Monday, November 07, 2016

Standard of living city rankings, best city in TX?, our development future, and more

I know it's been a long time since my last post and I apologize - travel and an overloaded calendar have been conspiring against me.  I have a whole lot of backlogged content, but here's a good bit of it:
"For second-ranked Houston, the challenge is much different. Houston’s average pay per job is 30 percent above the metropolitan average, which converts to a near duplicate 29 percent higher COU Standard of Living Index, when adjusted for the cost of living. Houston’s future success will require retention its favorable housing affordability and high pay per job. The upheavals in the energy industry could result in lower pay per job in the future." 
"Tory Gattis, founding senior fellow at Houston-based think tank Center for Opportunity Urbanism, envisions the Houston region developing into nine suburban "villages" that would grow to have populations as large as 1 million each. Those "villages" - The Woodlands, Kingwood/Humble, Baytown, Clear Lake/League City, Pearland, Sugar Land, Katy, Cypress and Tomball - would be in addition to the 2 million to 3 million people living in Houston. 
In order for that to work, Gattis said, the outer regions would have to work with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to provide express park-and-ride services to downtown, the Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza and other urban job centers.
Gattis predicts more mixed-use buildings and high-rises in the urban core, a small number of which will be met with resistance from lower-density neighborhoods around them. The biggest tensions will arise from mobility challenges should more employers move away from the inner city. 
In an age of the self-driving car, Gattis says people will be more apt to move farther from the city center, no matter how it affects their commutes. 
"They can do email and be productive in the car," he said, "even if it's an hour and a half."
Finally, Scott Beyer has spent a month each living in each of the major Texas Triangle cities.  Which was his favorite?  Sorry, Austin... ;-)

What Is The Best City In Texas?
"Houston is easily my favorite Texas city, because it combines the best aspects of the other three. The metro area is similar in size to Dallas, and has the same rapid growth, ethnic diversity, and global feel. In fact, Dallas and Houston sit alone together as America’s foremost boomtowns, each growing by more than 144,000 last year throughout the metro area (the third place MSA, Atlanta, grew by a mere 95,000). But, like San Antonio and Austin, Houston has remained more tasteful than Dallas, with numerous interior neighborhoods that are urban, walkable, and separated from the innards of the city. 
Not only is Houston Texas’ best city; it is among a handful of emerging ones in the U.S.—including Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Denver, Atlanta and Seattle—that will become the dense infill cities of tomorrow, joining the coastal legacy cities. The thing that differentiates Houston from the others, though, is that it doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles to stop this fundamentally market-oriented process. The city has no zoning code, which means a range of densities, uses and architectural styles can go anywhere in the city. 
The folk wisdom is that this turned Houston into a sprawling mess like Dallas. But densification is already happening in Clutch City. This year it will lead the nation in multi-family housing construction, with 25,935 units entering the market (Dallas is #2 at 23,159). Much of this is going up rapidly via mid-rises in interior neighborhoods like Midtown, Montrose and Rice Military. Houston has the highest Walk Score of Texas’ big cities. Dallas, meanwhile, may feel more fragmented because of the low-density zoning in its central areas."

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At 6:33 AM, November 10, 2016, Blogger George Rogers said...

Also San Jose is not a complete metro it needs to be combined with SF and have Oakland drag its numbers down.

At 5:10 PM, November 10, 2016, Blogger George Rogers said...

If you count SF/SJ together by multiplying the average salary of SF and SJ by their respective population and dividing by combined population yields $56828.88, then Houston is number 1 and SF/SJ falls to seventh just ahead of Atlanta, with And this is before taxes.

At 6:38 PM, November 10, 2016, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Great catch! We should have done that!

At 6:40 PM, November 10, 2016, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I'll see if we can do that when we do the rankings again next year. Thanks for the heads up George. Great idea.


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