|City of Houston|
|Nickname(s): Space City (official), more...|
Location of Houston city limits in and around Harris County
|Counties||Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery|
|Incorporated||June 5, 1837|
|• Body||Houston City Council|
|• Mayor||Annise Parker|
|• City||627.8 sq mi (1,625.2 km2)|
|• Land||599.59 sq mi (1,552.9 km2)|
|• Water||27.9 sq mi (72.3 km2)|
|• Metro||10,062 sq mi (26,060 km2)|
|Elevation||43 ft (13 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• City||2,195,914 (4th U.S.)|
|• Density||3,662/sq mi (1,414/km2)|
|• Urban||4,944,332 (7th U.S.)|
|• Metro||6,313,158 (5th U.S.)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||281, 346, 713, 832|
|GNIS feature ID||1380948|
Houston (i// HYOO-stən) is the most populous city in Texas, and the fourth most populous city in the United States. With a census-estimated 2013 population of 2.19 million people within a land area of 599.6 square miles (1,553 km2), Houston is the largest city in the Southern United States, the seat of Harris County, and fifth-most populated metropolitan area in the United States.
Houston was founded in 1836 on land near the banks of Buffalo Bayou (now known as Allen's Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city was named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had commanded and won at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.
Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It is also leading in health care sectors and building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is considered to be the most diverse city in Texas and the United States. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year to the Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Culture
- 6 Sports
- 7 Government and politics
- 8 Education
- 9 Media
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Sister cities
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 Further reading
- 16 External links
In August 1836, two real estate entrepreneurs—Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen—from New York, purchased 6,642 acres (26.88 km2) of land along Buffalo Bayou with the intent of founding a city. The Allen brothers decided to name the city after Sam Houston, the popular general at the Battle of San Jacinto, who was elected President of Texas in September 1836.
Houston was granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County (now Harris County) and the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and waterborne business at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou.
By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Bankhead Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad center of Texas.
In 1900, after Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane, efforts to make Houston into a viable deep-water port were accelerated. The following year, oil discovered at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt approved a $1 million improvement project for the Houston Ship Channel. By 1910 the city's population had reached 78,800, almost doubling from a decade before. African-Americans formed a large part of the city's population, numbering 23,929 people, or nearly one-third of the residents.
President Woodrow Wilson opened the deep-water Port of Houston in 1914, seven years after digging began. By 1930, Houston had become Texas' most populous city and Harris the most populous county. In 1940, the Census Bureau reported Houston's population as 77.5% white and 22.4% black.
When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products during the war. Ellington Field, initially built during World War I, was revitalized as an advanced training center for bombardiers and navigators. The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in 1942 to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II. The M.D. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center in 1945. After the war, Houston's economy reverted to being primarily port-driven. In 1948, several unincorporated areas were annexed into the city limits, which more than doubled the city's size, and Houston proper began to spread across the region.
In 1950, the availability of air conditioning provided impetus for many companies to relocate to Houston resulting in an economic boom and producing a key shift in the city's economy toward the energy sector.
The increased production of the local shipbuilding industry during World War II spurred Houston's growth, as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973), which created the city's aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World", opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor domed sports stadium.
During the late 1970s, Houston experienced a population boom as people from the Rust Belt states moved to Texas in large numbers. The new residents came for numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab Oil Embargo.
The population boom ended abruptly in the mid-1980s, as oil prices fell precipitously. The space industry also suffered in 1986 after the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after launch. The late 1980s saw a recession adversely affecting the city's economy. After the early 1990s recession, Houston made efforts to diversify its economy by focusing on aerospace and health care/biotechnology and reduced its dependence on the petroleum industry, but as oil prices increased again in the 2000s, the petroleum industry has again increased its share of the local economy.
In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain on parts of Houston, causing the worst flooding in the city's history. The storm cost billions of dollars in damage and killed 20 people in Texas. By December of that same year, Houston-based energy company Enron collapsed into the third-largest ever U.S. bankruptcy during an investigation surrounding fabricated partnerships that were allegedly used to hide debt and inflate profits.
