Houston

Organic Urbanism is the Cure for New Urbanism

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This early 1900s house, after the neighborhood had been rezoned for apartments, declined in value to $7,000 in the 1970s. Being rezoned single-family brought decades of revitalization that raised the value of neighborhood homes like this one to $700,000.

New Urbanism is like a virus. For 50 years it keeps coming back in mutated forms. It needs a cure.  read more »

Of Niche Markets and Broad Markets: Commuting in the US

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The six transit legacy cities - mostly urban cores that grew largely before the advent of the automobile - increased their concentration of transit work trips to 57.9% of the national transit commuting, according to the 2018 American Community Survey. At the same time, working at home strengthened its position as the nation’s third leading mode of work access, with transit falling to fourth. The transit commuting market share dropped from 5.0% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018.  read more »

On the Houston Chronicle's Editorial Crusade Against Fossil Fuels

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“A recent Politico article on the bad messaging of Democrats on climate and energy, Democrats Bite on Burgers and Straws–and Republicans Feast, is fair warning. It is high time the hometown paper of the center of the oil and gas industry stop the blatant bias against the very energies that consumers naturally prefer.”  read more »

Population Growth Slowing in Largest US Municipalities

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The 2017 Census Bureau population estimates shows that population growth in the nation’s largest municipalities (incorporated cities and equivalent) has declined substantially relative to the healthier gains posted earlier in the decade.  read more »

Doing Houston Wrong

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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

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•  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 »

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

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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

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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

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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 »

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