Monday, November 16, 2009

Houston=Brooklyn? plus rankings, not-so-smart growth, anti-poverty incentives, mixed-use difficulties

Clearing out some smaller items:
  • In case you missed it, Randal O'Toole had a must-read Sunday Chronicle op-ed on how smart growth would not save Houston from future Ashby high-rises, and in fact would create more.
  • New Geography: Smart Growth loses Houston mayor's race. Hat tip to Josh.
  • Has anybody seen a chart similar this one for Texas or other states? Note to politicians: incentives to stay in poverty are not good.
  • An older Dallas Morning News article I recently came across on the difficulty of filling the ground-level retail space in mixed-use projects, which seem to be more popular with planners than with retailers, usually because of the difficulties of access/parking. The upper-floor residential is not enough to support the shops or restaurants. This may become more of a problem in Houston as development happens under the Urban Corridors ordinance near the LRT stations. Hat tip to Neal.
  • From the national DMIBlog: Is Houston becoming the new Brooklyn? Not much news here, but might be of interest if you want to see an outsider's perspective. Hat tip to Jessie.
  • The Milken Institute has released its 2009 Best Performing Cities list. Houston scores very well at #5, up from #16 last year and by far the largest metro in the top 10. Austin is #1, and Texas has 9 of the top 25. Hat tip to Neal.
  • Continuing the rankings theme, a few cultural ones from Travel and Leisure magazine (out of 30 cities):
  1. Theater: Houston #5, Austin 23, San Antonio 24, Dallas 27.
  2. Museums: Houston #8, Dallas 24.
  3. Classical Music: Houston #5, Dallas 22.
A nice sweep of our in-state rivals, and not a very close one at that. Hat tip to Brian.

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At 7:38 PM, November 22, 2009, Anonymous Dale Napier said...

McAllen is #4 in the nation? That all by itself is enough to raise questions about the validity of the entire survey, or at least the methodology. Something is missing here, like a visit to McAllen.

At 3:52 PM, November 24, 2009, Blogger ws said...

McAllen has is a very cheap city to live in yet has one the highest costs per capita for medicare. Someone needs to define "best performing" for us all.


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