As time went by, many of Houston's African American neighborhoods such as Acres Homes, Sunnyside, Third Ward and the Fifth Ward starting to decline.  In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. One month later, approximately 2.5 million Houston area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area. This was the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 656.3 square miles (1,700 km2); this comprises 634.0 square miles (1,642 km2) of land and 22.3 square miles (58 km2) of water. Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland and forest. Much of the city was built on forested land, marshes, swamp, or prairie which resembles the Deep South, and are all still visible in surrounding areas. Flatness of the local terrain, when combined with urban sprawl, has made flooding a recurring problem for the city. Downtown stands about 50 feet (15 m) above sea level, and the highest point in far northwest Houston is about 125 feet (38 m) in elevation. The city once relied on groundwater for its needs, but land subsidence forced the city to turn to ground-level water sources such as Lake Houston, Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston. The city owns surface water rights for 1.20 billion gallons of water a day in addition to 150 million gallons a day worth of groundwater.
Houston has four major bayous passing through the city. Buffalo Bayou runs through downtown and the Houston Ship Channel, and has three tributaries: White Oak Bayou, which runs through the Houston Heights community northwest of Downtown and then towards Downtown; Braes Bayou, which runs along the Texas Medical Center; and Sims Bayou, which runs through the south of Houston and downtown Houston. The ship channel continues past Galveston and then into the Gulf of Mexico.
Underpinning Houston's land surface are unconsolidated clays, clay shales, and poorly cemented sands up to several miles deep. The region's geology developed from river deposits formed from the erosion of the Rocky Mountains. These sediments consist of a series of sands and clays deposited on decaying organic marine matter, that over time, transformed into oil and natural gas. Beneath the layers of sediment is a water-deposited layer of halite, a rock salt. The porous layers were compressed over time and forced upward. As it pushed upward, the salt dragged surrounding sediments into salt dome formations, often trapping oil and gas that seeped from the surrounding porous sands. The thick, rich, sometimes black, surface soil is suitable for rice farming in suburban outskirts where the city continues to grow.
The Houston area has over 150 active faults (estimated to be 300 active faults) with an aggregate length of up to 310 miles (500 km), including the Long Point–Eureka Heights fault system which runs through the center of the city. There have been no significant historically recorded earthquakes in Houston, but researchers do not discount the possibility of such quakes having occurred in the deeper past, nor occurring in the future. Land in some areas southeast of Houston is sinking because water has been pumped out of the ground for many years. It may be associated with slip along the faults; however, the slippage is slow and not considered an earthquake, where stationary faults must slip suddenly enough to create seismic waves. These faults also tend to move at a smooth rate in what is termed "fault creep", which further reduces the risk of an earthquake.
Houston's climate is classified as humid subtropical (Cfa in Köppen climate classification system), typical of the lower South. While not located in "Tornado Alley", like much of the rest of Texas, spring supercell thunderstorms sometimes bring tornadoes to the area. Prevailing winds are from the south and southeast during most of the year, which bring heat and moisture from the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
During the summer months, it is common for temperatures to reach over 90 °F (32 °C), with an average of 106.5 days per year, including a majority from June to September, with a high of 90 °F or above and 4.6 days at or over 100 °F (38 °C). However, humidity usually yields a higher heat index. Summer mornings average over 90 percent relative humidity. Winds are often light in the summer and offer little relief, except in the far southeastern outskirts near the Gulf coast and Galveston. To cope with the strong humidity and heat, people use air conditioning in nearly every vehicle and building. In 1980, Houston was described as the "most air-conditioned place on earth". Officially, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Houston is 109 °F (43 °C), which was reached both on September 4, 2000 and August 28, 2011. Dewpoints in the summer hover around 70 to 72 °F (21 to 22 °C).
Houston has mild winters in contrast to most areas of the United States. In January, the normal mean temperature at Intercontinental Airport is 53.1 °F (11.7 °C), while that station has an average of 13 days with a low at or below freezing. Snowfall is rare. Recent snow events in Houston include a storm on December 24, 2004 when one inch (2.5 cm) of snow accumulated in parts of the metro area. Falls of at least one inch on both December 10, 2008 and December 4, 2009 marked the first time measurable snowfall had occurred in two consecutive years in the city's recorded history. The coldest temperature officially recorded in Houston was 5 °F (−15 °C) on January 23, 1940. Houston has historically received an ample amount of rainfall, averaging about 49.8 in (1,260 mm) annually per 1981–2010 normals. Localized flooding often occurs, owing to the extremely flat topography and widespread typical clay-silt prairie soils, which do not drain quickly.
