Awhile back (there’s no date on the thing, so I can’t say when for certain), Mark Lamster wrote a great piece for the Morning News titled “What Dallas Can Learn From Houston’s Buffalo Bayou for the Trinity River Project.” It was a little depressing. Houston has — or had — a situation not unlike the one presented by our Trinity River. They’ve figured it out — while we’re once again going back to the drawing board on that road along our river. Now comes this 6,500-word piece by Mimi Swartz in Texas Monthly. It covers some of the same ground (in a lot more detail). A taste:
Every major American city in the United States has one or more massive parks projects in the works. But Houston’s come-from-behind reinvention is about more than reputation, it’s about economic survival. Houston may be the nation’s fourth-largest city, but civic leaders have begun to worry, very quietly, about who would want to live here when fossil fuels no longer drive the economy; short term, they have been fretting about what will happen if oil sits too long below $50 a barrel.
“Houston is great at going from worst to first,” one local booster told me with the optimism that has always been endemic to this city. If that requires besting Central Park and the High Line in Manhattan, so be it. Millennium Park in Chicago? Can do! But change does not come easy to a culture that’s long been invested in exponential economic growth at all costs.
Read the whole thing. It’s worth your time. A warning, though: if you love Dallas, you’ll once again get depressed learning just how far ahead of us Houston has gotten.