Report: Texas cities leading the way in economic and urban growth
The Center for Opportunity Urbanism (COU) is a national think tank that studies American cities and urban policy. The group’s latest report, “The Texas Way of Urbanism,” explores rapid metropolitan growth in Texas and considers the growing importance of large cities in the Lone Star State, particularly within the Texas Triangle (a region formed by Dallas-Fort Worth in the north, Houston in the southeast, and San Antonio-Austin in the southwest).
“The future of American cities can be summed up in five letters: Texas,” the COU’s 68-page report says. “The metropolitan areas of the Lone Star state are developing rapidly. These cities are offering residents a broad array of choices—from high density communities to those where the population is spread out—and a wealth of opportunities.”
According to the report, one of the most important drivers of population growth in Texas is the state’s business-friendly economic climate.
“Texas is consistently ranked by business executives as the first or second leading state,” the report states. “Needless to say, New York, California and Illinois do not fare nearly as well. The Texas tax burden ranks 41st in the country. Compare this to New York, which has the highest total state tax burden.”
Although many urbanists think metro areas like New York, London, and Chicago are cities of the future, the COU maintains that the opposite is happening: soaring housing prices and stagnant job growth are driving millions of people out of these coastal “glamour cities” and to places like Texas.
“Texas now boasts some of the most dynamic urban areas in the high income world,” the report explains. “Approximately 80 percent of all population growth since 2000 in the Lone Star state has been in the four largest metropolitan areas.11 People may wear cowboy boots, drive pickups and attend the big rodeo in Houston, but they are first and foremost part of a great urban experiment.”