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ToryGattis

Houston population stats?

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Does anybody have the data (and sources) for the Houston MSA's population growth over the last couple of decades broken down inside the loop, loop to BW8, and outside BW8?  If not that exact breakdown, then I'm looking for something showing growth in the core vs. the suburbs, by whatever division you happen to have.  If available, forecasts forward would be great too...

 

(thanks in advance!)

Edited by ToryGattis

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Does anybody have the data (and sources) for the Houston MSA's population growth over the last couple of decades broken down inside the loop, loop to BW8, and outside BW8?  If not that exact breakdown, then I'm looking for something showing growth in the core vs. the suburbs, by whatever division you happen to have.  If available, forecasts forward would be great too...

 

(thanks in advance!)

Just happened upon this report. It only breaks down Harris county, but it shows the following based on 2010 census data:

Inside 610 loop - 469,051

Loop to Beltway - 1,597,326

Outside the Beltway - 2,026,082

If my math is correct, there's an additional 1,994,079 in the MSA that live outside of Harris County.

The report also shows the growth since the 2000 census as 12,402 inside the loop out of a population increase of 691,881 in Harris County. I've linked to the full report below.

http://www.allianceportregion.com/PressReleases/Harris_County_PopulationMarch2011final.pdf

I'd love to hear someone explain this data in the context of the common perception that people are moving out of the suburbs and into the urban core.

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Just happened upon this report. It only breaks down Harris county, but it shows the following based on 2010 census data:

Inside 610 loop - 469,051

Loop to Beltway - 1,597,326

Outside the Beltway - 2,026,082

If my math is correct, there's an additional 1,994,079 in the MSA that live outside of Harris County.

The report also shows the growth since the 2000 census as 12,402 inside the loop out of a population increase of 691,881 in Harris County. I've linked to the full report below.

http://www.allianceportregion.com/PressReleases/Harris_County_PopulationMarch2011final.pdf

I'd love to hear someone explain this data in the context of the common perception that people are moving out of the suburbs and into the urban core.

 

Thanks, livincinco.  This is helpful.  I knew most of the growth was in the suburbs, but had no idea it was that lopsided (less than 2% inside the loop!).  It's also kind of amazing how cleanly it works out (approximately): 1/2 mil inside the loop, 1.5 mil to bw8, 2 mil outside bw8 but in the county, and 2m outside the county but in the MSA.

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I'd love to hear someone explain this data in the context of the common perception that people are moving out of the suburbs and into the urban core.

 

First, the urban core is a WAY smaller area compared to the suburbs (and even then, you should probably only look at west of 288 within 610) and the places it is growing are mostly from singles/couples (vs families in the burbs... hence the school enrollment stats).

 

Second, this report does not show demographic and income changes within these areas. If it did, it would most likely show that the suburbs are being filled with tons of middle and lower income families (nothing wrong with that), while the urban core is filling up with higher income singles/couples/ and now familes. In other words, white flight is sort of reversing. It's at a point where it can't really go any further out (unless one day La Grange becomes a suburb of Houston :wacko: )

 

When people like me say the urban core is growing, I typically mean that areas that were lower/middle income and were full of older/widowed people are now becoming vibrant communities again. Personally, I grew up in the burbs, moved into the loop, and first witnessed Midtown (in a period of 5 years) spring huge new apartment complexes and add thousands of new residents. Then, we moved over near Braeswood and are now renovating a house and raising our young family in it. The neighborhood has more kids in it than it has in a long time, and it's like the suburbs in the middle of the city. More families move in every day... and thus, people like me say the city is growing based on personal experience.

 

Yes, the burbs will always grow faster. The question is what kind of growth will it be and will current residents like what they see as their neighborhood changes?

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First, the urban core is a WAY smaller area compared to the suburbs (and even then, you should probably only look at west of 288 within 610) and the places it is growing are mostly from singles/couples (vs families in the burbs... hence the school enrollment stats).

 

Second, this report does not show demographic and income changes within these areas. If it did, it would most likely show that the suburbs are being filled with tons of middle and lower income families (nothing wrong with that), while the urban core is filling up with higher income singles/couples/ and now familes. In other words, white flight is sort of reversing. It's at a point where it can't really go any further out (unless one day La Grange becomes a suburb of Houston :wacko: )

 

When people like me say the urban core is growing, I typically mean that areas that were lower/middle income and were full of older/widowed people are now becoming vibrant communities again. Personally, I grew up in the burbs, moved into the loop, and first witnessed Midtown (in a period of 5 years) spring huge new apartment complexes and add thousands of new residents. Then, we moved over near Braeswood and are now renovating a house and raising our young family in it. The neighborhood has more kids in it than it has in a long time, and it's like the suburbs in the middle of the city. More families move in every day... and thus, people like me say the city is growing based on personal experience.

