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Houston Ranked #11 among Best Cities..


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#1 Subdude

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Posted Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 10:38 AM

This was a global ranking, so not too shabby for Houston!

11 :: Houston
Best : #2 in cost of owning business space, entrepreneurial environment and life satisfaction, #3 in commute time and cost of living

Worst : Last in foreign job-creating investment and international tourists

Details: Houstonians love Houston. So do US business owners. The rest of the world ... not so much. With lax zoning laws and plentiful space, Houston's low cost of living and doing business is a dream for American businesses and middle class workers, but the rest of the world pretends as though the city doesn't exist. The city has fewer international tourists than any other comparable global city.


The top ten were Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Chicago, London, Sydney, Stockholm, San Francisco, Toronto and New York.

Link to the full article.
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#2 Houston19514

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Posted Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 10:20 PM

This was a global ranking, so not too shabby for Houston!



The top ten were Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Chicago, London, Sydney, Stockholm, San Francisco, Toronto and New York.

Link to the full article.


Awesome. Thanks for posting.

#3 largeTEXAS

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Posted Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 10:38 PM

So, we all know this, but the ranking kind of confirms it:

"Houston's Best : #2 in cost of owning business space, entrepreneurial environment and life satisfaction, #3 in commute time and cost of living

Worst : Last in foreign job-creating investment and international tourists

Details: Houstonians love Houston. So do US business owners. The rest of the world ... not so much. With lax zoning laws and plentiful space, Houston's low cost of living and doing business is a dream for American businesses and middle class workers, but the rest of the world pretends as though the city doesn't exist. The city has fewer international tourists than any other comparable global city."

Question is, what should be done about it? Is it a lost cause? I'm convinced Mayor Parker and the city's top business leaders and organizations like Houston Partnership need to address this head on. It's not impossible to create buzz and attract domestic and foreign investment to a city (or part of a city) with no previous cache or positive spotlight. Look at Bilbao with the Guggenheim, Chicago with Millennium Park, the High Line in NY's far west Chelsea, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, South Beach in Miami, Dubai, Barcelona (formerly a smug backwater), etc.

Edited by largeTEXAS, Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 10:40 PM.


#4 LTAWACS

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM

So, we all know this, but the ranking kind of confirms it:

"Houston's Best : #2 in cost of owning business space, entrepreneurial environment and life satisfaction, #3 in commute time and cost of living

Worst : Last in foreign job-creating investment and international tourists

Details: Houstonians love Houston. So do US business owners. The rest of the world ... not so much. With lax zoning laws and plentiful space, Houston's low cost of living and doing business is a dream for American businesses and middle class workers, but the rest of the world pretends as though the city doesn't exist. The city has fewer international tourists than any other comparable global city."

Question is, what should be done about it? Is it a lost cause? I'm convinced Mayor Parker and the city's top business leaders and organizations like Houston Partnership need to address this head on. It's not impossible to create buzz and attract domestic and foreign investment to a city (or part of a city) with no previous cache or positive spotlight. Look at Bilbao with the Guggenheim, Chicago with Millennium Park, the High Line in NY's far west Chelsea, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, South Beach in Miami, Dubai, Barcelona (formerly a smug backwater), etc.


Well... there's nothing here. Nothing. Not even a space shuttle. Just block after block of strip malls, walmarts, game rooms, chain restaurants, check-cashing places, and autobuses americanos bus stations.

So fellow HoustonArchitecture board members, sit back and watch Atlanta and Dallas get all these cool projects while Houston sits stagnant! Welcome to Houston, the 4th largest joke of a city in America. The city with no efficient transit options (i.e. rail), no amusement park, 600 sq miles of ghetto, low density, car-centric, unplanned neighborhoods, lack of progress, and etc...

"so if one does not pay more for a house they are incapable of caring about their childs education......boy that is good to know " - TexasVines


#5 Mister X

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Well... there's nothing here. Nothing. Not even a space shuttle. Just block after block of strip malls, walmarts, game rooms, chain restaurants, check-cashing places, and autobuses americanos bus stations.


...and a huge, respected museum district, a huge, respected theatre district, many large, modern professional sports stadiums all connected by light rail, the largest shopping mall in the state, several large urban parks, a huge and respected medical district, a flourishing vibrant business district with a huge, respected skyline that is the envy of almost every major city in the world and which has now become the fast growing metropolitan area in the U.S...

