Several hours after rescinding a nearly 40-hour boil water notice, Mayor Sylvester Turner had a timely example for why he thinks there is a clear need for infrastructure investment in Houston and throughout Texas.
Harris County will soon have, for the first time, a full picture of its public wealth—the commercial value of all government-owned assets, from land to buildings to infrastructure—as well as a plan to start putting this wealth to work toward community development and economic growth.
With 2020 Census data in hand, Houston is moving forward with city council redistricting. The first proposed map was unveiled last week ahead of a public comment phase. For the most part, not much changes in terms of actual boundaries, but the underlying demographics of Houston’s population shifted considerably in the past 10 years.
Urban affairs journalist Scott Beyer shares how a free-market approach to housing, transportation, public administration and more can create more livable cities.
This report provides a geographic analysis of damage caused by Winter Storm Uri and highlights the unmet needs it uncovered. This assessment also analyzed damages from COVID-19 and Hurricane Harvey to better understand how these crises compound on different communities and to identify where recovery efforts might make the biggest impact.
Do property taxpayers inside the City of Houston subsidize Harris County services? It’s a question that comes up a lot, given the fact that city residents—like their counterparts in the county—pay separate property taxes to the county, but the county provides many services only to the unincorporated areas.
The purpose of this study is to estimate the extent to which property taxes paid by City of Houston residents, businesses, and property owners financially support County services provided in Harris County outside the City of Houston. In other words, do Houston city taxpayers subsidize services provided by Harris County outside the city?
Houston, Boise, and Seattle share a strong-mayor form of government, and its voters tend to favor progressive-leaning candidates. But these two majority-White cities have lifted Hispanic candidates into office in recent years, while representation has dwindled in Houston.
In November 1979, Houston City Council went from being almost exclusively male and white to being dramatically more diverse, literally overnight, as voters elected the council’s first two women and its first Mexican-American, and tripled the representation of African-Americans. The new council was also on average 10 years younger. It was a new day in city politics—thanks to federally required reforms that led to single-member districting—and Houston never looked back.
The Houston suburb of The Woodlands has been called an “invisible city” for the dense tree canopy that shrouds the extent of its development. It is invisible perhaps in another way: It’s not a city at all, but rather a patchwork of special districts, service contracts and interlocal agreements—a tenuous marvel of public-private partnership. But that could soon change.
The Texas Supreme Court has settled it: Houston's historic preservation ordinance is not a form of zoning, which is expressly banned in the city charter. The decision seems to clear the way for more local experimentation with urban design and development rules. Just don’t call it zoning.
As a kid, I spent a good chunk of time in the Astrodome, but I didn’t know the story behind how it was built and the role it played in the desegregation of Houston.
Among 34 large cities studied, homicide rates increased almost 30% last year, compared to 2019. Reasons for the shocking spike relate in large part to the pandemic and its societal impacts, but the killing of George Floyd may have been a contributing factor as well. Evidence-based approaches and committed elected officials will be key to reducing violent crime in American cities going forward.
The Texas Metropolitan Blueprint lays out recommendations for policies that address the most important economic development, land use, housing, infrastructure, and transportation challenges of the state’s metropolitan areas.
Texas metros are the engines driving the state’s robust economy. To ensure things run smoothly in the future, metropolitan areas need to be at the center of state policy. The collaborative Texas Metropolitan Blueprint provides a plan for continuing and building on the metropolitan progress that benefits the entire state.