 

Yes, the burbs will always grow faster. The question is what kind of growth will it be and will current residents like what they see as their neighborhood changes?

I absolutely question your statement that there is a movement of higher income people to move inside the loop and lower income people outside the loop. I don't have stats to support this, but overall income in Houston has increased during the discussed period, so I would argue that the gentrification that you're seeing in the urban core is related to overall growth in the region. If anything, the continuing development of high paying jobs in areas such as the Energy Corridor and The Woodlands would indicate that migration in those areas is being driven by higher income levels. Additionally, home prices continue to increase in the suburbs which is the exact opposite of what you would expect to see based on your statement.

Understand your point that there are a lot of apartments being built inside the loop right now, but don't forget that (as is frequently noted in this forum), many of those apartments are being built in locations that require existing apartments to be torn down, so I don't think that the net gain will end up being as high as you might think.

I also understand that the area inside the loop is a small area in terms of size, but the ratios don't hold up if you look at those numbers. The area inside the loop is approx. 96 sq miles while the size of Harris County is 1,778 sq miles. That means that inside the loop is 5.3% of the total area inside Harris County and that it had 1.8% of the total population growth from 2000 - 2010.

I'm all in favor of continued development of the urban core, but let's be realistic about what it is. It's a sign of the general improvement in the overall Houston economy, not any kind of demographic change.

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To further Brian's point, if you go to pg. 4 of linked report it breaks population change down by census tract.  Tracts 41 and 51 (western part of loop) grew 11% and 13%, respectively, from 2000 to 2010 while the eastern areas inside the loop actually declined.

 

As someone who has lived in Midtown, Montrose, and now also Braeswood over the last decade or so I can assure you there has been quite a change.  Of course it is related to growth in the Houston economy, but if/when things slow again let's just see how much better the suburbs fare

 

I don't have any references handy but I am fairly certain the property value increases in the western part of the loop have outpaced the suburbs.  Then again, there are a lot of suburbs out there and certainly some areas have done better than others

 

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To further Brian's point, if you go to pg. 4 of linked report it breaks population change down by census tract.  Tracts 41 and 51 (western part of loop) grew 11% and 13%, respectively, from 2000 to 2010 while the eastern areas inside the loop actually declined.

That would support the notion that the population center of Houston has shifted westward outside the loop. I think I heard somewhere (maybe in another thread) that the population center of Houston was somewhere around I10 and the Beltway.

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First, the urban core is a WAY smaller area compared to the suburbs (and even then, you should probably only look at west of 288 within 610) and the places it is growing are mostly from singles/couples (vs families in the burbs... hence the school enrollment stats).

 

Second, this report does not show demographic and income changes within these areas. If it did, it would most likely show that the suburbs are being filled with tons of middle and lower income families (nothing wrong with that), while the urban core is filling up with higher income singles/couples/ and now familes. In other words, white flight is sort of reversing. It's at a point where it can't really go any further out (unless one day La Grange becomes a suburb of Houston :wacko: )

 

When people like me say the urban core is growing, I typically mean that areas that were lower/middle income and were full of older/widowed people are now becoming vibrant communities again. Personally, I grew up in the burbs, moved into the loop, and first witnessed Midtown (in a period of 5 years) spring huge new apartment complexes and add thousands of new residents. Then, we moved over near Braeswood and are now renovating a house and raising our young family in it. The neighborhood has more kids in it than it has in a long time, and it's like the suburbs in the middle of the city. More families move in every day... and thus, people like me say the city is growing based on personal experience.

 

Yes, the burbs will always grow faster. The question is what kind of growth will it be and will current residents like what they see as their neighborhood changes?

I think the 610 loop may be a convenient, but not necessarily accurate, delimiter for the "urban core". Houston is, architecturally speaking, almost entirely suburban in character. If you can get population density broken down sufficiently, you might be able to better define the core.

While La Grange is indeed well beyond being exurban for Houston, you might be surprised by how many people commute in from places like Brenham and Sealy.

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To further Brian's point, if you go to pg. 4 of linked report it breaks population change down by census tract.  Tracts 41 and 51 (western part of loop) grew 11% and 13%, respectively, from 2000 to 2010 while the eastern areas inside the loop actually declined.

