When the first edition of Cities of Opportunity was developed, we made a decision to rank cities only in their 10 indicator categories and to forego showing overall rankings to avoid the misperception of a contest. That risk seemed especially significant in 2007, when the media cast New York and London in a death match for global capital market kingship.
The following books are the story of a neighborhood in Midtown Houston. This study is focused on the transit district surrounding the Ensemble/HCC station area - though many of the challenges and opportunities are common to Midtown in general. The seven Books cover a lot of ground. We review Midtown’s past as an important window into its present. We look in detail at the current urban fabric and infrastructure in, “Integrate Systems”, and we document the prevailing and emerging patterns of land use in “Identify Districts”. These two Books go on to identify strategies and prioritized objectives for improving the urban fabric and the potential opportunities for strengthening and incentivizing increased land use activity - in line with primary objectives of the Livable Centers program. We address the particular challenges of implementation in terms of funding and regulatory contexts; and we identify speci.c project opportunities and design concepts that could…
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…
The proposed Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (LRT) line stretching from downtown Minneapolis to downtown Saint Paul has the potential to revitalize the neighborhoods it passes through. Projected to carry nearly 43,270 passengers daily by the year 2030, the line is an opportunity for significant investment in the local economy through transportation infrastructure improvements. When completed, the increased mobility and accessibility along the corridor will provide opportunities for increased economic activity and provide existing businesses with the ability to reach new markets.
Many of the business owners along the corridor, however, are concerned about the negative impacts the construction process may bring. The proposed transit line is scheduled to begin a three year construction phase in 2010. Construction of light rail, like any large construction process, can significantly disrupt the normal business operations along a corridor. Potential impacts include the…
Houston’s Midtown could be home to new city residents, a vibrant and prosperous neighborhood serving as the center of gravity for Houston’s entrepreneurial professionals. All the elements are in place for this neighborhood to take off: prime location between downtown, the Texas Medical Center, and the Museum District; an excellent street network; and high-quality service by METRORail. Unfortunately, a few barriers are keeping Midtown from developing to its full potential. These include: lack of a clear development strategy around the transit stations; parking ordinances that restrict development options; and the high cost of construction.
Considering the difficult experience many Houstonians had during the construction of the region’s first light rail line from Downtown to the Medical Center, the Gulf Coast Institute recently explored the experiences of six big cities engaged in building new light rail transit systems. We selected the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Portland, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City, all of which have recently built their first line or added to their light rail system. We tried to reach representatives of the transit agency, the local government, and the business community, and in many cases had to follow leads to reach individuals who had firsthand experience during construction. This paper covers one part of that ongoing effort.
As seen in Houston, construction of light rail can have a disruptive affect on businesses, just the same as utility and street development. Businesses directly abutting the roadway are especially at risk if access by customers or…
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (“METRO”) of Harris County, Texas is pleased to announce a Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for transit-oriented development compatible with METRO’s proposed Cypress Park & Ride (“Cypress”). The purpose of the RFP is to seek proposals from qualified developers (“Proposer”) to develop, manage and operate transit oriented development in association with the Cypress Park & Ride.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (“METRO”) of Harris County, Texas is announcing a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) for transit-oriented development of the Texas Medical Center Transit Center (“TMC Transit Center”). The purpose of the RFQ process is to establish a short list of 4-6 real estate development firms capable of successfully completing a transit-oriented development. Developers are invited to submit their qualifications to METRO for evaluation with the objective of being included on METRO’s preferred developer short list from which a development team may be selected to build a project at the TMC Transit Center within the next 1-2 years.