Houston, A Model City for the U.S.

Houston is often the butt of many urban planners' jokes. With no formal zoning, wide roads and huge houses, it's often what urban planners are trying to move American cities away from. Joel Kotkin argues Houston is a model city for the U.S.

Kotkin says Houston is even better suited to see economic growth and success in the coming century than typically successful cities like New York and Chicago. He says Houston will continue to thrive because it keeps the cost of government low.

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

Politicians in big cities talk about jobs, but by keeping taxes, fees and regulatory barriers high they discourage the creation of jobs, at least in the private sector."

Full Story: Houston: Model City



a sow's ear does not a silk purse make

In the case of Houston Texas, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

A promoter sees a sprawling economic engine, teaming with activity and promise.

An urban specialist familiar with what makes a great city of the world would likely see a dysfunctional, tacky, banal, pile of random garbage passing as built form, connected by a dated one dimensional mass transportation system that is increasingly more suited to nomadic caravans than modern conveyance technology.

IMO Houston's destiny is yet to come. When someone mentions the town as a "model" city my mind tries to envisage what it must have been like during the life and times of Babel. You know that infamous design build project that prided itself on efficiency and to hell with planning and according to folklore got to about a hundred thousand feet and suddenly came crashing down like a balsa wood frame in a nor'easterner.

Oh well, what else is new.

kent mccoy bsla rla
registered landscape architect

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