 

As someone who has lived in Midtown, Montrose, and now also Braeswood over the last decade or so I can assure you there has been quite a change.  Of course it is related to growth in the Houston economy, but if/when things slow again let's just see how much better the suburbs fare

 

I don't have any references handy but I am fairly certain the property value increases in the western part of the loop have outpaced the suburbs.  Then again, there are a lot of suburbs out there and certainly some areas have done better than others

Fair enough, but I think that it's also reasonable to consider that the growth inside the west part of the loop is potentially due to some people from the east side moving to the west side. That would potentially reflect the upturn in the economy as well as being a reasonably logical migration and would reflect why the overall growth rate was so low. I think that it's also fair to point out that the subject period includes arguably the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression (even though the effects were not felt as strongly in Houston as in other areas) and that does not seem to have adversely affected suburb growth. I would additionally say that the explosive growth of office development along the I-10 corridor and in The Woodlands is likely to soften any future impact on the suburbs of a future economic downturn.

I think that there's also legitimate room for discussion about what exactly a suburb is in the context of Houston today. Is The Woodlands area really a suburb? It certainly bears no resemblence to suburbia of the 1950's. It has it's own thriving job base, restaurants, entertainment venues, and recreation options. I'll bet that there's an increasing number of residents that rarely travel inside the loop. The same question applies to Sugarland and other rapidly developing areas.

My expectation is that we'll continue to see job development reflect the population numbers. An increasing number of companies will locate outside the loop to be closer to where the majority of people live and we'll continue to see an increasing degree of urbanization that occurs in the "suburban" nexus areas. Inside the loop will continue to be the cultural center of Houston, but will continue to decrease as a percentage of the population of the MSA.

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I think that there's also legitimate room for discussion about what exactly a suburb is in the context of Houston today. Is The Woodlands area really a suburb? It certainly bears no resemblence to suburbia of the 1950's. It has it's own thriving job base, restaurants, entertainment venues, and recreation options. I'll bet that there's an increasing number of residents that rarely travel inside the loop. The same question applies to Sugarland and other rapidly developing areas.

My expectation is that we'll continue to see job development reflect the population numbers. An increasing number of companies will locate outside the loop to be closer to where the majority of people live and we'll continue to see an increasing degree of urbanization that occurs in the "suburban" nexus areas. Inside the loop will continue to be the cultural center of Houston, but will continue to decrease as a percentage of the population of the MSA.

I think what we're talking about here is the development of "edge cities", where downtown becomes just the biggest or oldest of several concentrations of office space and jobs.

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I think what we're talking about here is the development of "edge cities", where downtown becomes just the biggest or oldest of several concentrations of office space and jobs.

Thank you. I was struggling for that term and not coming up with it...

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Really, I think the growth on the east side of the innerloop is stunted due to the refineries. I looked at some property on the east side of the loop, but the wind blew an interesting smell my way and I said nope. Even so, there is tremendous growth south and southeast in Pearland/Alvin/Clear Lake/etc.... so not everything is north/west for the burbs.

 

As for places like the Woodlands, I look at them as fake cities. Yes, they have several major employers and a couple impressive buildings... but remove that and you just have a big mall. It's a place where everything is planned and catered around employees that work in those handfull of businesses. It's a great concept, but if you lose/hate your job at one of those businesses... your SOL if you can't find a job next door or you just deal with the commute to energy corridor or Downtown/Galleria.

 

Sugarland will never become a huge "jobs center" due to the painful commute times to IAH and Hobby.

 

Katy/Energy Corridor will grow until it starts to turn like Greenspoint did. There are just far too many large apartment complexes that are "newish" along it that will deteriorate quickly.

 

My money long-term is Downtown/Galleria and the Medical Center. If I had a crystal ball I'd predict that the area around Reliant Stadium will also grow one day.

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Really, I think the growth on the east side of the innerloop is stunted due to the refineries. I looked at some property on the east side of the loop, but the wind blew an interesting smell my way and I said nope. Even so, there is tremendous growth south and southeast in Pearland/Alvin/Clear Lake/etc.... so not everything is north/west for the burbs.

 

As for places like the Woodlands, I look at them as fake cities. Yes, they have several major employers and a couple impressive buildings... but remove that and you just have a big mall. It's a place where everything is planned and catered around employees that work in those handfull of businesses. It's a great concept, but if you lose/hate your job at one of those businesses... your SOL if you can't find a job next door or you just deal with the commute to energy corridor or Downtown/Galleria.