Houston has excessive ozone levels and is routinely ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States. Ground-level ozone, or smog, is Houston's predominant air pollution problem, with the American Lung Association rating the metropolitan area's ozone level 6th on the "Top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities" in 2014. The industries located along the ship channel are a major cause of the city's air pollution. In 2006, Houston's air quality was comparable to that of Los Angeles.
|Climate data for Houston (Intercontinental Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1888–present[a]|
|Record high °F (°C)||87
|Average high °F (°C)||62.9
|Average low °F (°C)||43.2
|Record low °F (°C)||5
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.38
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.6||9.2||8.8||6.8||8.0||10.6||9.1||8.3||8.0||7.9||8.2||9.5||104.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||143.4||155.0||192.5||209.8||249.2||281.3||293.9||270.5||236.5||228.8||168.3||148.7||2,577.9|
|Percent possible sunshine||44||50||52||54||59||67||68||66||64||64||53||47||58|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1969–1990, sun 1961–1990)|
Houston was incorporated in 1837 under the ward system of representation. The ward designation is the progenitor of the eleven current-day geographically oriented Houston City Council districts. Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 Loop. The inside encompasses the central business district and many residential neighborhoods that predate World War II. More recently, high-density residential areas have been developed within the loop. The city's outlying areas, suburbs and enclaves are located outside of the loop. Beltway 8 encircles the city another 5 miles (8.0 km) farther out.
Though Houston is the largest city in the United States without formal zoning regulations, it has developed similarly to other Sun Belt cities because the city's land use regulations and legal covenants have played a similar role. Regulations include mandatory lot size for single-family houses and requirements that parking be available to tenants and customers. Such restrictions have had mixed results. Though some have blamed the city's low density, urban sprawl, and lack of pedestrian-friendliness on these policies, the city's land use has also been credited with having significant affordable housing, sparing Houston the worst effects of the 2008 real estate crisis. The city issued 42,697 building permits in 2008 and was ranked first in the list of healthiest housing markets for 2009.
Voters rejected efforts to have separate residential and commercial land-use districts in 1948, 1962, and 1993. Consequently, rather than a single central business district as the center of the city's employment, multiple districts have grown throughout the city in addition to downtown which include Uptown, Texas Medical Center, Midtown, Greenway Plaza, Memorial City, Energy Corridor, Westchase, and Greenspoint.
Houston has the third tallest skyline in North America and twelfth tallest in the world, as of 2011. A seven-mile (11 km) system of tunnels and skywalks link downtown buildings containing shops and restaurants, enabling pedestrians to avoid summer heat and rain while walking between buildings.
In the 1960s, Downtown Houston consisted of a collection of mid-rise office structures. Downtown was on the threshold of an energy industry–led boom in 1970. A succession of skyscrapers were built throughout the 1970s—many by real estate developer Gerald D. Hines—culminating with Houston's tallest skyscraper, the 75-floor, 1,002-foot (305 m)-tall JPMorgan Chase Tower (formerly the Texas Commerce Tower), completed in 1982. It is the tallest structure in Texas, 15th tallest building in the United States, and the 85th tallest skyscraper in the world, based on highest architectural feature. In 1983, the 71-floor, 992-foot (302 m)-tall Wells Fargo Plaza (formerly Allied Bank Plaza) was completed, becoming the second-tallest building in Houston and Texas. Based on highest architectural feature, it is the 17th tallest in the United States and the 95th tallest in the world. In 2007, downtown Houston had over 43 million square feet (4,000,000 m²) of office space.
Centered on Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer Road, the Uptown District boomed during the 1970s and early 1980s when a collection of mid-rise office buildings, hotels, and retail developments appeared along Interstate 610 west. Uptown became one of the most prominent instances of an edge city. The tallest building in Uptown is the 64-floor, 901-foot (275 m)-tall, Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed landmark Williams Tower (known as the Transco Tower until 1999). At the time of construction, it was believed to be the world's tallest skyscraper outside of a central business district. The new 20-story Skanska building and BBVA Compass Plaza are the newest office buildings built in the Galleria area after thirty years. The Uptown District is also home to buildings designed by noted architects I. M. Pei, César Pelli, and Philip Johnson. In the late 1990s and early 2000s decade, there was a mini-boom of mid-rise and high-rise residential tower construction, with several over 30 stories tall. Since 2000 more than 30 high-rise buildings have gone up in Houston; all told, 72 high-rises tower over the city, which adds up to about 8,300 units. In 2002, Uptown had more than 23 million square feet (2,100,000 m²) of office space with 16 million square feet (1,500,000 m²) of Class A office space.
