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Old 06-15-2007, 08:42 PM
 
Location: In God
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houstoner View Post
It's not just this thread. It's every other thread in this forum. You never know the Dallas vs. Houston minefield you're stepping into till you click and it's getting really, really old. You can debate via PM so that the rest of us don't have to be subjected to it repeatedly. This thread is supposed to be about Houston and Chicago, not Houston and Dallas.
You have a point, but Guerilla isn't the one to blame. It's because of the guy (whose name I won't mention) that brought Dallas into the conversation. Then again, this thread is so far gone I keep forgetting what it's about.
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:34 AM
 
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Well, to reintroduce Chicago back into the discussion, I think it's two completely different cultures b/t Houston and Chicago. Just take a stroll down Michigan Ave. It's completely different. If anything, Chicago seems like a less dense version of NYC. Houston is still overall suburban, which is the way that many of us like it. I think being a Texan, you tend to favor that kind of lifestyle...relatively cheap housing, lots of land, bigger, better stuff. I know there's a lot of pride in the high rises that are going up in Texas cities...and I've taken part in that debate...but at the end of the day, what makes Houston a nice place is the low cost of living, the new and modern architecture, and the lack of the really high dense urban core that has made places like Chicago one of the most expensive places to live in America. B/c Chicago is such an important city, it has one of the most delay problem airports in the country, Chicago's O'Hare. Houston's Bush is much more sedate and easier to get in and out as a Continental hub vs. O'Hare's hub of American and United. The freeways are much better designed b/c it's simiply a newer city. Houston has access roads that line their freeways and most of Houston's freeways are a minimum of 8 lanes across. Chicago still has many 6 laners especially close to the city.
Yes Chicago has the Lake, and I'm not going to debate weather since some actually do like 4 seasons, and others do not.

Now, population wise, this has been beat down to death. The pro-Houstoners feel it will catch Chicago soon. I feel it wont. Not in proper. Not in MSA. Not in UA. Not in CSA anytime soon. Is it important that Houston does? I dont think so. I just dont feel that Houston should catch Chicago soon b/c it wouldnt be able to deal with the infrastructure issues. Think a/b it, Houston already had lots of trouble absorbing 200,000 people from Katrina. How is it to absorb another 600,000 people (assuming Chicago remains stagnant) in a short time let's say 1-3 years??? Though its normal rate of growth is around 11,000 people per year in Houston Proper, and Houston MSA 130,000 people per year.

I think Houston should continue being Houston. Bigger is better. It's the Texas way. Continue to keep housing cost among the lowest in the country and also the lowest among Texas' major four cities: DFW, Austin, San Antonio and of course Houston. Though I believe SA has slightly lower, Houston is still relatively low compared to Austin and DFW.

I guarantee you that Houston per sq. ft for residential housing is much lower than chicago, and I guarantee you that Houston per sq. ft. is lower than Chicago for commerical real estate. On average, cost of house in Chicago proper is 424,000 dollars In Houston, it's 115,000 dollars. Overall, the cost of food in Houston is cheaper. The cost of gas is clearly cheaper as Chicago's gas prices are even more expensive than California's. It has among the highest gas prices of the US Mainland. Houston has an avg. shorter commute time: 29.8 minutes vs. Chicago's 37.9 minutes. Chicago also has a much higher tax structure than Houston. Houston also boasts more more days of sunshine per year than Chicago 204 vs. 189. Chicago has a higher sales tax: 8.75% vs. Houston's 8.25%.

So if I had to choose b/t the two, I choose Houston obviously. However, I do not fault people for choosing Chicago. I think Chicago is a great and probably superior alternative to NYC. It gives you the city feel, but not so dense, and much much cleaner...though NYC in recent decade had done a great job of cleaning up the city, especially around Times Sq. I think Chicago has a great restaurant scene boasting name brands found only in places like NYC. It's retail scene is world class (not that I like shopping)...but knowing of high end stores do raise property values. Chicago has stores that Houston just simply does not have. Chicago has great transportation access. It clearly has more international service than Houston. With American and United (two largest carriers in the nation (unless united dropped to 3rd while in bankruptcy)), it offers so many different connections. It also has a lot more international carriers than Houston. It also has more well known world class museums. It also has a much bigger sports scene than Houston nationally. The list goes on and on...but I do feel we're not comparing apples to apples here.
And Chicago's location, be it super super cold, has great access to most of the population of the United States. It's really not that far from the East Coast. This is great for business. And even though Chicago is in a less business friendly state than Houston is, it's proximity to other financial centers makes it a lucrative place to do business. Thats why in 2006, Chicago was number one for corporate headquarter relocation.

But this debate is a/b Houston vs. Chicago. I laid out the reasons I like HOuston better, but yet laid out reasons why chicago is an attractive place.