 

Sugarland will never become a huge "jobs center" due to the painful commute times to IAH and Hobby.

 

Katy/Energy Corridor will grow until it starts to turn like Greenspoint did. There are just far too many large apartment complexes that are "newish" along it that will deteriorate quickly.

 

My money long-term is Downtown/Galleria and the Medical Center. If I had a crystal ball I'd predict that the area around Reliant Stadium will also grow one day.

That's an amazing large amount of bias without any supporting reasons. I'm particularly impressed that you can dismiss The Woodlands, with a 99.6% class A occupancy rate as a "fake city" with a "handful of businesses"...one of which happens to be the corporate headquarters of the second largest company in the world. There's absolutely no reason that supporting industries would continue to cluster in that immediate region or that anyone would fill the approx. 1.5 million sq ft of office space (not including the 1.7 million sq ft that Exxon is building) that's currently under construction there.

Understand your viewpoint completely, because there is clearly every sign that Houston is going to contract over the next 20 years because the 2.5 million people that are projected to be added to the population during that time are going to live...somewhere...

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Did the Woodlands annex Exxon? Did Exxon move its HQ?

 

Why doesn't anyone tell me these things.     :o

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Did the Woodlands annex Exxon? Did Exxon move its HQ?

Why doesn't anyone tell me these things. :o

I reserve the right to bend the truth as necessary to make my point. :)

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Really, I think the growth on the east side of the innerloop is stunted due to the refineries. I looked at some property on the east side of the loop, but the wind blew an interesting smell my way and I said nope. Even so, there is tremendous growth south and southeast in Pearland/Alvin/Clear Lake/etc.... so not everything is north/west for the burbs.

As for places like the Woodlands, I look at them as fake cities. Yes, they have several major employers and a couple impressive buildings... but remove that and you just have a big mall. It's a place where everything is planned and catered around employees that work in those handfull of businesses. It's a great concept, but if you lose/hate your job at one of those businesses... your SOL if you can't find a job next door or you just deal with the commute to energy corridor or Downtown/Galleria.

Sugarland will never become a huge "jobs center" due to the painful commute times to IAH and Hobby.

Katy/Energy Corridor will grow until it starts to turn like Greenspoint did. There are just far too many large apartment complexes that are "newish" along it that will deteriorate quickly.

My money long-term is Downtown/Galleria and the Medical Center. If I had a crystal ball I'd predict that the area around Reliant Stadium will also grow one day.

I think the refineries over there stunt some of the growth too. The eastern half of the loop probably declined because the families there got promotions and moved to Pasadena, Baytown, Clear Lake, etc. That and more singles have moved there as families have left.

The Woodlands is pretty impressive. It definitely feels like a fake city but they planned it well. Most people up there still work somewhere in Houston I bet. Travel time to Hobby from Sugar Land isn't that bad. TW has definitely jumped over it in the jobs department though.

As for Katy/Energy Corridor, there is nothing that resembles Greenspoint. The housing stock is too great and there are too many companies based around there for it to happen. Greenspoint doesn't have the housing stock and Sharpstown didn't have the corporations. The Katy Freeway has long been the only freeway in Houston that doesn't pass through any "seedy" areas. I don't think that is going to change.

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Really, I think the growth on the east side of the innerloop is stunted due to the refineries. I looked at some property on the east side of the loop, but the wind blew an interesting smell my way and I said nope. 

 

There are no refineries inside the loop. Maybe, if you were out east of 75th, maybe you'd smell something from one of them. I'd doubt it though.

 

Are you sure you didn't mistake the smell of roasting coffee with a refinery? The old Maxwell roaster is right smack in the middle of the east end and within a radius of about half a mile from it, you'll catch a whiff of coffee being roasted, outside that, the wind has to be blowing hard in the right direction to smell it, I'm about 1.5 miles from it, and smell it whenever a cold front blows hard.

 

Point is, there are very few areas in the east end that you can possibly smell anything that's happening at a refinery.

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Are you sure you didn't mistake the smell of roasting coffee with a refinery?

 

I was looking past Gus Wortham golf course. I believe there is some stuff right at 225 and 610 and I'm guessing that's what I was smelling. I was referring mainly to the Far East End (if that's a term).

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I was looking past Gus Wortham golf course. I believe there is some stuff right at 225 and 610 and I'm guessing that's what I was smelling. I was referring mainly to the Far East End (if that's a term).

