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Changes in Houston Over the Last Decade
The Kinder Houston Area Survey, conducted annually over the last 38 years, offers useful insight into how Houston has evolved and changed over the last decade. "It’s an important and unique historical record of time and place allowing for longitudinal analyses of the city and surrounding region," writes Andy Olin.
Over the 2010s, Houston expanded its bus and light rail networks, and it launched a bikeshare program in 2012. Support for public transit has grown since 2010, when just over half of respondents to the survey said that transportation funding should go toward public transit. In 2018, 61 percent "said a mass transit system is 'very important' to the future success of Houston," reports Olin.
Houston has more green space now, including a number of upgrades to and expansions of the city’s parks and hiking and biking trails. Public opinion about climate change has shifted as well, particularly after the city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. "[In 2010,] only 39% of survey participants saw the threat of climate change as a 'very serious problem.' By 2019, that proportion grew to 53%," writes Olin.
While the Houston economy is relatively strong and unemployment has dropped in the last decade, poverty and economic hardship continue to be issues, says Olin. "Support for government programs to address inequalities in America has risen steadily in the past decade. The proportions who agree the government should take action to reduce income differences went from 45% in 2010 to 66% in 2018."