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Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Southwest Houston


WAZ

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The Chronicle ran the headline today, “Recent shootings in southwest Houston terrify residents .”

I live in SouthwestHouston. I’m not terrified. Of course I live nowhere near the shootings,but you wouldn’t know it to read the Chronicle’s reporting.

Perhaps I should be happy that the Chronicle spelled out “Southwest”in their headline. Often they shorten itto ‘SW.’ Nobody really knows where ‘SW’Houston starts and stops. At times ithas included Uptown and even Montrose . Southwest Houston covers a huge area. A low estimate is that there are nearly 250,000 people living on 53square miles here.

The geographic size of Southwest Houston exaggerates thecrime that does occur here. Thetemptation is to view Southwest Houston as a single, condensed, crimeriddenneighborhood. That misconception couldhave a terrible effect on this part of the City. If government follows the reporting, then itsresources will be spread too thin. Developersdon’t want to build in places with bad reputations, so they’ll neglect the area. This is to say nothing of the frustrationfaced by civic leaders, whose efforts are flushed down the toilet with every ‘SW’Houston headline.

If only reporters could identify neighborhoods in SouthwestHouston. There are maps to use. It shouldn’t be very difficult, and thebenefits will be tremendous.

<br clear="all">LudemDocument, Population Study: For populationand area figures, Southwest Houston is considered the combination of studyareas 8 and 9. http://www.houstontx...ocument_all.pdf

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They should make it a point to define SW Houston as everything West of Hillcroft..... we all know there is much less crime east of Hillcroft... and I mean from South Main to Westheimer..... go West and yes.... you are much more likely to be shot.

Like I always tell everyone... when you're looking for a house in the city... DO NOT GO WEST OF HILLCROFT.

Edited by spiderroller
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The Chronicle ran the headline today, “Recent shootings in southwest Houston terrify residents .”

I live in SouthwestHouston. I’m not terrified. Of course I live nowhere near the shootings,but you wouldn’t know it to read the Chronicle’s reporting.

Perhaps I should be happy that the Chronicle spelled out “Southwest”in their headline. Often they shorten itto ‘SW.’ Nobody really knows where ‘SW’Houston starts and stops. At times ithas included Uptown and even Montrose . Southwest Houston covers a huge area. A low estimate is that there are nearly 250,000 people living on 53square miles here.

The geographic size of Southwest Houston exaggerates thecrime that does occur here. Thetemptation is to view Southwest Houston as a single, condensed, crimeriddenneighborhood. That misconception couldhave a terrible effect on this part of the City. If government follows the reporting, then itsresources will be spread too thin. Developersdon’t want to build in places with bad reputations, so they’ll neglect the area. This is to say nothing of the frustrationfaced by civic leaders, whose efforts are flushed down the toilet with every ‘SW’Houston headline.

If only reporters could identify neighborhoods in SouthwestHouston. There are maps to use. It shouldn’t be very difficult, and thebenefits will be tremendous.

<br clear="all">LudemDocument, Population Study: For populationand area figures, Southwest Houston is considered the combination of studyareas 8 and 9. http://www.houstontx...ocument_all.pdf

Reporters are lazy, igorant, or not very insightful. Or a combination of the three. Don't expect much from them. Either way... I've discovered when the general level of reading comprehension is low, pictures (aka maps) work wonders when trying to get your point across.

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Ow! This may help to understand better:

http://www.morningtoast.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//missmap.gif

heh

Reading it hurts, too, though

“I personally believe, that U.S. Americans,

are unable to do so,

because uh,

some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps.

and uh…

I believe that our education like such as in South Africa,

and the Iraq,

everywhere like such as…

and, I believe they should uh,

our education over here,

in the U.S. should help the U.S.

or should help South Africa,

and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future,

for us.”

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They should make it a point to define SW Houston as everything West of Hillcroft.....

'SW Houston' is such a huge area, you can't just reduce it to 'the area southof Westheimer, west of Hillcroft, and north of South Main'. Even in that area there are many, varied, diverse neighborhoods.