 

that's entirely possible, that's pretty much out past 75th, and I imagine if the wind is blowing right, you might catch a scent. My aunt and uncle owned a house over at Evergreen and Woodridge, and I don't ever recall smelling anything funky when we visited, but who knows. Their house was about 2 miles from the closest refinery though.

 

To tell you the truth, for work I get sent out to refineries, maybe once a year? Not that often, but every time I go, I'm always curious about what smells I should be on the watch for. The answer is always, most of the stuff that can kill you, you won't smell, and if it smells like freshly mowed grass, you're going to die rather quickly. They never commented on the other unsavory smells.

 

For the money, I'd rather live close to a refinery than say, a paper mill, those are some nasty smells.

 

And then there's the smell at milk factories (head over to the oak farms milk thingy, give some smells around that). 

 

If you want to live near an industrial something, go for a bread factory :)

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If you want to live near an industrial something, go for a bread factory :)

 

True, or fortune cookies. When I lived in Midtown I was a block away from the fortune cookie factory on Caroline. Friggin awesome smell when they were cooking them.

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I'd love to hear someone explain this data in the context of the common perception that people are moving out of the suburbs and into the urban core.

 

I don't think anything is implied in that data about which direction people are moving. All the data says is that a lot of people are moving to Houston from other places.

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To tell you the truth, for work I get sent out to refineries, maybe once a year? Not that often, but every time I go, I'm always curious about what smells I should be on the watch for. The answer is always, most of the stuff that can kill you, you won't smell, and if it smells like freshly mowed grass, you're going to die rather quickly. They never commented on the other unsavory smells.

I'm curious, what smells like freshly mowed grass and kills quickly?

For the money, I'd rather live close to a refinery than say, a paper mill, those are some nasty smells.

Amen to that. We lived about 10 miles from a paper plant when I was a kid and you could get a whiff of it if the wind blew just right. Driving by it was a nightmare. Far worse than any refinery I've ever smelled.

If you want to live near an industrial something, go for a bread factory :)

Mmmm...fresh baked bread.

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I'm curious, what smells like freshly mowed grass and kills quickly?

 

 

Phosgene. It's used in a lot of chemical processes.

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Of course the suburbs are growing faster than Inside the Loop. There's tons of land available and much more affordable properties to entice people to move there. 

 

When I bought my first condo in Houston in the mid 1990s in the 019 part of Montrose, it cost me $190,000. Today, similar units are easily over $500,000. Its getting harder and harder to buy into the Loop market. 

 

That said, there's no way the population growth from 2000-2010 was just 12,000. Me thinks there was a pretty massive undercount. Heck, the massive complexes fronting Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive probably can account for several thousand people, and no, these places didn't displace residents. They were built on industrial land, rice silos, and vacant parcels. 

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As was mentioned earlier in the thread, gains in the west side of the loop were offset by losses in the east side. As far as I know, that data is pulled from the official census data so please provide a source stating different data for comparison.

In terms of the suburbs being cheaper than closer in properties, that's pretty much inherent in the concept of a suburb.

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The Census is far from an exact science.

 

Houston's estimated response rate in 2010 was 67%. Additionally, the link you provided also was using the unadjusted figures for Houston's population (2,057,280). 

 

The mayor's office challenged those numbers by showing that the census had faulty data and had missed entire new residential developments. The challenge won. Houston's adjusted figure, according to the Census, was 2,100,263. That's an admitted error of 42,983 folks. 

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I still don't see that as a significant statistical difference. My point was that the data doesn't show a significant trend towards urbanization. Even if you accept the additional 42k and assume that they were all inside the loop (and I don't know how safe an assumption that is), I don't see that changing the overall trend.

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Recent report about poverty increasing in the suburbs. While not talking about Houston, it highlights the fact that immigrant and lower income families are now taking up housing in the suburbs. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/20/nyregion/suburbs-are-home-to-growing-share-of-regions-poor.html?hp

 

NPR also had a report this morning about this study saying that aid organizations (which have forever been focused on serving rural/urban areas, are having to readjust to serve the suburbs).

 

In Houston, yes... the population shifts to the Woodlands/Sugarland/etc. do have higher income people there... but those places are still "new" and are outliers. I would bet that the trends around the country are also happening here (the higher cost of housing in the loop is pushing people to the burbs). Go to any European city and you tend to see the same trend has already happened there.

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As was mentioned earlier in the thread, gains in the west side of the loop were offset by losses in the east side. As far as I know, that data is pulled from the official census data so please provide a source stating different data for comparison.