I like both cities. But to live, Houston. To visit, Chicago.
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Texas
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The absorbtion of 200,000 people because of Hurricane Katrina happened in two-three days! Any city would have a problem absorbing that many people so quickly. The city found houses, jobs, everything for about 150,000 of those 200,000.

Houston's is growing twice as fast as Chicago (MSA) so it may catch it soon, but not until like 2030. Houston is expected to grow by 3 million in 2025 (again metro so you won't get confused). Houston city limits still has a lot of land, and new communities are being built in them, so Houston city limit growth will spike soon.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
The absorbtion of 200,000 people because of Hurricane Katrina happened in two-three days! Any city would have a problem absorbing that many people so quickly. The city found houses, jobs, everything for about 150,000 of those 200,000.

Houston's is growing twice as fast as Chicago (MSA) so it may catch it soon, but not until like 2030. Houston is expected to grow by 3 million in 2025 (again metro so you won't get confused). Houston city limits still has a lot of land, and new communities are being built in them, so Houston city limit growth will spike soon.

Even with those numbers...just think a/b what you just wrote...that's assuming that Chicago MSA stays stagnant. CHicago's MSA is growing at 67,000 per year. So, 67,000 x 23 years equals 1.54 million people, which equates to Chicago MSA being around 11 million people in 2030.
Houston's MSA is growing roughly at 130,000 people per year. Houston's MSA is at 5,500,000. So 130,000 x 23 years equals roughly your 3,000,000.
5.5 million plus 3,000,000 equals 8.5 million people. HOuston will still be 2.5 million behind Chicago.
This is what i mean by not anytime soon. And we're assuming growth patterns will stay the same. This is not including any natural disasters that may hit either city...hurricanes for houston, or massive blizzard or earthquake for chicago.

As for the city limits...yes it has lots of land. It had even more land 7 years ago in 2000. Yet it was growing at a very healthy rate of 11,000 people per year (the city proper). Dont get me wrong, it's a very healthy growth rate for a city proper population. Trust me, it is...it's very good. Faster than Dallas proper, faster than a lot of city propers. But 11,000 x 23 years equals 253,000 people added on to the 2.1-2.2 million already post Katrina. That puts you at roughly 2.4-2.5 million, well below the 2.8 million of Chicago proper. If you increase that rate by 50% because you feel Houston will proper will explode in growth...which double digit growth in any city suburb or regular city is hard to come by except in suburban texan cities, that would increase your rate to 16,500 people, or 379000 people. This puts you at roughly 2.5-2.6 million people, still below the 2.84 million in Chicago proper.

Now Chicago proper has hemorraged since 2000. However, I cannot see Chicago, who historically and culturally is a fighting and ambitioius city, to allow the hemorrhage to continue that much longer. Unlike Detroit, Chicago people have had a history of innovation in making their city prosper. They came back from the brink of death...to become America's #2 at one point...so, I think Chicago hemorraging will stabilize eventually and even grow again. So it's probably ok to stagnate Chicago using this model.

But regardless...Houston proper will still be below Chicago likely in 2030 even using very aggressive growth stats. Unless you're a far outskirt suburb of Houston, Dallas, etc, you're not going to see 100% growth rate. Even tacking on an extra 50% is way to ambitious. Most city propers are lucky to even have single digit growth rates.

But again, this population discussion on Houston vs. Chicago has been discussed thoroughly I believe. I would rather live in Houston vs. Chicago b/c of the attributes Houston offers...lower cost of living, larger houses, warmer weather, better freeways, more space, less density rather than Houston trying to be Chicago, which I still think in the year 2007, you're not comparing apples to apples.
And even in the year 2030, it still wouldnt be apples to apples.

Even to this day, when talking a/b cities, NYC and Chicago draw comparisons. NYC and LA...only in population, but not in terms of city set up and feel...b/c they're a huge contrast of one another...despite the similar area population numbers.

Overall, Chicago stands on its own...it's sandwiched, like another pro houstoner said, b/t NY,LA and Houston/DFW/DC
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:30 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,772,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post

Now, population wise, this has been beat down to death. The pro-Houstoners feel it will catch Chicago soon. I feel it wont. Not in proper. Not in MSA. Not in UA. Not in CSA anytime soon.
Hey, not me. There was one time where I hoped it would, and I thought it should, but not now. I want NY, LA, Chi, and Hou to maintain their ranking. The only way I want Houston to catch up to Chicago is in culture, skyscrapers and highrises, public trans, an active inner loop/downtown, and a little more density. We have everything else. I would also like Houston to snatch the number four metropolitan population spot. That way there's no arguement about the true four "largest" cities.

