When English language proficiency is delayed among Houston-area students, a stark divide occurs. Today, the majority of English learners in Houston and across the state become “long-term English learners.” We now have an even clearer picture of what’s at stake and the need for early intervention. To borrow from the adage about the best time for planting trees: The best time to address the needs of English learners was years ago. The next best time is now.
This week, the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County is expected to vote on an update to the agency’s development policies—a key step as the agency fundamentally rethinks how it can influence the urban fabric of Houston so that more people can live in proximity to public transit.
The United States of America leads all high-income nations in COVID-19 deaths, even though as a nation it had the greatest access to antiviral vaccines and therapeutics. To understand this disconnect, we can look to the COVID-19 deaths and disability in the state of Texas. Because of COVID-19, Texas is enduring one of the greatest human tragedies in its 186-year history. It did not have to be this way.
Vision Zero has been changing traffic safety culture internationally since the 1990s, but in Houston, it did not begin until the 2010s. A traffic safety culture shift is happening among city leaders and within departments. However, transforming communitywide beliefs here will require meaningful engagement, clear strategies and sustained political will for the long road ahead.
It’s really quite a lovely park, with features that check all the standard boxes: a playground, a gazebo with a big table, a soccer field, restrooms and water fountains, a paved trail that winds through the property, and lots of plain old green space. On a recent weekday afternoon, though, a visit to Tony Marron Park on Houston’s East End revealed a few glitches.
My wife and I couldn’t believe it. When we retired and moved back home to Houston’s historically Black Pleasantville, just east of downtown, we smelled the unmistakable odor of the petrochemical plants and saw the close-knit community where we’d grown up surrounded by noisy freeways. The apartments where friends of mine lived had been replaced by warehouses swarming with old diesel trucks.
Water connects us, yet too often our region’s ongoing relationship with water presents itself as flooding that wreaks havoc and devastates all in its path. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, many efforts have emerged to try to rebuild our relationship with water from one of harm to one of resilience.
Natural disasters are increasingly common each year, affecting infrastructure and contributing to economic, social, health, and psychological hardships. When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, it quickly amassed $125 billion in damages, displacing over a million people and their homes. Along with the economic toll of a disaster event, mental health concerns carry a cost that is difficult to measure.
When it hit five years ago this week, Hurricane Harvey was an unprecedented disaster: 68 people dead, 200,000 homes damaged or destroyed, a half-million cars wiped out, $125 billion in damage.
As a method of community planning, and as an impetus for creative placemaking (and placekeeping), poetry can help anyone–not just writers–think about how they are situated within their local communities and urban spaces. By writing poetry, any member of the public—in particular, those who are historically underrepresented—can turn conceptions into things that can be discussed and implemented. Since poetry has dislodged itself from patrician control and has found fertile ground in the digital landscape, it can be easily shared within local contexts and beyond.
In the summer of 2010, my husband and I drove over 1,000 miles to move to Houston with our 1-year-old and 3-year-old. Not more than 20 minutes into our journey, our 3-year-old began asking, “Are we there yet?”
As the name of my new book of essays suggests, I have always believed that place and prosperity are deeply intertwined. A city or town probably won’t be prosperous unless it has lots of place amenities – things that draw people to the location like parks, good schools, restaurants and stores, cultural institutions, walkable neighborhoods. And a city or town probably can’t afford all those amenities unless it is prosperous.
The Rio Grande Valley (RGV), or el Valle del Rio Bravo as it is known in Mexico, is often considered a far-flung collection of small-town border communities. As such, it remains largely unknown to the rest of the U.S., except when cited as one of the poorest areas in the country alongside Middle Appalachia or the Lower Mississippi Delta.
About every quarter, the Urban Edge takes a break from its usual in-depth research-focused topics to assess the latest rankings of cities and states—some silly, some serious—and what they might tell us about Houston and Texas and their standing in the world of urban life. Today, we have to start with the bad news, where Texas is literally the worst.
Uber saw its ridership decline sharply amid the pandemic, but it was saved by an expansion of its delivery service. Its future, however, is tied to growing its ride-hailing service as it confronts reduced transit use overall and as it charts a path to electrifying its fleet by 2030. Uber’s global head of cities and transportation policy, Shin-pei Tsay, said the company is focused on pragmatic wins that it can scale across thousands of cities rather than wait on a transportation utopia to arrive.