In terms of the suburbs being cheaper than closer in properties, that's pretty much inherent in the concept of a suburb.

"Cheap" is a hilarious term when it comes to suburbs. Suburbs were built on heavy subsidies by the federal government in coordination with developers. Also there to this day is a tremendous bias when it comes to urban vs suburban school funding.

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"Cheap" is a hilarious term when it comes to suburbs. Suburbs were built on heavy subsidies by the federal government in coordination with developers. Also there to this day is a tremendous bias when it comes to urban vs suburban school funding.

 

What heavy subsidies

 

What bias in funding? Are non-local entities giving more per student to suburban districts?

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What heavy subsidies

 

What bias in funding? Are non-local entities giving more per student to suburban districts?

Why the interstate highway system, of course, plus all those other evil roads that allow people to not have to live squashed like sardines in concrete highrises like they do in enlightened societies like, say, North Korea. Come on, comrade, get with the program!

As for the funding bias, your guess is as good as mine. Slick, can you provide us with some outdated partisan sources, please?

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So let's talk about the widening of I-10 as an example of a government subsidy. A large amount of government money was spent on that project and the result has been - an explosion of growth along that corridor. There's currently at least 3 million sq feet of office space under construction along with the construction of City Centre, the Memorial Hermann complex and a number of other projects that have already been completed.

Compare that to the growth that has occurred along the Metrorail line and tell me which one has had more of an impact.

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So let's talk about the widening of I-10 as an example of a government subsidy. A large amount of government money was spent on that project and the result has been - an explosion of growth along that corridor. There's currently at least 3 million sq feet of office space under construction along with the construction of City Centre, the Memorial Hermann complex and a number of other projects that have already been completed.

Compare that to the growth that has occurred along the Metrorail line and tell me which one has had more of an impact.

 

Daily ridership totals of Katy Freeway? (280,000 per day)

 

Daily ridership totals of Red Line? (40,000 per day)

 

Obviously the one with higher volume is going to have a higher impact.

 

But once you get into total costs? I mean, total costs, not just the most recent rebuilding of Katy Freeway, but the total cost since inception, including ROW, and maintenance, and rebuilding costs.

 

Compare that to the cost of the red line, including ROW and maintenance.

 

Sure, the red line has the advantage in that it hasn't been rebuilt and resurfaced, and maintained for over 50 years, but then the katy freeway has had 50 years worth of growth targeted to the banks of the feeders to call growth as well, so it's a mixed bag I think.

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Even if you consider the difference in ridership, I would argue that there has been far more than seven times the growth along the Katy Freeway as has occurred along the Red Line during a shorter timeframe. Additionally, I would respectfully disagree with you regarding comparative advantages of the prior growth along the Katy Freeway. The Red Line was placed in an urbanized area that had a longer time to develop than the area surrounding the Katy Freeway, but either way its slightly off point.

My intent is that the expenditure on that particular freeway has been well repaid by the development that it generated.

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The train just moves a few people around. I-10 is used for that plus a lot more important things. Look at all the 18 wheelers hauling heavy equipment built by small businesses in Houston, plus countless other cargoes that make Houston possible.

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Thanks, this illustrates my point from earlier. You all can argue all you want about how the burbs are growing and feel great about how you escaped the big city... but the long term reality is that suburban growth will be increasingly from poorer and immigrant demographics (esp here in Houston). The suburbanites will gradually be confronted with the fact that their neighborhoods (or ones nearby) are changing. School resources will become more strained (i.e. the inc in school enrollment #'s seen earlier in this thread), servicing those that need the help will grow more challenging (esp as they spread out further), and transportation and growing crime issues will only increase. Again, there is nothing entirely wrong with this because it's just the reality of the world we live in. I deal with this stuff in the city and am fine with it... the difference is that you can only run from reality (and build fake suburban eutopian cities) for so long.

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I didn't click thru to the full article yet, but a statement that the number of poor people doubled isn't exactly surprising given the overall population growth outside the loop. I'll see if I can find percentages, but I doubt it's a major shift.

For the record, I have no issue with those who are less fortunate. I moved to the burbs because I preferred the quiet, the schools, and the general sense that I didn't have to worry about getting mugged. If that means that my experience is fake and yours is authentic so be it, although I'm not sure why city dwellers get to arbitrarily decide what's real. Given that the vast majority of the world lives under a significantly higher poverty rate than the US, I'm sure that they would find all of us to be living a fake lifestyle.