On the other hand, this city should not be scared to top even the bigger cities. There's nothing wrong with having something better than everyone else. Houston has been in the back seat for too long. It's time it starts going for the gold.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Hey, not me. There was one time where I hoped it would, and I thought it should, but not now. I want NY, LA, Chi, and Hou to maintain their ranking. The only way I want Houston to catch up to Chicago is in culture, skyscrapers and highrises, public trans, an active inner loop/downtown, and a little more density. We have everything else. I would also like Houston to snatch the number four metropolitan population spot. That way there's no arguement about the true four "largest" cities.

On the other hand, this city should not be scared to top even the bigger cities. There's nothing wrong with having something better than everyone else. Houston has been in the back seat for too long. It's time it starts going for the gold.
Well, Houston certainly has lots of space to build skyscrapers...but it will be awhile before it catches Chicago in that category (333 buildings vs. Chicago's >1000 buildings), and also before it catches the number 4 spot based on the growth projections of the current No. 4 which I will not mention for the sake of this thread. But the good news is that Houston will rapidly become number 5 in the very near future. It is a symbol for growth and prosperity and is one of the big envies of the nation.

Its restaurant scene is booming...though not yet to be mentioned in the same breath as NYC, LA, Chicago, it probably will be in the future along with other fast growing areas. Its theater district is excellent, and will continue to be marketed to a more national level and hopefully more world level in the future. It has one of two strong legacy carriers: Continental. Though Chicago is the 2nd largest hub for the other strong legacy carrier:American.
It has lots of modern architecture that differentiates it from Chicago, though Chicago is now also undergoing a building boom including the Trump tower, the Chicago Spire (which will be the tallest building in North America).

But at the end of the day, I think I would be content if Houston and another Texas city raises its level to Beta before the other cities that are gamma status: DC, Miami, Minneapolis, Boston, Atlanta. SF is already Beta status.
My general opinion is that if Boston and DC and Miami havent raised their status by now, they're not going to do so anytime soon...
Atlanta needs to acquire a few more points just to get out of the wide range gamma status. Minneapolis, I just dont see it happening. So that leaves the Texas cities. Both a great chance. IF either one lands the Olympics in the future, it may stimulate the necessary growth bolus and world spotlight to elevate it up. SO Houston may elevate up in the future to beta. However, it's still far off from Chicago (Alpha).
Chicago still is Chicago: Home to our other stock exchange, home to several world financial institutions. Home to many of our nation's elite exhibits, etc etc.
I just dont feel like we're at the stage yet where we can compare CHicago to Houston. The reason why this comparison is taking place is for the mere fact that Houston's proper population is within 600,000 -700,000 people of Chicago's. If you move the boundaries of the city limits of Houston such that Houston is only 900 sq. km, but yet the MSA remains at 5.5 million as opposed to Chicago's 9.5 million, all of a sudden we dont have a debate. If you move the boundaries of Chicago's 588.3 sq km westward such that now it's 1600 sq. km, we will not have a debate.
We've established that proper populations do not always reflect everything. The example is Louisville Kentucky vs. Atlanta. Or Omaha Nebraska vs. St. Louis, MO. Or Indianapolis vs. San Francisco. or Dallas vs. San Antonio.


IN terms of skyscrapers, CHicago's 1000+ vs. Houston's 333. There will be no catching up anytime soon. Just simple math.

I would love for Houston to elevate beyond Chicago, b/c I'm pro Texan. I do have a lot of pride in the state that I live in. I just dont think it will happen anytime soon...it may not happen in my lifetime...if it does...it'll be generations...not 23 years (aka 2030). With Shanghai and the rest of Asia holding >50% of the world's cranes, I just dont see it happening anytime soon.


We need to compare Chicago on the world stage to places like Singapore, LA, Hong Kong, etc. Houston is no Hong Kong. It's no Shanghai. It's no LA. Houston is Houston. And I'm content with that. It has its own unique brand of Texas embedded in a large city. I do not hate Houston as some would think on this thread, I want it to succeed b/c I am pro texan. And I think it will continue to succeed for generations to come. But at the same time, I dont think Chicago will just roll over and play dead and not try to improve on its own current world status. I just dont see it happening.

Last edited by metroplex2003; 06-16-2007 at 11:14 AM..
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:36 AM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 10,772,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
Well, Houston certainly has lots of space to build skyscrapers...but it will be awhile before it catches Chicago in that category (333 buildings vs. Chicago's >1000 buildings)
I don't want it to have as many, just more than what we already do.

Quote:
Its restaurant scene is booming...though not yet to be mentioned in the same breath as NYC, LA, Chicago
Well actually, Houston is a top ranking restaurant city not far behind those cities.
Quote:
It has lots of modern architecture that differentiates it from Chicago, though Chicago is now also undergoing a building boom including the Trump tower, the Chicago Spire (which will be the tallest building in North America).
Eh, modern architecture is overrated. Unfortunately, the immediate skyline of Houston is plagued with modern structures.

