Citing a study of American cities by Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, this report discusses how Houston as a whole uses more energy than other cities like Los Angeles and New York. In fact, at 620 square miles, it's also one of the largest cities in the country.
"Among the town's advantages are an average work commute of less than 30 minutes and low housing costs. The National Association of Realtors puts the city's average home price at around $150,000, Glaeser says. Other perks include a lack of state income tax and a vibrant restaurant scene.
All of that taken together means that Houston has weathered the nation's economic crisis fairly well, he says.
But Glaeser notes that there are problems with Houston's sprawl: It takes a large amount of energy to make the area's humid, hot climate comfortable, and the city is built around the use of cars."