Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Liner Buildings

One of the things that drives me crazy is when I’m walking around somewhere and I encounter a building with a giant blank wall set back some distance from the street. Wearing my capitalist hat, I see these kinds of “nothing” spaces and I just cringe at the lost income that it represents for the property owner. Wearing my urbanist hat, I see these kind of spaces and feel frustrated by the lost opportunity. Where there could be life, there is void. Here’s an idea for how to use these spaces to improve walkability and boost the economy at the same time.

How Efficient Are We in Our Use of Oil?

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the continuing environmental catastrophe that has resulted got me thinking about domestic oil consumption in the United States.  Clearly, this disaster is one consequence of our dependence on petroleum and the need to satisfy that dependence with offshore exploration in increasingly difficult and hostile environments.  It [...]

A Tale of Two Shops

Today I want to take a look at two local businesses, and see what they can teach us about the reality of parking and the ability of parking ordinances to address parking supply and demand. The two business are both located on West Alabama St., near the intersection of West Alabama and Hazard. My home [...]


I was browsing through some data about historical gas prices, when I found some an interesting graph from the Energy Information Administration. Immediately something jumped off the page at me: when looking at historical inflation-adjusted gas prices, every time the price goes above $2.50 we’ve had a major economic meltdown.

Growth for the Sake of Growth

I caught an article on the New York Times today that really illustrated an important idea. Growth for the sake of growth doesn’t get you anywhere. The article takes a look at the Florida economy, and explains that after generations of a “growth-driven” economy, the population in Florida has begun to level out, and it’s taking [...]

Advancing Houston

Tory Gattis wrote this column yesterday, and I have to say I heartily agree with it. Here’s the bulk of it: Houston has a unique window of opportunity right now to secure its economic future as well as improve its world-city status. We’re currently the global capital of the oil and gas industry, one of [...]

When a picture is worth 1000 words…

This (from Slate) is an incredible visual representation of the current downturn, and of how fortunate we are to be in Texas. The blue circles represent job gains in the last year, and the red circles represent job losses. Click on the image to see the original, interactive page. It’s crazy.

Light (Crude) Reading

Houston Tomorrow published this summary of the long discussed stimulus bill that Obama plans to pass as soon as he takes office. They the following: Relatively speaking, the stimulus bill marks a tenfold increase in transit spending, perhaps the biggest sign yet that mass transit is becoming politically popular. That’s good news. – – – [...]

Necessity is the mother of invention

There was an article on CNN today talking about entrepreneurs. The article begins by discussing the difficulty in quitting a project when it’s failing, but then goes on to discuss entrepreneurship in general, and it really hit home with me. In a recession that has forced employers to eliminate 2.6 million jobs in 2008, people [...]

Whatever shall we do…

“How can we save the suburbs?” asks Allison Arieff. In urban areas, there’s rich precedent for the transformation or reuse of abandoned lots or buildings. Vacant lots have been converted into pocket parks, community gardens and pop-up stores (or they remain vacant, anxiously awaiting recovery and subsequent conversion into high-end office space condos). Old homes [...]