Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ashby, top rankings, smarter city, vs. Chicago way, importing talent, and more

Just back from a family visit to SoCal, and the smaller items have been stacking up fast...
  • NYT op-ed on how young people are less and less willing to move.  I think the rise of the Internet is a big factor - it can satisfy those bouts of boredom or restlessness that push people to move, either virtually or by helping you discover new options in your own region - plus I think we might also be learning the true value of social networks and how they relate to our happiness.  In any case, it means Houston will need to work harder on growing our own highly educated talent, because importing it is just getting harder and harder.  UPDATE: NYT story on the depressing long-term homesickness often found in people who move for economic reasons.
  • The Economist on the Chicago way.  Another reason to be thankful you live in Texas and no-zoning Houston...
"...the report documents a pattern of crime that has become synonymous with the Chicago or Illinois “way” of doing things. All the corrupt governors and 26 of the aldermen had tried to extract bribes from builders, developers, business owners and those seeking to do business with the city or the state. Those who paid bribes either assumed, or were told, that payment was necessary for zoning changes, building permits or any other government action."

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At 8:36 PM, March 20, 2012, Anonymous Neal Meyer said...

"Pretty interesting NYT story on the topic of "how many people can Manhattan hold?" It's nowhere near full compared to some of the denser cities of the world."

Tory, Mahnhattan is some 28 square miles and has some 1.8 - 2 million people, which works out to 60,000+ per square mile.

When I visited Shanghai back in 1991, the inner core of the city, which was some 55 square miles, had an estimated population of 12 million. That worked out to some 220,000 people per square mile.

Human settlements can be extremely dense, but there is also the subject of people's preferences to take into account, and that's an entirely different matter altogether.

At 8:50 PM, March 20, 2012, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Total agreement. I just like how the article points out that New Yorkers think their city is "full", but not really compared to some other cities, including those in developed countries like Tokyo.

At 10:17 PM, March 20, 2012, Anonymous I AM SO ANGRY said...

Tory, not so sure about the River Oaks comparison for high-rise living.

All of the high rises in that area are on major arterials which also have large retail and mixed-use properties. Some of the "River Oaks" high rises are really just adjacent and would have little or no impact on property values.

There is no existing building above five stories in South Hampton / Boulevard Oaks of any kind.

Bissonnet with its two lanes is not an arterial... it can barely handle the rush hour traffic when there are no accidents, no rain and streets are in good repair.

At 10:47 PM, March 20, 2012, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I agree it's not totally comparable, but I did read that the traffic study found less than a 1% traffic impact on Bissonnet.

At 12:24 AM, March 21, 2012, Blogger Nathan Gaber said...

I'd also point out that the South Hampton residents partially brought the traffic problems upon themselves as they shut down an expansion of Bissonnet that was planned about a decade, if I remember correctly.

At 12:01 PM, March 22, 2012, Blogger Jardinero1 said...

Many Southhampton residents have very short memories and don't recall how the character of the old Southhampton with its tiny bungalows was destroyed by the current crop of residents with their two and three story townhomes and McMansions which were most unwelcome at the time of their construction.

A high rise development will have very little impact on traffic. A retail development has a huge impact on traffic, especially during lunch and evening rush hour. Southhampton residents should be grateful for the highrise and thankful that a retail strip was not developed there instead. Most of the traffic in Southhampton is the direct result of its proximity to Kirby and Rice retail shopping. Ironically, this same proximity to retail is what makes Southhampton such a desirable neighborhood.


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