I'm going to guess that you don't have kids because you might find that your willingness to deal with certain aspects of urban life changes dramatically if or when that occurs.

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For the record, I have no issue with those who are less fortunate. I moved to the burbs because I preferred the quiet, the schools, and the general sense that I didn't have to worry about getting mugged. If that means that my experience is fake and yours is authentic so be it, although I'm not sure why city dwellers get to arbitrarily decide what's real. Given that the vast majority of the world lives under a significantly higher poverty rate than the US, I'm sure that they would find all of us to be living a fake lifestyle.

I'm going to guess that you don't have kids because you might find that your willingness to deal with certain aspects of urban life changes dramatically if or when that occurs.

 

By fake, I meant the "town center" type places that attempt to call a large shopping mall something else. I also meant the illusion that the burbs are safer than the city. I didn't mean to imply that you have issues with those less fortunate... I was just alluding to typical "white flight" whether it applies to you personally or not.

 

Also, I do have a kid w/ another one on the way. I walk to Reliant Stadium, my street has tons of kids on it who ride scooters and play tag up and down it (even afer dark), and during Halloween we have a group of about 50 kids where we all walk door to door. Yes, having a kid sort of forced me out of Midtown (more so for the housing stock), but my "urban suburb" is probably a very good example of the trends in Houston population stats (and will only continue as more families move back to the older, now urban suburbs).

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By the numbers, from 2000 to 2011:

102.9 percent, the increase in the number of poor in Houston suburbs,

36.6 percent, the increase in the number of poor within Houston's city limits,

40.1 percent, overall suburban population growth,

6.5 percent, overall population growth in the city,

Source: Data from 2000 to 2011 in Confronting Suburban Poverty

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Poverty-on-the-rise-in-Houston-suburbs-4529783.php#ixzz2TxkVa2l2

Edited by kbates2

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Glad you are in a community that suits your needs, however there's still a value judgement that I object to. You are deciding that a series of shops that serve as a suburban town center is fake and that's a completely arbitrary judgement. If it had a tattoo parlour and a check cashing place would that make it authentic?

The numbers just don't support your comment that people are moving back into the city in any meaningful way. The vast majority of population growth is still occurring outside the loop.

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According to Zip Data Maps, here's the population growth of what I would consider "Central Houston" from 2000 to 2010. These numbers seem to match what my eyes on the ground guess would be.

 

77010- +290 population gain. Makes complete sense since  this is where One Park Place rose

 

77002- +3,504 This is most of downtown and far Northern Midtown (where all the apartments rose)

 

77003- +1,313 Includes Eastern Midtown, 288 corridor, 3rd Ward

 

77004- +2,313 EaDo (tons of new development here on once industrial land)

 

77006- +789 Greater Montrose (small figure comes from displacement of poor and was mostly built out already)

 

77005- +2,190 West U, Southampton, Rice Village area 

 

77098- +897 Upper Kirby (this # is pre West Avenue so well over 1,000 gain now)

 

77019- +3,303 River Oaks, 4th Ward, Allen Parkway 

 

77027- +114 Afton Oaks, Post Oak inside the Loop

 

77025- +2,556 Braeswood, South Loop area

 

77007- +8,356 Memorial Heights (massive complexes and condos all over the place)

 

77008- +1,821 Greater Heights, Timbergrove, Shady Acres

 

77024- +2,209 Memorial part of Houston and Southern Memorial Villages

 

77056- +4,642 Uptown Galleria area

 

77057- +3,717 Western Tanglewood, Briargrove

 

That's an increase of 37,835 stretching from UH/TSU to the East to Voss Road to the West, and between the North and South Loop roughly West of I-45. This seem pretty right on and much more useful than using Census numbers for the Inner Loop. It shows where the growth has occurred and anyone living here (myself included) could tell you that things are definitely more crowded than they were in 2000.

 

 

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That's great. I'm happy that there's growth inside the loop, but even that 37k number means that 5% of the overall population growth in the area during that period occurred inside the loop and that's without considering decreases that occurred on the east side.

I'm not denying that there's growth happening. My point is just that the rapid development that we're seeing there is the result of the overall growth rate of the city and not because of any trend for people to move away from suburbs and into the urban center. There's a semi-recurring theme to this forum of the "death of the suburbs", but none of the data that I've seen seems to support it.

