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HartfordTycoon

I just got back from Houston

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OK, I just got back from Houston for the first time and have a few observations.

During my visit I saw both the worst of the worst sprawl and the best of the best. Either way you look at it, there's definately something to be said for pretty much knowing wherever you go in the city and metro there will be plenty of the amenities you are looking for. The problem is, they will be the same amenities that you just had in the section of the city you left. I mostly stayed in the Southwest area of the city and the Southwestern "suburbs". Now as far as regional identity, these suburban cities like Missouri City and Stafford seem to have much civic pride, while being totally culturally connected to Houston at the same time. Now granted Houston is huge geographically and population wise, however, I can't help but wishing that Greater Hartford could have a more uniform identity as we all agree with.

Some other quick observations:

Houston is very ugly in many areas due to the sprawl, highways, and superwide streets. However, it is very easy to navigate by car and is pretty hard to get lost. Houston is also very nice in some parts, in a suburban subdivision way of course. Even our so called bad areas, are much more architecually beautiful and historic than what they have.

Houston makes the case for annexation even more compelling to me. It would foster regional growth by creating a more vibrant, viable, larger entity as the City of Hartford. This in turn makes towns such as Avon, Manchester, and New Britain ect. pretty much into border towns with Hartford, further enhancing the Hartford identity.

Once BBS, Front Street, and Rentchler Field are complete and assuming we get a new Arena and Arena District, there would not be too much that a city even Houston's size has to offer over Hartford. We do however need these new, shiny mixed use districts that are pretty much the new norm in cities like Houston and Atlanta because people for better or worse, certainly seem to be drawn to them. We are not only trying to lure people from CT and New England to our region, but from the entire US and World even, so we do need to take into consideration what we are trying to get them to choose us over. Amenities, once we get them, we'll be OK.

Lastly, Hartford will never be a sprawling, ugly monster of a metro. The natural beauty here is too great, and the course is too slow to even worry about that. I say even picking up the pace of smart growth designed to last would be a move in the right direction.

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Hartford's history is much more extensive than Houston's. Houston is just one huge metropolis, that's it.

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Been to Houston many times. It is famous for the lack of zoning laws.

Back in the 70s and 80s there were 6,000 people a month moving into the metro area. Houston grew like an octopus right along the interstate corridors.

They built the beltway very close to the city, too close, and that also contributed to spreading the downtown all over the area.

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Hartford's history is much more extensive than Houston's. Houston is just one huge metropolis, that's it.

Houston has a lot of history and culture. You could learn something by reading this rather than diminishing Houston to "just one huge metropolis" lacking history.

Houston is a great city, but like other huge cities it's got its problems with sprawl and such. I see that on a daily basis in my line of work, as I get clients on a daily basis who are new to Houston and are building in the really far outer exurbs.

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Houston has a lot of history and culture. You could learn something by reading this rather than diminishing Houston to "just one huge metropolis" lacking history.

Houston is a great city, but like other huge cities it's got its problems with sprawl and such. I see that on a daily basis in my line of work, as I get clients on a daily basis who are new to Houston and are building in the really far outer exurbs.

I never said Houston was a bad city!!! In fact the last time I visited Texas, I was very impressed with the state in general. I'm just saying Hartford has more history than Houston.

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Houston is over 600 square miles (and no meaningful zoning laws). It's land area is 35 times Hartford. It always ranks at the top of the air pollution index for major cities. Every city has nice things about it but this place is a mess.

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I never said Houston was a bad city!!! In fact the last time I visited Texas, I was very impressed with the state in general. I'm just saying Hartford has more history than Houston.

My mistake. From your post, it sounded as though you thought of Houston as nothing more than a huge blob in south Texas. It is, in fact, much more. There is no mistaking that Hartford has more history than Houston... Hartford is in New England, which is a region rich in history. Anyway, sorry if I took your original post out of context. :whistling:

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My mistake. From your post, it sounded as though you thought of Houston as nothing more than a huge blob in south Texas. It is, in fact, much more. There is no mistaking that Hartford has more history than Houston... Hartford is in New England, which is a region rich in history. Anyway, sorry if I took your original post out of context. :whistling:

Not a huge blob, a huge metropolis. But I'm not saying that in a bad way. Houston has a huge skyline and it's beautiful. I was always impressed by it.

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Houston does not even compare with Hartford at all historically. If they ever had any historic structures, it looks like they paved over them for 6 lane streets and sprawl. Hartford will never get that bad, even if we relaxed some of our zoning laws a little bit. I really think there are many areas that could benefit by increased development such as Bloomfield and Windsor. I think that since our region is much more dense and compact, we don't need to sprawl much if we put everything in the center of the region, like BBS, Front Street, and Rentchler Field. These projects would not even be felt in Houston, but the impact in Hartford will be huge.

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We don't even need to increase development in Windsor/ Bloomfield, we can just do it along roads like Windsor St and Homestead Ave. Plenty of room on both those streets, it could change the city if there was a concerted effort to really plan out streets like those....

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