Houston is multicultural, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries as well as being a major port city. Over 90 languages are spoken in the city. It has among the youngest populations in the nation, partly due to an influx of immigrants into Texas. An estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants reside in the Houston area.
According to the 2010 Census, whites made up 51% of Houston's population; 26% of the total population were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 24% of Houston's population. American Indians made up 0.7% of the population. Asians made up 6% (1.7% Vietnamese, 1.3% Chinese, 1.3% Indian, 0.9% Pakistani, 0.4% Filipino, 0.3% Korean, 0.1% Japanese), while Pacific Islanders made up 0.1%. Individuals from some other race made up 15.2% of the city's population, of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.3% of the city. People of Hispanic origin, regardless of race, made up 44% of Houston's population.
At the 2000 Census, there were 1,953,631 people and the population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.3% White, 25.3% African American, 5.3% Asian, 0.4% American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 16.5% from some other race, and 3.1% from two or more races. In addition, Hispanics made up 37.4% of Houston's population while non-Hispanic whites made up 30.8%, down from 62.4% in 1970.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,000, and the median income for a family was $40,000. Males had a median income of $32,000 versus $27,000 for females. The per capita income was $20,000. Nineteen percent of the population and 16% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 26% of those under the age of 18 and 14% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
|Black or African American||23.7%||28.1%||25.7%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||43.8%||27.6%||11.3%|
|Top publicly traded companies
in Houston for 2013
with Texas and U.S. ranks
|7||Enterprise Products Partners||64|
|9||Plains All American Pipeline||77|
|18||National Oilwell Varco||144|
|37||Group 1 Automotive||343|
|39||Enbridge Energy Partners||38|
|Rankings for fiscal year ended January 31, 2013.|
|Energy and oil (22 companies)|
Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. Renewable energy sources—wind and solar—are also growing economic bases in Houston. The ship channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base. Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The Houston area is the top U.S. market for exports, surpassing New York City in 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. In 2012, the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land area recorded $110.3 billion in merchandise exports. Petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and gas extraction equipment accounted for approximately two-thirds of the metropolitan area's exports last year. The top three destinations for exports were Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.
The Houston area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. Much of Houston's success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy ship channel, the Port of Houston. The port ranks first in the United States in international commerce, and is the tenth-largest port in the world. Unlike most places, high oil and gasoline prices are beneficial for Houston's economy as many of its residents are employed in the energy industry.
The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land MSA's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 was $489 billion, the fourth-largest of any metropolitan area in the United States and larger than Austria's, Venezuela's or South Africa's GDP. Only 26 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product. In 2010, mining, which in Houston consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas, accounted for 26.3% of Houston's GAP, up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity; followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.
The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston-area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated. This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the UH System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5 percent of graduates are still living and working in the region.
In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the Category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine. Foreign governments have established 92 consular offices in metropolitan Houston, the third highest in the nation. Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here and 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.
In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance Best Cities of 2008 list which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs and quality of life. The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine. In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters, ranked first for Forbes Best Cities for College Graduates, and ranked first on Forbes list of Best Cities to Buy a Home. In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.
In 2013, Houston was identified as the #1 U.S. city for job creation by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics after it was not only the first major city to regain all the jobs lost in the preceding economic downturn, but after the crash, more than two jobs were added for every one lost. Economist and vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership Patrick Jankowski attributed Houston's success to the ability of the region's real estate and energy industries to learn from historical mistakes. Furthermore, Jankowski stated that "more than 100 foreign-owned companies relocated, expanded or started new businesses in Houston" between 2008 and 2010, and this openness to external business boosted job creation during a period when domestic demand was problematically low. Also in 2013, Houston again appeared on Forbes' list of Best Places for Business and Careers.
Located in the American South, Houston is a diverse city with a large and growing international community. The metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area's foreign-born population from south of the United States–Mexico border. Additionally, more than one in five foreign-born residents are from Asia. The city is home to the nation's third-largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 countries.
Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from early to late March, is the largest annual livestock show and rodeo in the world. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. Other annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival, and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.
Houston received the official nickname of "Space City" in 1967 because it is the location of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Other nicknames often used by locals include "Bayou City", "Clutch City", "Magnolia City", "New Houston" (a tribute to the cultural contributions of New Orleans natives who left their city during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina catastrophe), and "H-Town".
Arts and theater
The Houston Theater District, located downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a downtown area in the United States. Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre). Houston is also home to folk artists, art groups and various small progressive arts organizations. Houston attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions for a variety of interests. Facilities in the Theater District include the Jones Hall—home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Society for the Performing Arts—and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
The Museum District's cultural institutions and exhibits attract more than 7 million visitors a year. Notable facilities include The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Zoo. Located near the Museum District are The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.
Bayou Bend is a 14-acre (5.7 ha) facility of the Museum of Fine Arts that houses one of America's best collections of decorative art, paintings and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg.
The National Museum of Funeral History is located in Houston near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The museum houses the original Popemobile used by Pope John Paul II in the 1980s along with numerous hearses, embalming displays and information on famous funerals.
Venues across Houston regularly host local and touring rock, blues, country, dubstep, and Tejano musical acts. While Houston has never been widely known for its music scene, Houston hip-hop has become a significant, independent music scene that is influential nationwide.
Tourism and recreation
The Theater District is a 17-block area in the center of downtown Houston that is home to the Bayou Place entertainment complex, restaurants, movies, plazas, and parks. Bayou Place is a large multilevel building containing full-service restaurants, bars, live music, billiards, and Sundance Cinema. The Bayou Music Center stages live concerts, stage plays, and stand-up comedy. Space Center Houston is the official visitors' center of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The Space Center has many interactive exhibits including moon rocks, a shuttle simulator, and presentations about the history of NASA's manned space flight program. Other tourist attractions include the Galleria (Texas's largest shopping mall located in the Uptown District), Old Market Square, the Downtown Aquarium, and Sam Houston Race Park.
Of worthy mention are Houston's current Chinatown and the Mahatma Gandhi District. Both areas offer a picturesque view of Houston's multicultural makeup. Restaurants, bakeries, traditional-clothing boutiques and specialty shops can be found in both areas.
Houston is home to 337 parks including Hermann Park, Terry Hershey Park, Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Discovery Green, and Sam Houston Park. Within Hermann Park are the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sam Houston Park contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905. There is a proposal to open the city's first botanic garden at Herman Brown Park.
Of the 10 most populous U.S. cities, Houston has the most total area of parks and green space, 56,405 acres (228 km2). The city also has over 200 additional green spaces—totaling over 19,600 acres (79 km2) that are managed by the city—including the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is a public skatepark owned and operated by the city of Houston, and is one of the largest skateparks in Texas consisting of 30,000 (2,800 m2) square foot in-ground facility. The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park—located in the Uptown District of the city—serves as a popular tourist attraction, weddings, and various celebrations. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Houston the 23rd most walkable of the 50 largest cities in the United States. Wet'n'Wild SplashTown is a water park located north of Houston. A 640-acre theme park, called the Grand Texas Theme Park, will open in 2015 and is located near Houston in New Caney, Texas.
Houston has sports teams for every major professional league except the National Hockey League (NHL). The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball (MLB) expansion team formed in 1962 (known as the "Colt .45s" until 1965) that made one World Series appearance in 2005. The Houston Rockets are a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in Houston since 1971. The Rockets have won two NBA Championships: in 1994 and 1995. The Houston Texans are a National Football League (NFL) expansion team formed in 2002. The Houston Dynamo are a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise that has been based in Houston since 2006. The Houston Dash play in the National Women's Soccer League.
Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets), are located in downtown Houston. Houston has the NFL's first retractable-roof stadium with natural grass, NRG Stadium (home of the Texans). Minute Maid Park is also a retractable-roof stadium. Toyota Center also has the largest screen for an indoor arena in the United States built to coincide with the arena's hosting of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. BBVA Compass Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium for the Dynamo and Dash, located in East Downtown. In addition, NRG Astrodome was the first indoor stadium in the world, built in 1965. Other sports facilities include Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston Cougars basketball), Rice Stadium (Rice Owls football), and Reliant Arena. TDECU Stadium is currently under construction for the University of Houston Houston Cougars football team, and is scheduled to open by August 2014.
