Houston

Applying the Urbanophile's Beliefs About Cities to Houston

Last month The Urbanophile posted his statement of beliefs about cities, and a lot of them resonated with me about Houston.  Here are some favorite excerpts along with my own thoughts.  read more »

A New Brand for Houston

"We've probably spent in excess of $75 million in the past 30 years on image campaigns, and we keep coming back and saying, 'Well, that didn't work.'"

 - Former GHCVB CEO Jordy Tollett in the Houston Business Journal  read more »

Subjects:

Houston's Walled Garden

My friend Neal and I were in a tall building recently looking out over the city, and noted that there is an interesting phenomenon in Houston.  There are now enough tall buildings to almost outline a new zone.  read more »

A Better Plan to Save the Astrodome

Setting aside my own wishes for the Astrodome, and just looking at the plan recently presented by the HCSCC to Commissioners Court, there is a very simple fix that will make saving the Astrodome *much* more likely.

Current Plan  read more »

Making Waves on the Third Coast

If you’re looking for some good news in the U.S. economy, you might want to head to the warm, energy rich Gulf Coast. You wouldn’t be alone in making that move; over the past decade the “Third Coast”—extending from south Texas to the Gulf of Mexico—enjoyed 12% job growth, or about twice the national average.

This is remarkable given that the region was socked with several devastating hurricanes, including Katrina in 2005. New Orleans’ population, for instance, is still well below its pre-Katrina level, although now gaining steadily.  read more »

Major Texas Metro Areas Are Confirming Failures in Rail Transit

Despite the success of the Main St. line, I've been concerned for a long time now that the next set of rail lines will essentially bankrupt Metro while providing minimal benefit (except for possibly the Universities line, which has moderate benefits, but may not get built anytime soon because of the money drain of the other lines being built first).  Now the Coalition On Sustainable Transportation (COST) has come out with the numbers from other cities (especially Dallas) that don't bode well for Houston at all.  read more »

Houston's Not Resilient? Really?

Alert reader Jessie sent me this article about Houston ranking "very low" on a "resilience capacity index".  For real.  I was dumbfounded too. And now I'm going to post out-of-character and get a little snippy...  read more »

Attracting National and Global Tourists to Houston

PWC ranked Houston #11 *in the world* for business, life, and innovation - a really amazingly high ranking when you think about it.  Here's what they said:  read more »

Subjects:

Giving the "New Houston Metro" Credit Where it's Due

Tuesday, the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) held a blogger luncheon with senior Metro people (Chairman, CEO, board members, managers) at the Rail Operations Center south of Reliant.  It was an informative event with a lot of good two-way Q&A.  And it included an impressive tour of the facility, which, btw, is not air conditioned in the main maintenance bay.  Let's just say it was the right time of year for a tour and I'm really glad I don't work there in the summer.  read more »

The Real Answer to Houston's Traffic Congestion

The Houston Chronicle editorial board recently argued that light rail is key to combating Houston's traffic congestion problems. But if you look at the three cities with worse traffic congestion than Houston - DC, Chicago, and LA - they have much more transit, including tons of light rail in LA. Transit clearly hasn't solved the problem in these cities. These people aren't stuck in that traffic because they like it - it's because the transit doesn't go where they need to go or isn't timely.  read more »