In national survey, mayors say real climate change progress may fall on their residents
URBAN EDGE : February 2, 2023
Mayors on both sides of the political aisle have a range of worries on climate change, and found common ground regarding potential solutions in a recent poll by the Boston University Initiative on Cities. While the majority of top city leaders want investment in environmentally friendly municipal vehicles, they also believe that if meaningful climate change progress is to happen, the onus is on “residents to make real sacrifices.”
Kinder Institute Forum: Scott Beyer
EVENT : May 26, 2022
Urban affairs journalist Scott Beyer shares how a free-market approach to housing, transportation, public administration and more can create more livable cities.
Harris County Winter Storm Uri Resilience Assessment
RESEARCH : February 23, 2022
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.
Property Tax Equity in Harris County
RESEARCH : January 26, 2022
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?
In 2011, Houston created a district to boost Hispanic council representation. What happened?
URBAN EDGE : November 1, 2021
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 Woodlands puts incorporation question up for a vote
URBAN EDGE : October 11, 2021
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.
Houston, the city of no zoning, lives to plan another day
URBAN EDGE : June 14, 2021
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.
Coming out of the pandemic, how can cities counter 2020’s sharp rise in homicides?
URBAN EDGE : April 9, 2021
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.