Nothing? The people at the Atlantic rank Houston as the #11 most successful city in the world and you only see strip malls.

Edited by Subdude, Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 6:27 AM.
Flaming

He started it...

#6 LTAWACS

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM

...and a huge, respected museum district, a huge, respected theatre district, many large, modern professional sports stadiums all connected by light rail, the largest shopping mall in the state, several large urban parks, a huge and respected medical district, a flourishing vibrant business district with a huge, respected skyline that is the envy of almost every major city in the world and which has now become the fast growing metropolitan area in the U.S...

Nothing? The people at the Atlantic rank Houston as the #11 most successful city in the world and you only see strip malls.



Evidently, international tourists still think it has less than comparable global cities. You obviously cannot tell the difference between a successful city and one that has international tourism destinations. Yes, perhaps we are successful (energy, medicine, and... ?)... but there are still not enough tourism landmarks here to attract a large number of international tourists. Get over it. Stop focusing only on the negative.

So fellow HoustonArchitecture board members, sit back and watch Atlanta and Dallas get all these cool projects while Houston sits stagnant! Welcome to Houston, the 4th largest joke of a city in America. The city with no efficient transit options (i.e. rail), no amusement park, 600 sq miles of ghetto, low density, car-centric, unplanned neighborhoods, lack of progress, and etc...

"so if one does not pay more for a house they are incapable of caring about their childs education......boy that is good to know " - TexasVines


#7 intencity77

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 5:28 PM

...and a huge, respected museum district, a huge, respected theatre district, many large, modern professional sports stadiums all connected by light rail, the largest shopping mall in the state, several large urban parks, a huge and respected medical district, a flourishing vibrant business district with a huge, respected skyline that is the envy of almost every major city in the world and which has now become the fast growing metropolitan area in the U.S...

Nothing?



While I agree that the our city's greatest assets are well respected, they are simply not enough to draw in US or international tourists. Most large cities of the U.S. and around the world already have many major museums and theaters for the performing arts, cutting edge sports stadiums, at least one huge high end mall or shopping district, some kind of light rail or subway system, a major urban park and/or square, and a vibrant CBD. While these assets contribute to a better quality of life in our city, unfortunately, none of them are unique to Houston. Yes, the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical district in the world, and for that I respect it. Otherwise, unless one is seeking specialized medical treatment, is a grouping of major hospitals a reason to visit Houston as a tourist from another U.S. city or abroad? Likely not. I very much agree with largeTEXAS assessment of the investments made on large, visible projects in other major cities. These cities have constructed unique developments that build on to tourist levels and create a "buzz". While I will always love this city, it is screaming for at least one major development that is both unique and radical, much like the days past when the Astrodome was built. What happened to that progressiveness, that cutting edge in design and architecture in this city? I second the need for attracting more major domestic and foreign investment to fund these kind of unique projects in Houston, so as to gain more visibility on the international stage. I also see the need for a prominent civic leader in our city. Sadly, our city, country and global economy is way too weak for this kind of development at the moment but hopefully this changes for the better in the future.

#8 TheNiche

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Question is, what should be done about it?


Nothing. Great cities grow organically, not by contrivance.

Were the wide boulevards of Paris carved from its neighborhoods for tourists? No! They were for Napoleon to quell rioters. Form follows function. Population also benefits from function, population grows, and that generates further organic growth. Houston is highly functional. That is its asset. But a contemporarily functional city is rather boring to those who use it. It does not excite. Everything about it is perfectly well understood. It is not fantastical; it does not conjure the imagination. Its citizens are too busy building Houston to notice how cool it will seem to their grandchildren; subsequent generations will see the relics of bygone eras and feel wistful.

Mess with the natural balance of things, and it'll probably just end up looking like Orlando and Baton Rouge got together and had a baby with a pituitary disorder.

#9 lockmat

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Tourists will turn into residents once they are looking for a job ;p
  • "You know, the vehicle to improve the American city is the American corporation-that's where the money is." - Gerald D. Hines
  • "mixed-use only works if the retail component could stand alone." - paraphrase of Dinerstein Cos president Brian Dinerstein [Bisnow]
  • "apartments usually work where retail does but vice versa isn’t always true." - paraphrase of Hines director Kevin Batchelor [Bisnow]
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#10 ToryGattis

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Posted Monday, July 25, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Interesting thread. Instead of commenting, I wrote a new blog post here:
http://houstonstrate...l-tourists.html

#11 samagon

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 8:35 AM

I'm okay with Houston not being a tourist location. It's bad enough when the tourists from the suburbs come inside the loop.

