A Look at Houston and its Environmental Impact

This report from NPR looks at Houston's growth pattern, and the evolution of a city that at once provides a high quality of life but also creates a big environmental impact.

1 minute read

September 20, 2009, 9:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg

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."

Thursday, September 17, 2009 in NPR

Black and white Rideshare Pick-Up Zone sign

The Slow Death of Ride Sharing

From the beginning, TNCs like Lyft and Uber touted shared rides as their key product. Now, Lyft is ending the practice.

June 1, 2023 - Human Transit

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

Vacant storefront in historic building on Powell Street in San Francisco, California

Few Landlords Pay San Francisco Vacancy Tax

Less than 3 percent of properties potentially subject to a new vacancy tax were filed as vacant in the last year, but empty storefronts in the city persist.

June 4 - San Francisco Chronicle

Aerial view of manufactured home being dropped off or moved by red truck in mobile home park

In Spite of Affordability Crisis, Richmond Rejects Manufactured Housing Plan

After declaring a housing crisis, the Virginia capital’s city council voted against a proposed manufactured home warehouse that would distribute replacements for aging manufactured housing stock.

June 4 - Greater Greater Washington

Graphic for '1000 Joys of Planning' with The Planning Commission Podcast

A Planning Commission Podcast Journey: The 1,000 Joys of Planning

The Commissioners explore the facets of the planning profession that fill their cups with joy.

June 4 - The Planning Commission Podcast

Project Manager III

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

UDO Transportation Planner

City of Charlotte - Charlotte Area Transit

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.