They really need to stop using 'SW Houston' altogether, and start defining neighborhoods. If something happens in Alief, call it Alief. If it's in Gulfton, call it Gulfton.

Have a look at this article from the Boston Globe.

http://www.boston.co...ical_condition/

They define specific neighborhoods. Dorchester is Dorchester; not 'SW Boston.' If only Houston's news outlets did the same.

The Boston Globe also has a homicide map, http://www.boston.co...ders_in_boston/ - There have been grass-roots efforts at a Houston homicide map, but none of the major news outlets in town seem interested.

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  • 3 months later...

Apparently the area around Rice University is considered "Southwest Houston" by KHOU.

http://www.khou.com/news/Fire-breaks-out-at-historic-Houston-mansion-80373662.html

"HOUSTON—Investigators were looking into the cause of a fire at a historic mansion in southwest Houston Wednesday....."

The house in question is at 10 Remington Lane - in the same neighborhood as the new Rice University President's House.

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The Chronicle ran the headline today, “Recent shootings in southwest Houston terrify residents .”

I live in SouthwestHouston. I’m not terrified. Of course I live nowhere near the shootings,but you wouldn’t know it to read the Chronicle’s reporting.

Perhaps I should be happy that the Chronicle spelled out “Southwest”in their headline. Often they shorten itto ‘SW.’ Nobody really knows where ‘SW’Houston starts and stops. At times ithas included Uptown and even Montrose . Southwest Houston covers a huge area. A low estimate is that there are nearly 250,000 people living on 53square miles here.

The geographic size of Southwest Houston exaggerates thecrime that does occur here. Thetemptation is to view Southwest Houston as a single, condensed, crimeriddenneighborhood. That misconception couldhave a terrible effect on this part of the City. If government follows the reporting, then itsresources will be spread too thin. Developersdon’t want to build in places with bad reputations, so they’ll neglect the area. This is to say nothing of the frustrationfaced by civic leaders, whose efforts are flushed down the toilet with every ‘SW’Houston headline.

If only reporters could identify neighborhoods in SouthwestHouston. There are maps to use. It shouldn’t be very difficult, and thebenefits will be tremendous.

<br clear="all">LudemDocument, Population Study: For populationand area figures, Southwest Houston is considered the combination of studyareas 8 and 9. http://www.houstontx...ocument_all.pdf

Houston is a big heterogeneous city with dozens of big heterogeneous and irregularly-shaped neighborhoods. The bodies of crime articles usually provide a more specific location, but it'd be a horrible idea to try to convey that in the headline because people who read the news for crime stories tend not to be the most spatially-oriented bunch.

If this is something that gets your panties in a wad with frequency, you might switch to one of the HCN rags and swear off televised news and the Chronicle. Since their distribution is to a small area with populations of only a few hundred thousand at a time instead of six million at once, they can offer more headline specificity. You'll miss all the important stories that there ever were, but at least your sensitivities will not be offended.

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  • 3 years later...

This is an interesting geographic / cartographic problem

 

Our cities have outgrown our ability to think of them as specific places, so it is useful to have them subdivided into communities, which are larger than subdivisions. Neighborhood covenants or associations could be used.

 

Another useful thing in this regard is to put shopping plaza names on maps, so locations within neighborhoods can be cited without going to the street address level.

 

The maps would have to be widely distributed for this to work.

 

Houston outgrew the southwest-northeast descriptors about the time it dissolved the ward system. The dysfunctional nature of this was not evident until after the period of massive suburban expansion. In the 1950s westbury, willow bend and sharpstown, meyer land etc. were all developed in a relatively short period of time (10-15 years), and initially inhabited by people of the same socio-economc and family status background. It is decades later that there began to be a transformation to an older neighborhood with a more heterogeneous and diverse population. This transition is true of most american cities, but only the older ones (Philadelphia, Boston) have neighborhood names that are recognizable to anyone. 

 

Recently, I met a graduate student at my university who grew up  in Houston. I told her I grew up in Westbury, and she never heard of it. I tried Bellaire, Sharpstown, but she had never heard of them. She is probably about 24.

 

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  • The title was changed to Don’t Believe Everything You Read About Southwest Houston

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