If anything, it seems like a continuation of past trends as the urban area extends further out as the city continues to expand. You could pretty accurately say at this point that the urban area really comprises everything inside the Beltway with growth in job centers even beyond that point. Wouldn't surprise me at all if 20 years from now, we're having the same conversation about whether the urban area extends all the way to Grand Parkway.

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How do you know why the city center is growing? And, more importantly, why does it matter if it's a trend of people desiring an urban oasis type of lifestyle or just an overall reflection of growth in the entire region? The fact of the matter is that over a 10 year space, 37,000+ more people moved into an area that was largely already built out. That's impressive no matter how you spin it.

 

 

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How do you know why the city center is growing? And, more importantly, why does it matter if it's a trend of people desiring an urban oasis type of lifestyle or just an overall reflection of growth in the entire region? The fact of the matter is that over a 10 year space, 37,000+ more people moved into an area that was largely already built out. That's impressive no matter how you spin it.

How impressive it was depends on what the existing population was at the beginning of the 10 year period. I'll take a ballpark guess at 600k or so. That makes for about a 6% growth rate over 10 years. I'd bet you could trace most of that back to mid and high rise developments put up in the last 10 years.

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What heavy subsidies

 

What bias in funding? Are non-local entities giving more per student to suburban districts?

 

The federal government subsidized everything about the building of suburbs, from interestate highways to housing.

 

And yes there is a tremendous bias in school funding when urban schools are compared to suburban.

 

This suburban life was methodically built it didn't show up out of nowhere, and a lot of people got rich out of it.

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And yes there is a tremendous bias in school funding when urban schools are compared to suburban.

 

Hmm, you are backwards on that. Inner city HISD gets the benefit of all of the downtown tax base, as well as much of the industrial base by the Ship Channel. Most suburban districts only have low value residential tax bases. This is why my HISD tax rate is so much lower than suburban ones.

 

The tremendous bias is in favor of HISD, not the burbs.

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The federal government subsidized everything about the building of suburbs, from interestate highways to housing.

 

And yes there is a tremendous bias in school funding when urban schools are compared to suburban.

 

This suburban life was methodically built it didn't show up out of nowhere, and a lot of people got rich out of it.

 

The federal government also subsidized everything about building our cities and infrastructure to foster economic development to a point where you don't have to farm for a living like 80% of the population of pre-automobile America did.

 

Sources please for the "tremendous" bias in school funding.

 

The very word suburb comes from the latin word "suburbium" and comes directly to us from the Old French word "suburbe" meaning a residential area outside a city or town.  Usage of that word comes from the mid-14th century.  Are you telling us that the ancient Romans and the medeval French created a word for something that didn't exist until the US Government colluded with Big Oil and GM in the mid-20th century?

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I didn't click thru to the full article yet, but a statement that the number of poor people doubled isn't exactly surprising given the overall population growth outside the loop. I'll see if I can find percentages, but I doubt it's a major shift.

For the record, I have no issue with those who are less fortunate. I moved to the burbs because I preferred the quiet, the schools, and the general sense that I didn't have to worry about getting mugged. If that means that my experience is fake and yours is authentic so be it, although I'm not sure why city dwellers get to arbitrarily decide what's real. Given that the vast majority of the world lives under a significantly higher poverty rate than the US, I'm sure that they would find all of us to be living a fake lifestyle.

I'm going to guess that you don't have kids because you might find that your willingness to deal with certain aspects of urban life changes dramatically if or when that occurs.

 

Would you have chosen Sharpstown or Alief as suitable suburbs for your kids to go to school?

 

Back when my parents were buying their house, they chose Alief, I lived at the corner of Bellaire and Kirkwood and went from elementary through highschool in AISD.

 

When my parents chose that area, Alief was the premier school district in Houston, and I'm sure Sharpstown still had good schools as well. Now though?

 

As the suburbs age they age quickly, hell, when I was a senior at Elsik I saw guns being brought to basketball games, there were metal detectors and drug dogs patrolling the parking lots and sniffing at lockers.

 

If my parents knew in 1973 when they bought the house that I would be going to high school in that environment would they have chosen to live there? Likely not. I personally think that thanks to the diversity of the schools I am a better person for it, at least culturally. 

 

Anyway, your suburb might not change like Alief (and other suburbs) changed, but I think inside the city is as favorable a place to raise a child as any suburb, especially if you can trade the cost incurred for maintaining a car for the long commute for a private school. I can't find a more recent article, but if the prices for private school are still close to this, that's the cost of gasoline for one car a year...

 

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/private-schools-cost-less-you-may-think

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