Seriously though, if the earth quest thing that keeps getting a thread bump every few weeks ever turns from vapor park to amusement park, that may draw some interest.

Tons of people fly through Houston (IAH) all the time, and never stop. They never would think to stop, and why would they? If they did, as soon as they got on I45 they'd wonder why they chose to have a one day layover in Houston rather than a 3 hour layover.

We've got beautiful parks, of all varying types, from exceedingly urban to a dense 'you could get lost in this if there wasn't a freeway 100yards away'.

What's really sad, is that people that live here don't even know or take advantage of half the things this city offers! I bet if you took a poll of Houstonians asking "Where is the Menil" Half wouldn't know what you're talking about, and the other half would guess it would be somewhere other than Houston. Hell, quite a few people that live in Montrose probably don't even know what it is. If you asked someone to tell you where about Rice University is located, they probably can't even tell you that.

Hell, UH is pretty difficult for Houstonians to find. When people ask me where Broadmoor is when I tell them where in Houston I live, I start off with "Off Telephone and 45" then when I see the lost look in their eyes "Across 45 from UH" when I see the same look in their eyes, I just tell them it's near downtown. Luckily, most people have a general idea regarding where downtown is located.

Perhaps Washington Ave gets infected with a zombie plague, but nobody notices any difference between the before and after zombification.


#12 largeTEXAS

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Nothing. Great cities grow organically, not by contrivance.


Agreed. I'm not advocating Houston build some tourist-driven, wanna-be theme park attraction. Quite the contrary. I think Houston needs visionary leadership that is focused on quality of life issues and making Houston better at what it is (or should be).

Instead of incentivizing development on the fringes by building ludicrous infrastructure such as the Grand Parkway or the widening of I-10 (and countless other suburban and exurban-promoting projects), further subsidizing development that undermines the city's natural evolution towards density; use a fraction of those billions on building the best interlinked bayou park system possible; negotiating the rights to run commuter trains on the already-built heavy rail to Galveston; issue RFPs for and actually build on strategically located Metro-, City-, and County-owned land; build ACTUAL, dedicated bike lanes throughout the city (or, at least, the Inner Loop); build ACTUAL sidewalks in burgeoning urban areas that need it (ie Lower Westheimer, Galleria area, the Museum District, Montrose, etc.); etc. Not to mention pushing the proposal to link Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas by heavy rail that's accessible from downtown to downtown. These would make Houston so much more appealing to Houstonians and, yes, also tourists.

One of Houston's biggest problems is that it uses "business" as an excuse to plan a more sprawling, more suburban city. Houston works hard to make it difficult or impossible to develop anything urban or pedestrian focused. The insane parking requirements for retail and mixed use development consistently kill forward-thinking projects that address the pedestrian over the car. The city's lack of any sort of planning might, at first, look as though it's pro "business." In reality, the lack of planning or any type of real zoning (not the type of zoning that the city employs now which in many cases is stronger and more regressive than any 1916-era zoning laws) makes it more difficult for foreign, domestic, and local real estate investment (see Gerald Hines' keynote speech to ULI Fall Conference 2010).

In short, Houston has and continues to work against itself in evolving as a city that values quality of life. Anyone who visits for an hour knows it well. No wonder tourists and foreign investment steer clear.

#13 lockmat

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I think Houston needs visionary leadership that is focused on quality of life issues and making Houston better at what it is (or should be).

H-GAC helps with this... http://www.h-gac.com/home/default.aspx

Instead of incentivizing development on the fringes by building ludicrous infrastructure such as the Grand Parkway or the widening of I-10 (and countless other suburban and exurban-promoting projects), further subsidizing development that undermines the city's natural evolution towards density; use a fraction of those billions on building the best interlinked bayou park system possible;


Buffalo Bayou Partnership is doing this: http://www.buffalobayou.org/


One of Houston's biggest problems is that it uses "business" as an excuse to plan a more sprawling, more suburban city. Houston works hard to make it difficult or impossible to develop anything urban or pedestrian focused. The insane parking requirements for retail and mixed use development consistently kill forward-thinking projects that address the pedestrian over the car. The city's lack of any sort of planning might, at first, look as though it's pro "business." In reality, the lack of planning or any type of real zoning (not the type of zoning that the city employs now which in many cases is stronger and more regressive than any 1916-era zoning laws) makes it more difficult for foreign, domestic, and local real estate investment (see Gerald Hines' keynote speech to ULI Fall Conference 2010).