Houston has hosted several major sports events: the 1968, 1986 and 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Games; the 1989, 2006 and 2013 NBA All-Star Games; Super Bowl VIII and Super Bowl XXXVIII, as well as hosting the 2005 World Series and 1981, 1986, 1994 and 1995 NBA Finals, winning the latter two. Super Bowl LI is currently slated to be hosted in NRG Stadium in 2017.
The city has hosted several major professional and college sporting events, including the annual Houston Open golf tournament. Houston hosts the annual NCAA College Baseball Classic every February and NCAA football's Texas Bowl in December.
The Grand Prix of Houston, an annual auto race on the IndyCar Series circuit is held on a 1.7-mile temporary street circuit in Reliant Park. The October 2013 event was held using a tweaked version of the 2006-2007 course. The event has a 5-year race contract through 2017 with IndyCar.
Government and politics
The city of Houston has a strong mayoral form of municipal government. Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in the state of Texas are nonpartisan. The City's elected officials are the mayor, city controller and 16 members of the Houston City Council. The current mayor of Houston is Annise Parker, a Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot whose third (and final) term in office will expire at the end of 2015. Houston's mayor serves as the city's chief administrator, executive officer, and official representative, and is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced.
The original city council line-up of 14 members (nine district-based and five at-large positions) was based on a U.S. Justice Department mandate which took effect in 1979. At-large council members represent the entire city. Under the city charter, once the population in the city limits exceeded 2.1 million residents, two additional districts were to be added. The city of Houston's official 2010 census count was 600 shy of the required number; however, as the city was expected to grow beyond 2.1 million shortly thereafter, the two additional districts were added for, and the positions filled during, the August 2011 elections.
The city controller is elected independently of the mayor and council. The controller's duties are to certify available funds prior to committing such funds and processing disbursements. The city's fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Ronald Green is the city controller, serving his first term as of January 2010.
As the result of a 1991 referendum in Houston, a mayor is elected for a two-year term, and can be elected to as many as three consecutive terms. The term limits were spearheaded by conservative political activist Clymer Wright. The city controller and city council members are also subject to the same two-year, three-term limitations.
Houston is considered to be a politically divided city whose balance of power often sways between Republicans and Democrats. Much of the city's wealthier areas vote Republican while the city's working class and minority areas vote Democratic. According to the 2005 Houston Area Survey, 68 percent of non-Hispanic whites in Harris County are declared or favor Republicans while 89 percent of non-Hispanic blacks in the area are declared or favor Democrats. About 62 percent Hispanics (of any race) in the area are declared or favor Democrats. The city has often been known to be the most politically diverse city in Texas, a state known for being generally conservative. As a result the city is often a contested area in statewide elections. In 2009, Houston became the first US city with a population over 1 million citizens to elect a gay mayor, by electing Annise Parker.
Houston's murder rate ranked 46th of U.S. cities with a population over 250,000 in 2005 (per capita rate of 16.3 murders per 100,000 population). In 2010, the city's murder rate (per capita rate of 11.8 murders per 100,000 population) was ranked fifth among U.S. cities with a population of over 750,000 (behind New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, and Philadelphia) according to the FBI.
Murders fell by 37 percent from January to June 2011, compared with the same period in 2010. Houston's total crime rate including violent and nonviolent crimes decreased by 11 percent.
Houston is a significant hub for trafficking of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, MDMA, and methamphetamine due to its size and proximity to major illegal drug exporting nations. Houston is one of the country's largest hubs for human trafficking.
Seventeen school districts exist within the city of Houston. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. HISD has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools—specializing in such disciplines as health professions, visual and performing arts, and the sciences. There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. In addition, some public school districts also have their own charter schools.
