As Houstonians, we love to see our city thrive and take pride in the unique mix of eclectic and traditional. We know the miscellany we find around every corner is a part of what makes our city so great. While the lack of zoning has been a topic of criticism in the past, it turns out it may be part of what makes the Bayou City so inclusive and accessible.
An article that ran in the Wall Street Journal claims Houston, along with Detroit, Singapore, Medellín and Vancouver, is a city leading the way in urban innovation. The article states for the first time in history, more humans are living in urban than rural areas. It cites a United Nations projection of nearly two-thirds of the world’s almost 10 billion people will be living in urban spaces by 2050. So where does Houston fit into the innovative idea?
Though our beloved city is growing at an extremely fast rate, our lack of zoning has allowed real estate developers to build new developments in virtually all areas of the city without dealing with rezoning. This, unlike cities such as New York City or San Francisco, has allowed prices to stay relatively affordable. Over half of the homes in Houston, with over 200,000 new units in the past six years, are considered affordable to median income families by the National Home Builders Association. To put that into perspective, only 15% of Los Angeles homes are considered affordable.
The balance between lack of zoning and high demand opens up opportunities for developers and designers, and home buyers for that matter, which they may not find elsewhere.
We at PKF Texas love our opportunity-filled city and love watching it flourish. A huge proponent of our company culture is giving back, which we do by partnering and being involved with organizations who make Houston so innovative.
The original article was written by Michael Totty, News Editor for The Journal Report, and can be found here.