Quote:
I just dont feel like we're at the stage yet where we can compare CHicago to Houston.
We most certainly can. There aren't many things that Chicago has that Houston doesn't. The cities are not as different as statistics on paper will lead you to believe.

Quote:
The reason why this comparison is taking place is for the mere fact that Houston's proper population is within 600,000 -700,000 people of Chicago's.
Regardless of the population, Houston and Chicago have constantly been compared in the past.

Mark my words, Houston will sneak up and dominate before our eyes. That's why it's called the boom city.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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I just love reading this thread. You guys have so much valuable insight and opinions. Please keep discussing and stay focused on Chicago vs Houston without this a Dallas thread.....lol

Houston appears to have charm, manners and personality. Also, if I understand correctly Houston has grown to be the most tolerant city in Texas aside from Austin? I feel that this is VERY IMPORTANT so that Texas can rid itself of the stereotype that plagues it as being "Hardcore bible belt republican conservative city" that holds the US record in executions....lol

Also, when we discuss liberalism we must remember that liberal for Houston may not be liberal for other parts of the nations and/or world. Perhaps liberal for "Texas." But what's that really saying or telling us? I think Houston has tremendous potential, if you take away the crappy weather/heat/humidity there's a way that people/local government can make Houston better.

1) Very important- Build the rail/Expand your bus services/keep costs low

2) Create a liberal climate and foster high tolerance towards diversity in culture and behavior.

3) Invest heavily in to education so that people of all economic levels can benefit.

4) Fill the sprawl in the city, build up as opposed to out. This will give people easy access to whatever they need, save time and keep people out of the heat.

5) Continue to strengthen the economy so that anyone who wants to work will have access to a decent paying job.
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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Part of the attraction of Texas and its cities is the availability of land. Countless studies have shown that it is more efficient to operate a company on a few floors rather than vertically. That's why we boast some of the lowest cost per sq. footage in the country. That is why the cost of doing business is less in Texas than in other parts of the country. Texas prides itself in its space. And it lures companies here with its space.
I still foresee a Houston that will continue to sprawl b/c that is what companies want....lowering the overhead cost of doing business.

The highrise market will be more in residential building rather than office building.

Now as for rail/bus expansion, it will be costly for Houston to catch up without having to raise the taxes and indirectly hurt businesses.

As for creatining a liberal climate...not necessary...it's well known that urbanized areas in the country are by nature leaning liberal. Another city I wont mention by name that is not Austin or San Antonio voted 70% Kerry in the last election. Now is it important, I dont think it's an optimal solution either...I think you need to have a balance...you need pro growth policies. If you have too liberal of a city that promotes socialism, Texas cities will not grow. Former major cities like St. Louis has demonstrated that Anti-growth policies had spelled disaster economically for St. Louis. St. Louis has lost so many fortune 500 companies b/c of it's non-pro growth attitude.

So both extremes in my opinion are bad. You need to have balance rather than increase one or the other.

As for education, very important. However, education needs to be a two pronged attack...yes we need to invest in it as a state and create high quality standards, yet at the same time, the family unit needs to step up and invest into the children and our future generations. And that's the hardest thing to do...changing the culture of a family.

But here are reasons why Houston has been successful:
1) It's located in a Pro-Growth state with low relative taxes
2) Affordable housing. Lots of land. If you start increasing density, and building vertically, you're going to have problems with increasing overall cost of living in Houston. It's become a problem in other Texas cities that I shall not mention.
3) Accessibility: Bush and Hobby do a great job with their Contental and Southwest hubs
4) Job climate: excellent.
5) Educated workforce: With world reknowned institutions such as Rice Univ and Baylor, it's got a great workforce
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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metroplex-

Thank you for posting that. It's a perfect example of the mindset in places like Houston and why I could never live there. The city caters to the whims of business rather than concentrate on quality of life for its residents.

Houston isn't Orlando or Tulsa. It is the world center for the global energy business. It doesn't need cheap tract houses and shabby strip malls to keep business. If Houston really wanted to step up from being just another sunbelt sprawling boom-town it would realize that and start to focus on the needs of residents, rather than the needs of business.

Look at New York; it's the world center for global finance. The high of living there doesn't change that. Look at Los Angeles; it's the world center for the movie industry. The high cost of living doesn't change that.

I am not saying that Houston's cost of living needs to be or ever will be as expensive as those cities. But the constant concern that "this" and "that" will raise the cost of living gets tiring. Residents you want in a city are willing to pay a little more for a nicer place; cities like Houston should think about that cold reality more often.
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