Doing Houston Wrong


Last August, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, causing massive flooding in the Houston area and likely becoming one of the most expensive disasters (current estimate: $81.5 billion) in U.S. history. In the aftermath, Houstonians rallied to rebuild and look after one another, but they did so with the echoes of a persistent chorus of criticism ringing in their ears: Houston, critics said, was partially to blame for what had happened.  read more »

Houston Market HOUSTON HOUSING 3Q17: Impact of Harvey Strongest in the Resale Market; New Home Sales Should Surge in 2018


•  Houston’s new home market and general economic conditions cannot be discussed without touching on the impacts of Hurricane Harvey, which damaged 167,000 single family homes throughout the Greater Houston Area.  read more »


A Layman's Guide To Houston After Harvey: Don't Throw The Opportunity Baby Out With The Stormwater


In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and the disastrous flooding, Houston has come under extreme scrutiny. Some in the global, national as well as local media assaulted the area's flood control system and its development model, criticisms that were echoed by some in the local area.

Much of the current debate starts from a firm misunderstanding of the region’s realities. This could lead to policies that ultimately undermine the keys that have propelled the region’s success. Below is a primer to inform future discussions of Houston’s future trajectory.

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Hurricanes Don't Kill Cities - People Do


Cities that believe in themselves are hard to kill. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey many pundits have urged Houston to abandon many of the traits that have made it a dynamic, growing metropolis, including key elements of its light-handed, pro-business regulatory regime.  read more »

Spotlight on Infrastructure After Harvey


The recent tragic events in Houston and across the Gulf Coast once again demonstrated the woeful inadequacy of our infrastructure. Hopefully, some good will come of Hurricane Harvey. Hopefully, it will jump-start the long-awaited Trump initiative on infrastructure, which may be the one issue that could unite this country.  read more »

Hurricane Harvey: A View from a Rugged Communitarian

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Narratives are not necessarily built on facts; they’re built on stories, pictures, graphics, and videos. Ideally, we want our narratives to be aligned with the facts; but that doesn’t always happen.

Here is a synthesis of some of the predictable narratives being spun in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey from such places as The Washington Post, Slate, The Guardian, Newsweek and NPR:  read more »


MaX Lanes: A Next Generation Strategy for Affordable Proximity


This is the introduction to a new report written by Tory Gattis of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. Download the full report here.

The core urban challenge of our time is ‘affordable proximity’: how can ever larger numbers of people live and interact economically with each other while keeping the cost of living – especially housing – affordable? In decentralized, post-WW2 Sunbelt cities built around the car, commuter rail solutions don’t work and an alternative is needed, especially as we see autonomous vehicles on the horizon.  read more »

Taxpayers Need Protection from Dallas-Houston High Speed Rail Bailout? New Report


The proposed privately financed high-speed rail line from Houston to Dallas is projected to have a revenue shortfall of $21.5 billion in its first 40 years of operation. This is the conclusion of a Reason Foundation report by Baruch Feigenbaum, the Foundation’s assistant director of transportation policy (Texas High Speed Rail: Caution Ahead).  read more »

All Houston Does (Economically) is Win


Like most big cities that get the nod, Houston has spruced itself up for the Super Bowl, planting flowers and concentrating in particular on the rough stretches between Hobby Airport and NRG Stadium. Yet it’s unlikely the city’s reputation will be much enhanced by the traveling media circus that accompanies these games.  read more »

The Evolving Urban Form: Houston


Houston is a city (metropolitan area) of superlatives. The most recent Brookings Institution data shows that Houston has the seventh strongest per capita economy (gross domestic product) in the world (Figure 1). This places Houston above New York and more surprisingly, perhaps, other cities perceived to have strong economies are far below Houston and outside of the top 10, such as London, Tokyo and Chicago.  read more »