In short, Houston has and continues to work against itself in evolving as a city that values quality of life. Anyone who visits for an hour knows it well. No wonder tourists and foreign investment steer clear.


Two car-centric cities that instantly come to me that are huge tourist places are Los Angeles and Dubai. Tourism can happen in a car-centric place, I'm not sure that's the problem. The problem is having things people want to see and experience. Almost every city has museums, parks, etc. I'm not sure how much contemporary art musuems bring people in.
  • "You know, the vehicle to improve the American city is the American corporation-that's where the money is." - Gerald D. Hines
  • "mixed-use only works if the retail component could stand alone." - paraphrase of Dinerstein Cos president Brian Dinerstein [Bisnow]
  • "apartments usually work where retail does but vice versa isn’t always true." - paraphrase of Hines director Kevin Batchelor [Bisnow]
  • Houston Developments Map (Last Updated on 4/23/13)

#14 RedScare

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Agreed. I'm not advocating Houston build some tourist-driven, wanna-be theme park attraction. Quite the contrary. I think Houston needs visionary leadership that is focused on quality of life issues and making Houston better at what it is (or should be).

Instead of incentivizing development on the fringes by building ludicrous infrastructure such as the Grand Parkway or the widening of I-10 (and countless other suburban and exurban-promoting projects), further subsidizing development that undermines the city's natural evolution towards density; use a fraction of those billions on building the best interlinked bayou park system possible; negotiating the rights to run commuter trains on the already-built heavy rail to Galveston; issue RFPs for and actually build on strategically located Metro-, City-, and County-owned land; build ACTUAL, dedicated bike lanes throughout the city (or, at least, the Inner Loop); build ACTUAL sidewalks in burgeoning urban areas that need it (ie Lower Westheimer, Galleria area, the Museum District, Montrose, etc.); etc. Not to mention pushing the proposal to link Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas by heavy rail that's accessible from downtown to downtown. These would make Houston so much more appealing to Houstonians and, yes, also tourists.

One of Houston's biggest problems is that it uses "business" as an excuse to plan a more sprawling, more suburban city. Houston works hard to make it difficult or impossible to develop anything urban or pedestrian focused. The insane parking requirements for retail and mixed use development consistently kill forward-thinking projects that address the pedestrian over the car. The city's lack of any sort of planning might, at first, look as though it's pro "business." In reality, the lack of planning or any type of real zoning (not the type of zoning that the city employs now which in many cases is stronger and more regressive than any 1916-era zoning laws) makes it more difficult for foreign, domestic, and local real estate investment (see Gerald Hines' keynote speech to ULI Fall Conference 2010).

In short, Houston has and continues to work against itself in evolving as a city that values quality of life. Anyone who visits for an hour knows it well. No wonder tourists and foreign investment steer clear.

For all of your statements (without any facts to back them up), you seem to have not read the rankings at all. Houston ranked 2nd in "life satisfaction", another term for "quality of life" that you so denigrate Houston for lacking. And you don't even seem to understand your own gripes about Houston. Sure, interconnected bayou parks would be great. But, you do not seem to know that there are efforts being made to do just that. You also do not seem to realize that Houston has one of the largest park systems in the US. You complain about sidewalks without seeming to realize that Houston has undertaken to upgrade those very same sidewalks. I suppose just because they haven't repaved the sidewalk that you want done, that apparently they aren't doing any at all.

Rail? Bike lanes? All of the projects that you think they should be pursuing, they are pursuing. Not fast enough, you say? Well, turn on the stinkin' television and see what kind of public financing environment we live in! Don't gripe at Houstonians. Gripe at John Boehner.

Every few months, someone goes on some long-winded screed about how "Houston" isn't doing this or that. In almost every case, "Houston" IS doing this or that, or moving in that direction. What the poster SHOULD be saying...but never does...is that they do not understand how government or government funding works, how little they know about what is going on behind the scenes, or even in front of their nose, or that the poster just simply has no patience, so it must be "Houston's" fault. My favorite line in the above post? The last one. Really. Anyone who visits Houston for an hour knows it well? Dumbest statement ever. I say, prove it.

#15 e_mathews

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM

I found this page via Aaron Renn's twitter link and thought I would ad my thoughts, since I happen to be visiting Houston right now for work at the Medical Center.

