Thursday, November 29, 2007

Family-friendly, Bill White, winning cities, NIMBYs, and more

Catching up again on some smaller misc items:
" analysis of migration data by my colleagues at the Praxis Strategy Group shows that the strongest job growth has consistently taken place in those regions—such as Houston, Dallas, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham—with the largest net in-migration of young, educated families ranging from their mid-20s to mid-40s. Urban centers that have been traditional favorites for young singles, such as Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, have experienced below-average job and population growth since 2000."
"For every doubling in city size, there's a 14 to 27 percent increase in productivity per worker."

Growth => Higher Productivity => Higher Pay => Higher Standard of Living => More $ to support a vibrant city. So the pain of growth is worth the payoff.
  • Minnesota is a little upset after Norway announced they're closing their Minneapolis consulate, even though the upper Midwest has the largest concentration of ancestral Norwegians in the country:

"Three other Norwegian career consulates in the United States will remain open, in New York, San Francisco and Houston. Embassy officials defend those choices as strategic; Houston, for instance, has significance for Norway’s oil interests.

For Minnesotans, that is one more rub.

“Houston?” asked the 80-year-old Mrs. Amundson, laughing faintly. “Houston, Texas?”

"New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston held the top four spots in terms of the highest percentage of 25 to 34-year-olds in both 2000 and 2006."

You can play with the table rankings yourself here, although it's important to note that it's city data, not metro.
  • Courtesy of HAIF, a slightly humorous and very sterotyped China Airlines commercial for their Taiwan-Seattle-Houston service.
  • Randal makes a good argument that planning bureaucracies (inc. zoning) aggravate NIMBY-ism:
"Crook’s second argument against homeownership is that “communities of homeowners tend to act as cartels–calling for zoning rules that suppress new development.” Again, this only happens where planning laws tell people they are entitled to have a say on what happens on other people’s private land. There are lots of NIMBYs in Oregon and California, whose state planning laws give everyone the right to challenge what happens on anyone else’s land. There are few NIMBYs in Texas, where property rights are still respected.
Take away planning and you take away the problem with unemployment. Take away planning and you take away the problem with NIMBYs. Take away planning and you take away the problem with housing bubbles."
That's it. Have a great weekend.

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At 11:33 PM, November 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And when the Sun Belt lures those younger people, those cities are going to change and become more like those pesky "it" cities. I moved here from a urban city for a job but I am not going to suddenly move to Katy and buy a tract home with 2.5 kids. Although I know I won't get the urban experience I had back East, it would be nice to have SOME of it. I'm hardly alone. So thins will change; who knows we might even hear the cursed "z" word come up again soon.

After all, remember that LA was pretty much a Sunbelt city back around the War. Everything changes.

At 6:49 AM, November 30, 2007, Blogger Unknown said...

"There are few NIMBYs in Texas..."

Now, that's NOT true. Houston and other Texas cities have lots of NIMBYs; they are just less empowered than NIMBYs in, say, California. And Texas suburbs have land use regulations as strict as any in California. Consider Sugar Land: they have lane use zoning that completely excludes many uses, really strict form-based zoning, and some ridiculous architecture design guidelines that, for exmaple, required an Eckerd store to glue styrafoam arches on the facade.

In fact, I suspect that part of the reason that Houston does not have use-based zoning is that many of the people who would want it have moved to the suburbs, where they find the tightly controlled environment they want.

At 11:21 AM, November 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The commercial is brilliant - the cowboy and the indian become friends, thanks to China Airlines.


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