Sunday, September 22, 2019

What Hawaii can learn from Houston, our tourism niche, metro population racing, and more

Just a few items this week:
  • Very cool animated "bar race chart" of metro areas adding the most population between 2011 and 2018.  As you can see, Houston was #1 much of it while oil boomed and the rest of the country struggled to get out of the 2008 crash.  But then the rest of the economy took off, oil faded, and Harvey happened but we're still resilient enough to be #3, just getting edged out by Phoenix as California baby boomers cash out of their inflated houses and retire somewhere much cheaper but with easy access to kids and grandkids they leave behind in CA.  Watch NYC, LA, and SF all drop like a rock as they become increasingly unaffordable.
  • New Geography: On the Houston Chronicle editorial crusade against fossil fuels.  I've always felt the Chronicle was pretty fair about publishing opinions on all sides of an issue, but there have been a lot of personnel changes over there in recent years. I hope that's still the case.
  • Houston with kids: A far-out adventure in Texas. The reason I post this is because it directly supports my tourism strategy for Houston:  a "Washington DC/Smithsonian of STEM" aimed at families inspiring their kids into STEM fields (more here).  It's a niche no other city can lay claim to yet, and we already have a ton of strong assets here.
  • Houston Strategies from 2006 on Chron Wayback machine. As you can see it hasn't changed, lol.  My design is sort of stuck, and that's because I have a legacy Blogspot template that can't be upgraded to a newer design without either a lot of work outside my expertise or losing my archive of old posts.  Hope you don't mind the old format.  I'm kinda assuming the content matters more to my readers than a slick modern design ;-) Hat tip to Rich for the catch.
Finally, a video of my half-hour interview on Hawaiian TV last week about what Hawaii can learn from Houston’s lack of zoning as well as opportunity urbanism.  Horrendous housing supply and cost problem in Hawaii with 95% of the land protected from development.

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