The Houston area encompasses more than 300 private schools, many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission recognized agencies. The Houston Area Independent Schools offer education from a variety of different religious as well as secular viewpoints. The Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Colleges and universities
Four separate and distinct state universities are located in Houston. The University of Houston is a nationally recognized Tier One research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The third-largest university in Texas, the University of Houston has nearly 40,000 students on its 667-acre campus in southeast Houston. The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are stand-alone universities; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Located in the historic community of Third Ward is Texas Southern University, one of the largest historically black colleges and universities in the United States. Several private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges, such as The University of St. Thomas, Houston's only Catholic University to Rice University, the nationally recognized research university—are located within the city. Rice, with a total enrollment of slightly more than 6,000 students, has a number of distinguished graduate programs and research institutes such as the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Three community college districts exist with campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System serves most of Houston. The northwestern through northeastern parts of the city are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the southeastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College, and a northeastern portion is served by Lee College. The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are within the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.
The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area is served by one public television station and two public radio stations. KUHT (HoustonPBS) is a PBS member station and is the first public television station in the United States. Houston Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises two NPR member stations: KUHF (KUHF News) and KUHA (Classical 91.7). KUHF is news/talk radio and KUHA is a classical music station. The University of Houston System owns and holds broadcasting licenses to KUHT, KUHF, and KUHA. The stations broadcast from the Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, located on the campus of the University of Houston.
Houston is served by the Houston Chronicle, its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution. The Hearst Corporation, which owns and operates the Houston Chronicle, bought the assets of the Houston Post—its long-time rival and main competition—when Houston Post ceased operations in 1995. The Houston Post was owned by the family of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby of Houston. The only other major publication to serve the city is the Houston Press—a free alternative weekly with a weekly readership of more than 300,000.
Houston is the seat of the internationally renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions. All 49 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are non-profit organizations. They provide patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. Employing more than 73,600 people, institutions at the medical center include 13 hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight, was created, and a very successful inter-institutional transplant program was developed. More heart surgeries are performed at the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.
Some of the academic and research health institutions at the center include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and University of Houston College of Pharmacy.
The Baylor College of Medicine has annually been considered within the top ten medical schools in the nation; likewise, the MD Anderson Cancer Center has consistently ranked as one of the top two U.S. hospitals specializing in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report since 1990. The Menninger Clinic, a renowned psychiatric treatment center, is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital System. With hospital locations nationwide and headquarters in Houston, the Triumph Healthcare hospital system is the third largest long term acute care provider nationally.
The predominant form of transportation in Houston is the automobile with 71.7 percent of residents driving alone to work This is facilitated through Houston's freeway system, comprising 739.3 miles (1,189.8 km) of freeways and expressways in a ten-county metropolitan area. However, the Texas Transportation Institute's annual Urban Mobility Report found that Houston had the fourth-worst congestion in the country with commuters spending an average of 58 hours in traffic in 2009.
Houston's highway system has a hub-and-spoke freeway structure serviced by multiple loops. The innermost loop is Interstate 610, which encircles downtown, the medical center, and many core neighborhoods with around a 8-mile (13 km) diameter. Beltway 8 and its freeway core, the Sam Houston Tollway, form the middle loop at a diameter of roughly 23 miles (37 km). A proposed highway project, State Highway 99 (Grand Parkway), will form a third loop outside of Houston, totaling 180 miles in length and making an almost-complete circumference, with the exception of crossing the ship channel. As of June 2014, two of eleven segments of State Highway 99 have been completed to the west of Houston, and three northern segments, totaling 38 miles, are actively under construction and scheduled to open to traffic late in 2015. In addition to the Sam Houston Tollway loop mentioned above, the Harris County Toll Road Authority currently operates four spoke tollways: The Katy Managed Lanes of Interstate 10, the Hardy Toll Road, the Westpark Tollway, and the Fort Bend Parkway Extension. Other spoke roads either planned or under construction include Crosby Freeway, and the future Alvin Freeway.
Houston's freeway system is monitored by Houston TranStar—a partnership of four government agencies that are responsible for providing transportation and emergency management services to the region.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) provides public transportation in the form of buses, light rail, and lift vans.
METRO began light rail service on January 1, 2004, with the inaugural track ("Red Line") running about 8 miles (13 km) from the University of Houston–Downtown (UHD), which traverses through the Texas Medical Center and terminates at Reliant Park. METRO is currently in the design phase of a 10-year expansion plan that will add five more lines. and expand the current Red Line. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service three times a week to Houston via the Sunset Limited (Los Angeles–New Orleans), which stops at a train station on the north side of the downtown area. The station saw 14,891 boardings and alightings in fiscal year 2008. In 2012, there was a 25 percent increase in ridership to 20,327 passengers embarking from the Houston Amtrak station.
