When it comes to urban areas, things are not only bigger in Texas, they’re better. Acclaimed demographer Joel Kotkin highlights the growth of Texas cities, especially Dallas and Houston. Mixing effective local governments with job growth, these cities are growing at much faster clips than blue hued mega states like California and New York. And it’s not just for the cheap(er) suburban housing. Developments like The Trinity Project are attracting new residents while creating lush municipal parkland.
Dallas and other Texas cities substitute the narrow notion of “or”–that is cities can grow only if the suburbs are sufficiently strangled–with a more inclusive notion of “and.” A bigger, wealthier, more important region will have room for all sorts of grand projects that will provide more density and urban amenities.
This approach can be seen in remarkable plans for developing “an urban forest” along the Trinity River, which runs through much of Dallas. The extent of the project–which includes reforestation, white water rafting and restorations of large natural areas–would provide the Dallas region with 10,000 acres of parkland right in the heart of the region. In comparison, New York City’s Central Park, arguably the country’s most iconic urban reserve, covers some 800 acres.
So if you’re thinking about moving to either Texas or New York, would you prefer ten times the parkland, or ten times the budget deficit?