“The Battle for Houston” is a battle for all Texans

Pratt on TexasIn a City Journal piece headlined “The Battle for Houston,” professor and demographer Joel Kotkin discussed how “America’s most opportunity-rich city faces a long-term challenge from “smart-growth” advocates pushing for more regulation.”

In the story, Kotkin says: “Challenges to Houston’s [“light regulatory approach that reflects market forces more than ideology”] … can be found everywhere from writers for the Houston Chronicle to the urbanists at Rice University—both representing an increasingly powerful clerisy capable of challenging the long-running dominance of the local commercial and real estate interests that have always promoted growth and expansion as signs of virtue.”

Kotkin points out how the political virtue signaling by a liberal clerisy could doom Houston’s great success, which he calls an “alternative model of urbanism,”…

Kotkin points out how the political virtue signaling by a liberal clerisy could doom Houston’s great success, which he calls an “alternative model of urbanism,” by introducing the same non-market, government driven policies which have made other American cities disastrous failures when it comes to affordable living, constant reinvention, and growth.

“Without question,” wrote Kotkin, “Houston will need to update some regulations and boost its infrastructure if it wants to meet the challenge of future storms. The real question is whether flood control opens the gates for a smart-growth agenda that could seriously weaken Houston’s affordability and growth trajectory. This will depend largely on political factors… Business and political leaders shouldn’t underestimate the power of academic institutions, legacy media, and allied nonprofits to advance that cause. The battle has just begun, and the future of the Houston model hangs in the balance.”

We should insist our towns and cities let us manage our growth and keep the tell-us-how-to-live civic cheerleaders out of the way.

Houston “is largely an engineered city,” young, and among the most successful on the planet and it doesn’t even have zoning!

Anytime the progressive elites get involved our freedom is curtailed as they tell us how to use our property and live our lives. We should insist our towns and cities let us manage our growth and keep the tell-us-how-to-live civic cheerleaders out of the way.

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