I visit Houston every 6-8 weeks, theway I visit most major cities in the U.S. I try to get out and enjoy the local environment whenever I go to a city, and since I've been coming here several times a year for almost a decade, I have some favorite things about Houston. I love the live Oaks. I love the museum district and the nearby park with the bandshell. I love The Petrol Station. I love how close Houston is to the Gulf. There are a lot of awesome hole-in-the-wall barbecue places and dives that serve beer out of ice-chests. That being said, Houston is an incredibly difficult city to visit.

With a few very local exceptions, it's incredibly difficult to navigate as a pedestrian. Even in Orlando or Vegas, people don't want to drive from from parking lot to parking lot on seven lane streets. More than once I've asked a hotel employee how to get somewhere nearby and they were unable to relate it without driving directions. I have about eight colleagues who live in the city and suburbs, but even the three or four that live in the city live what in most other places would be considered a very suburban or even exurban lifestyle. I've been to many suburbs in other cities that are far more walkable than urban Houston. Even if the streets have functional sidewalks, most of the buildings are set far back behind large parking lots, which makes for a very disengaging stroll.

I understand that Houstonians have made a lifestyle choice that works for them. However, if you imagine a place that you would recommend that someone else visit, it's unlikely to include this many strip malls power lines. I think the auto-focus has downsides to development, even in the parts of the city that are east to navigate without a car. Near the medical center and near the Art Museum, for example, there are still undeveloped sites that are essentially sitting between two or three other prime destinations. In other cities developers would be gagging to re-develop those lots. In Houston, I imagine that those stay empty, underused or boarded up because A) there isn't pedestrian traffic, even on a very fine scale and B) since everyone is in a car, there's not much incentive to develop one site over some other site a half mile distant that may be a greenfield.

This is a critical post, but it's written in honest good faith. If I were in charge, I would do a few fairly easy things.

-Widen the sidewalks and create some pedestrian-focused zones. The Galleria should not have any parking lots abutting the sidewalk, for example.

-Reduce parking requirements in some zones where people already live at density and walk a lot. Near Rice, for example.

-Traffic should be calmed near the Galleria and on many of the awesome oak-lined boulevards.

-Improve pedestrian connections near highways--these are *very* imposing in Houston. Essentially, they often cut off pedestrian access for miles at a time. Even major surface streets can be very difficult to cross in Houston.

-Turn the land next to all those green drainage culverts into bike paths and green parkways through the city.

-Reduce or eliminate the construction of underground or above-ground connectors that force people off the street.

-Stop the development of businesses on access roads. These sites are all over the place and it makes that not only auto--focused, but pedestrian-impossible.

#16 Gary

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Gripe at John Boehner.


Well Red, you had me until this one. Just can't help throwing in a political plug can you?

#17 largeTEXAS

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Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 10:41 PM

For all of your statements (without any facts to back them up), you seem to have not read the rankings at all. Houston ranked 2nd in "life satisfaction", another term for "quality of life" that you so denigrate Houston for lacking. And you don't even seem to understand your own gripes about Houston. Sure, interconnected bayou parks would be great. But, you do not seem to know that there are efforts being made to do just that. You also do not seem to realize that Houston has one of the largest park systems in the US. You complain about sidewalks without seeming to realize that Houston has undertaken to upgrade those very same sidewalks. I suppose just because they haven't repaved the sidewalk that you want done, that apparently they aren't doing any at all.

Rail? Bike lanes? All of the projects that you think they should be pursuing, they are pursuing. Not fast enough, you say? Well, turn on the stinkin' television and see what kind of public financing environment we live in! Don't gripe at Houstonians. Gripe at John Boehner.

Every few months, someone goes on some long-winded screed about how "Houston" isn't doing this or that. In almost every case, "Houston" IS doing this or that, or moving in that direction. What the poster SHOULD be saying...but never does...is that they do not understand how government or government funding works, how little they know about what is going on behind the scenes, or even in front of their nose, or that the poster just simply has no patience, so it must be "Houston's" fault. My favorite line in the above post? The last one. Really. Anyone who visits Houston for an hour knows it well? Dumbest statement ever. I say, prove it.


