by Joel Kotkin, Tory Gattis
July 25, 2014
Houston, TX is likely to enjoy the highest growth in new households of any major city between 2014 and 2017. The city’s low cost of living and robust job growth owe largely to a planning regime that is relentlessly pragmatic and market-based. The city and its unincorporated areas have no formal zoning, so land use is flexible and can readily meet demand. Building permits can be acquired quickly. Deed restrictions and minimum lot sizes are voluntary for every neighborhood, which is conducive both to welcoming new business and to keeping housing prices low. The city is at the cutting edge of education reform, and is embarking on new projects that will impart valuable technical skills to a burgeoning immigrant population. Houston is a vibrant example of how a city can succeed after the Great Recession – and its future looks brighter all the time.