Before getting to this week’s items, I just want to say that Houston needs its own version of the San Francisco Exploratorium museum for kids – it’s just awesome. We’re a city of engineers, how do we not already have one of these?! Any philanthropists out there want to step up??
- Atlantic: The Five-Day Workweek Is Dying – And the implications for work and cities are going to be fascinating.
- A really steep toll increase for 288, and this is where my “I told you so” kicks in: they should have made it 4 lanes one-way inbound in the mornings and outbound in the evenings to match demand, instead of 2×2.
- If Houston has “some of the country’s least permeable soil” (i.e. clay), then why would new impervious surfaces like roads make much difference to flooding? The water’s going to run off in either case.
- Houston ranks first in U.S. for new single-family home permits issued since 2012:
“As a result of the region’s booming population, Houston tops the list of major U.S. metro areas with the most construction permits issued for single-family homes from 2012 through 2021, according to new data from self-storage marketplace StorageCafe. During that period, 392,136 permits for single-family homes were handed out in the region.
“Houston has been the primary destination for newcomers moving to Texas, especially Californians who find respite in Harris County’s lower home prices and tax rates, cheaper land, and sound economy,” StorageCafe says in explaining the demand for more homes in the area.
From 2012 through 2021, Houston also led the country’s 50 biggest metros for new retail space (more than 51.8 million square feet). Here’s how Houston ranks in other segments for newly built commercial real estate:
- Third for new office space (nearly 44.3 million square feet).
- Third for new self-storage space (nearly 17.6 million square feet).
- Fourth for multifamily construction permits (170,817).
- Fourth for new industrial space (more than 153.3 million square feet).
- Houston ranks second for construction activity across all six property types from 2012 through 2021.
Finally, I want to end with a couple of short travel videos on Houston that I really enjoyed. They’re from PBS’ Samantha Brown Places To Love show, which kicked off with a Houston episode in season one she enjoyed so much she came back a second time recently for season five. I think they capture some of our key attractions and – even better – the essence of Houston. Definitely worth checking out.
This piece first appeared on Houston Strategies
Tory Gattis is a Founding Senior Fellow with the Urban Reform Institute (formerly 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: courtesy the author