not intentionally, but there is no incentive for many to get help as you first have to want to get better yourself. There are many substance abuse issus, of course, and these people have no issue with panhandling and in general trying to suck any and all into to their dysfunctional hell. There are so many around downtown now that there is no way police are going to arrest anyone for panhandling or vagrancy. I also know that there are plenty of places to get free food, clothing, health care (both mental and physical) but many are too lazy or strung out to get to these places during hours of operation and can't behave properly when there. I agree that though a personal choice, no one should give a panhandler money. I can tell you from personal experience that this is never used for the bus, food, a phone call, etc. I'm all for cracking down on the abuses of the homeless in places such as the downtowns anywhere. Public goods are not meant to be the homes for the dysfunctional who have so little respect for themselves that substance abuse is preferred to a roof over ones head and a decent meal. There are plenty of free substance abuse programs available too. I'm definitely not without compassion and if it takes more programs to accommodate all, then I'm all for more taxes to finance them. But a core trait amongst abusers as extreme selfishness and that all around them should bow to their dysfunctional needs. I'm over it all!!


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