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[Forbes] Houston: Model City

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Rockets34Legend, May 31, 2010.

  1. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0...growth-on-my-mind.html?boxes=Homepagetoprated

    Innovation, job growth and immigration put this Lone Star city ahead of New York and Boston.

    Do cities have a future? Pessimists point to industrial-era holdovers like Detroit and Cleveland. Urban boosters point to dense, expensive cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco. Yet if you want to see successful 21st-century urbanism, hop on down to Houston and the Lone Star State.

    You won't be alone: Last year Houston added 141,000 residents, more than any region in the U.S. save the city's similarly sprawling rival, Dallas-Fort Worth. Over the past decade Houston's population has grown by 24%--five times the rate of San Francisco, Boston and New York. In that time it has attracted 244,000 new residents from other parts of the U.S., while older cities experienced high rates of out-migration. It is even catching up on foreign immigration, enjoying a rate comparable with New York's and roughly 50% higher than that of Boston or Chicago.

    So what does Houston have that these other cities lack? Opportunity. Between 2000 and 2009 Houston's employment grew by 260,000. Greater New York City--with nearly three times the population of Houston--has added only 96,000 jobs. The Chicago area has lost 258,000 jobs, San Francisco 217,000, Los Angeles 168,000 and Boston 100,004.

    Politicians in big cities talk about jobs, but by keeping taxes, fees and regulatory barriers high they discourage the creation of jobs, at least in the private sector. A business in San Francisco or Los Angeles never knows what bizarre new cost will be imposed by city hall. In New York or Boston you can thrive as a nonprofit executive, high-end consultant or financier, but if you are the owner of a business that wants to grow you're out of luck.

    Houston, however, has kept the cost of government low while investing in ports, airports, roads, transit and schools. A person or business moving there gets an immediate raise through lower taxes and cheaper real estate. Houston just works better at nurturing jobs.

    It's not just smug coastal places getting smoked by Texas. Since the collapse of the housing bubble Houston has outperformed Sunbelt counterparts like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. A big factor has been that manufacturing, professional services, international trade and technology industries have been the primary drivers of the city's economic growth--rather than construction and speculation. Ironically, this has increased home values. Since 2007 prices of homes in Houston have ticked slightly higher, while those in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and the Bay Area each are down by more than 35%.

    Some traditional urbanists will concede these facts but then try to shift the focus to "qualitative" factors: the best-educated residents, the highest salaries, the most expensive real estate. Although it also attracts a large number of low-skill migrants, Houston has considerably expanded its white-collar workforce. According to the Praxis Strategy Group, Houston's ranks of college-educated residents grew 13% between 2005 and 2008. That's about on par with "creative class" capital Portland, Ore. and well more than twice the rate for New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

    But Houston's biggest advantage cannot be reduced to numbers. Ultimately it is ambition, not style, that sets Houston apart. Texas urbanites are busy constructing new suburban town centers, reviving inner-city neighborhoods and expanding museums, recreational areas and other amenities. In contrast with recession-battered places like Phoenix, Houston remains remarkably open to migrants from the rest of America and abroad.

    Houston, perhaps more than any city in the advanced industrial world, epitomizes the René Descartes ideal--applied to the 17th-century entrepreneurial hotbed of Amsterdam--of a great city offering "an inventory of the possible" to longtime residents and newcomers alike. This, more than anything, promises to give Houstonites the future.
     
  2. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Nice article but I noticed it was written a week in the future. :eek:

    [rquoter]Houston: Model City
    Joel Kotkin, 05.20.10, 09:00 AM EDT
    Forbes Magazine dated June 07, 2010[/rquoter]
     
  3. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    Written 11 days ago, featured in next week's Forbes Magazine?
     
  4. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    I sometimes get Forbes magazines dated in the future, too! I thought I was the only lucky subscriber! Ssssshhhhhh!!!
     
  5. Amber Lamps

    Amber Lamps Member

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    We're called 'Houstonians'.

    Fail.
     
  6. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    Cool perspective. Enjoyed the read.
     
  7. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    CARPETBAGGERS~!!!

    Rocket River
    . . just as long as the imports are not Jazz fans!!
     
  8. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    Wow. Look at all the haters in the comments section. "Fake Houstonians" talking about living in Houston.
     
  9. dmc89

    dmc89 Member

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    Interesting. Houston and Texas are economic powerhouses that relatively few around America appreciate. I work in the legal and banking field, and cannot exaggerate the subtle disdain people in NYC, San Francisco, and Chicago hold towards people from the South in general, whether towards their alma mater or the cities themselves.
     
  10. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    Houston needs more championships. And WNBA doesn't count apparently.
     
  11. ryan_98

    ryan_98 Contributing Member
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    i guess continental and united missed this article. :eek:
     
  12. Wakko67

    Wakko67 Contributing Member

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    Its awesome to see the city recognized. I think I prefer the ignorant doubting us while we quietly are a great place to live.

    Kudos Forbes for not buying into hype. I can't wait to go back home.
     
  13. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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    Shut up Forbes!! We already have enough traffic!! Let the rest of the country think we all have cows and wear boots!!
     
  14. bullardfan

    bullardfan なんでやねん

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    that's great and all but they never mention the weather. being stuck in traffic on 59 or I-45 on a summer afternoon blows. Did houston ever build a proper rail system? like a skytrain system that runs east/west north/south connecting ppl from sugarland, pasadena, woodlands, etc to downtown and each other?

    if houston had that, then it would definitely be worth living in. comfort wise that is.
     
  15. dback816

    dback816 Member

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    A southern city better than Glorious Boston?

    Ridiculous :grin:
     
  16. Malcolm

    Malcolm Member

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    AND STILL NO ASTROWORLD!!!!!!!!!!!



    <a href="http://s62.photobucket.com/albums/h99/notafaker/?action=view&current=astroworld.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h99/notafaker/astroworld.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
     
  17. Cokebabies

    Cokebabies Contributing Member

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    And no mention of giant flying cockroaches.
     
  18. rhino17

    rhino17 Member

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    After living in Colorado for the past 2 years, I have come to truly appreciate Houston weather, I love it.
     
  19. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    The Katy Freeway is a man-made wonder of the world.
     
  20. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!

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    Outside of the roaches, huge alien sinkholes, humidity and violence, I miss Houston terribly. :(
     
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