Thursday, October 19, 2006

Misc: Houston tops for singles, urban sprawl myth, extra income in Houston, commutes, humor

Time again to clear out the backlog of miscellaneous small items.
  • From the Houstonist, Houston was recently ranked #5 in the country for relocating young singles, ahead of places like Portland, Seattle, Dallas, SF, LA, and Denver. The four ahead of us are Nashville (!?), Austin, Atlanta, and New York. As usual with these kinds of rankings, there are a few screwy criteria. Sustainable water supplies? I'm sure that's a top factor of consideration by young singles everywhere...
  • A post on Reason's blog about a detailed satellite image study saying sprawl hasn't increased since 1976. There is more development, of course, it just isn't any more scattered than it used to be.
  • A census release on household spending for shelter by city. As you would expect, Houston is pretty darn affordable at $8,706 per year on average, or about 18.1% of total household expenditures. We're not the cheapest city, but on a percentage of income basis, we're awfully close. A city of cheap housing and high average salaries = substantial discretionary income = increased city vibrancy. Those "opportunity dollars" fund small business creation and growth/hiring, higher education, charitable giving, and support for restaurants, arts and entertainment amenities.
  • A recent article on changes in commuter behavior, including increasing suburb-to-suburb commutes instead of suburb-to-central-city. That is one of the reasons why commuter rail is a bad idea, but distributed, point-to-point express bus/car/vanpool transit in MaX lanes is a good idea.
  • This is not a political blog, but if you didn't catch Nick Anderson's animated editorial cartoon on Hillary Clinton over at the Chronicle web site, you need to take a look. Nick is an equal-opportunity satirist, and this should be pretty hilarious to both sides.
Enjoy the cool weather and have a great weekend.


At 5:50 PM, October 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone in Houston saying urban sprawl is a myth is like someone in Pyongyang saying communism is a myth. You can say there's nothing wrong with it, but don't tell me it doesn't exist.

At 7:12 PM, October 26, 2006, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

It's not that it doesn't exist, just that it's relatively the same as it was 30 years ago, vs. the conventional thinking that sprawl has "grown out of control" only recently.

At 12:01 AM, October 27, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough.


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