Oh, no! Not you too, Redscare. I thought you were one of the more level-headed ones. I understand what you're saying that efforts are being made. I too have argued and continue to argue exactly the same points to people who criticize Houston. Right now, I am mostly playing devil's advocate. Since this is a discussion about why we have fared so poorly in two categories for so long, I feel it’s necessary to peel back the layers, take off the rosy-colored glasses that almost all us proud Houstonians wear, and look at our city from a critical standpoint. I'm not trying to take any unnecessary jabs at my hometown; merely, asking the questions I often wonder about.

I respectfully disagree that real action is actually taking place in this city. I've worked and volunteered with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for about a decade. I've spearheaded efforts to lease and restore the Historic District downtown to a place where people want spend time. I helped plan the new Market Square Park. I helped plan and launch the first Urban Marketplace focused on redevelopment of "urban" Houston. I've worked in the non-profit and real estate worlds trying to help many urban and pedestrian-oriented projects get off the ground. A couple have successfully been built, which was exciting.

I admit I may be jaded having been so close for so long to many of the organizations and projects you mentioned and probably uninformed of many of the new projects happening. Most of the ones you and others have mentioned, though, are so underfunded and lack adequate power to make significant changes at this stage. All this while other gigantic infrastructure projects get funded (yes, I understand the current condition of the capital markets...it's my lifeblood to watch and react to them on a daily basis). It's simply been the culture of Houston in the last two decades, as it has been in most major post-WW2 cities, to subsidize sprawl while neglecting the urban core. Luckily, Houston is changing. I just don’t think it’s even close to enough.

I back up my statement that anyone who visits here sees just how uncommitted this city is to the type of quality of life that many urbanists (for lack of a better term) and tourists value. Name one walk-able district here in Houston. Truly walkable. Not somewhere where one has to park and is able to walk only one or two blocks max before having to step out into the street or trek through someone's front yard. The Rice Village, parts of the Medical Center, and downtown are probably the only places that have even passable sidewalks. Of those, which are places one would like to linger? Downtown has a couple of attractions and the Rice Village is passable at best. Of the cities someone mentioned that are frequently-touristed and also car-centric such as Los Angeles and Dubai, there are many distinct districts and attractions in each. Los Angeles has dozens of walkable areas throughout the region, each of them vastly superior to any in Houston.

I agree, Houston is making efforts to become more walkable and more transit-oriented, but so is ever other major city in the country (and, especially abroad). Houston is beginning to be on the right track, but lacks the necessary leadership and big ideas to make significant enough impact. Metro is a joke; BBP has made good headway, but is underfunded and way too slow to make progress. Is there an agency or governing body that is overseeing the entire bayou park master plan? Where are the big ideas? What happened to the city that built the Ship Channel and the Astrodome??

#18 TheNiche

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Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 3:20 AM

largeTEXAS, here's why I don't mind projects like the Grand Parkway.

I can afford a house within walking distance to work. I actually do walk to work whenever possible, too. It doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It has a nice backyard with big mature trees. I can invite people over and "linger" as you seem to affectionately describe loitering, and I can get drunk and screw hot chicks right there. ...you know, in theory. It's the perfect neighborhood. For me.

Put up some barriers to entry for residential developers and the people that would've bought those houses (whom you probably think are uncool) will come to my neighborhood and buy this one out from under me. Wealthier assholes than I would constrain my lifestyle choices. Why would you wish that upon me, merely to fulfill some kind of mainstream aesthetic vision?

Let them be. They pay taxes for infrastructure they use which in turn prevents them from bothering me. It's a win-win.

Edited by TheNiche, Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 3:23 AM.


#19 312

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Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 8:54 AM

I really think Houston has the makings to further promote/establish itself as an international city due to its large existing "organically produced" international population.

#20 Montrose1100

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Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

I like that Houston is a city where i'd like to live, rather then visit.

I grew up in the suburbs and didnt have a clue about what was only a 20-45 minute (depending on traffic), drive down I45. I learned about what and where stuff was from this website. It's ignorance is what it is. People arent as observant as you think. I showed some of my friends a picture of Houston from Allen Parkway and they thought it was Chicago! "they all look the same".

I can point out cities & skylines in movies and pictures with no problem. Others dont notice and/or dont care. We lack what other cities have in that sense, "oh, thats the Eiffel Tower, that must be Paris".

If it's jobs our city is famous for, i'd take that over any other city in the world. Atleast until I retire in the future.

Edit: ignore my typing errors, this phone has a tiny keyboard and I have man thumbs.

Edited by Montrose1100, Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 5:52 PM.

"Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image." - Aldous Huxley

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