New Report: Houston Ranks No. 3 Among Global Cities of the Future. This is actually a really impressive ranking, especially the human capital and lifestyle (take that Austin!). Hat tip to George. Excerpt:
“Houston comes third in the overall ranking. The Texan city is a reputable talent hub and, according to the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities, is home to five of the global top 500 universities, as well as over 30 international baccalaureate schools. This contributed to its achieving third place in the Human Capital and Lifestyle category.
Houston also placed sixth in the Business Friendliness category. The city’s welcoming business environment is clearly a hit with investors, as it recorded 53 expansion or co-location projects between May 2015 and April 2020, representing more than a quarter of its total inward FDI and the second highest out of all locations analysed.”
- GHP: Major 2020 Announcements Accelerate Energy 2.0 in Houston. Pretty cool to see Houston building a transition towards newer lower-carbon energies. Hat tip to George.
- 3D Mapping The Largest Population Density Centers. Man do China and India jump out!
- Fraser Institute: Changes in the Affordability of Housing in Canadian and American Cities, 2006–2016. Really interesting approach to look at what percent of your income you need to spend per bedroom, as a way of equalizing for dwelling sizes.
- Save America’s Dying Cities. Hat tip to Judah. Summary recommendations, where I think Houston does ok but definitely has room for improvement:
“Yet, under any circumstances, I believe that the state of our understanding is at least sufficient to provide some basic principles for guiding efforts to improve the prospects of dying cities. First, officials of cities hoping to be successful must be seen as dedicated to managing their municipal enterprise in more honest, efficient, and business-friendly ways. Too many cities have experiences similar to Baltimore’s, whose last two mayors and a recent police chief have gone to prison for corruption. One reason, as I’ve argued, is that many big city mayors no longer have business backgrounds. As a result, few know how to manage complex municipal organizations, including the challenge of minimizing opportunities for graft. Corruption-free cities where mayors and city councils are experienced in working the intersection of business and citizen interests, which are most often coincident, experience faster growth rates…
Second, mayors and other urban leaders must focus on developing productive entrepreneurship that will make cities more competitive in the future. My research shows that after two decades of betting on entrepreneurs to generate new economies, few cities appear to have benefited from their investment. Mayors should rethink their expectations of local entrepreneurs and the resources they provide to the town’s efforts to encourage new firms. Emphasis should be focused instead on building partnerships with local engineering schools and firms. My research also shows that persons with engineering educations and experience are responsible for starting the majority of new firms that survive and create demand for new jobs.
Third, cities also need to create incentives for residents, especially racial and ethnic minorities, to become owners of local business.”
Finally, another great episode of Pop Culture Urbanism with really good insights on how tight zoning regulation forced development to be synonymous with evil gentrification and displacement, instead of a good thing of providing more housing for more people. Highly recommended.
This piece first appeared on Houston Strategies.
Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and co-authored the original study with noted urbanist Joel Kotkin and others, creating a city philosophy around upward social mobility for all citizens as an alternative to the popular smart growth, new urbanism, and creative class movements. He is also an editor of the Houston Strategies blog.
Photo credit: BAMC, 59th Medical Wing, U.S. Air Force, in Public Domain.