Houston has the largest number of bike commuters in Texas with over 160 miles of dedicated bikeways. The city is currently in the process of expanding its on and off street bikeway network. A new Bicycle sharing system known as Houston B-Cycle currently operates 29 different stations in downtown and neighboring areas
Houston is served by three airports, two of which are commercial that served 52 million passengers in 2007 and managed by the Houston Airport System. The Federal Aviation Administration and the state of Texas selected the "Houston Airport System as Airport of the Year" for 2005, largely because of its multi-year, $3.1 billion airport improvement program for both major airports in Houston.
The primary city airport is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the tenth-busiest in the United States  for total passengers, and twenty eight-busiest worldwide. Bush Intercontinental currently ranks fourth in the United States for non-stop domestic and international service with 182 destinations. In 2006, the United States Department of Transportation named IAH the fastest-growing of the top ten airports in the United States. The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center stands on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport grounds.
Houston was the headquarters of Continental Airlines until its 2010 merger with United Airlines with headquarters in Chicago; regulatory approval for the merger was granted in October of that year. Bush Intercontinental became United Airline's largest airline hub. The airline retained a significant operational presence in Houston while offering more than 700 daily departures from the city. In early 2007, Bush Intercontinental Airport was named a model "port of entry" for international travelers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The second-largest commercial airport is William P. Hobby Airport (named Houston International Airport until 1967) which operates primarily small to medium-haul domestic flights. Houston's aviation history is showcased in the 1940 Air Terminal Museum located in the old terminal building on the west side of the airport. Hobby Airport has been recognized with two awards for being one of the top five performing airports in the world and for customer service by Airports Council International.
Houston is the beginning or end point of numerous oil gas and products pipelines:
- Oil pipelines
- Houston—Wichita Falls
- San Juan—Houston
- Santa Barbara—Houston
- Natural gas pipelines
- Los Angeles—Houston
- Panhandle, TX—Houston (two lines)
- Products pipelines
- Houston—Port Isabel
The Houston Office of Protocol and International Affairs is the city's liaison to Houston's sister city associations and to the national governing organization, Sister Cities International. Through their official city-to-city relationships, these volunteer associations promote people-to-people diplomacy and encourage citizens to develop mutual trust and understanding through commercial, cultural, educational, and humanitarian exchanges.
- Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) – 2001
- Baku (Azerbaijan) – 1976
- Chiba (Japan) – 1973
- Grampian Region, Aberdeen (Scotland) – 1979
- Guayaquil (Ecuador) – 1987
- Huelva (Spain) – 1969
- Istanbul (Turkey) – 1986
- Karachi (Pakistan) – 2009
- Leipzig (Germany) – 1993
- Luanda (Angola) – 2003
- Nice (France) – 1973
- Perth (Australia) – 1983
- Shenzhen (China) – 1986
- Stavanger (Norway) – 1980
- Taipei (Taiwan) – 1963
- Tampico (Mexico) – 2003
- Tyumen (Russia) – 1995
- Official records for Houston were kept at the Weather Bureau in downtown from July 1888 to May 1969, and at Intercontinental since June 1969.
- "Texas by Place - GCT-T1-R. Census". US Census. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- Lee, Renée C. (December 3, 2012). "City wins census appeal; count adjusted". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Population Finder". American Fact Finder. U.S. Census Bureau. 2009.
- "Census Bureau Regions and Divisions with State FIPS Codes" (PDF). US Census. December 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- Kleiner, D.J: Allen's Landing from the Handbook of Texas Online (February 3, 2005). Retrieved 2007-06-10.
- McComb, David G. (January 19, 2008). "Houston, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Archived from the original on April 14, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.
- Texas Medical Center. (2006). In A Vision for Strategic Growth. September 14, 2010[dead link]
- Fortune 500 2010: Cities Accessed May 25, 2011
- "A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index 2010". A.T. Kearney. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "2010 Port Industry Statistics, American Association of Port Authorities".
- " PDF (31.8 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
- Coutinho, Juliana (September 13, 2000). "Brief history of Houston". The Daily Cougar. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- Houston, Texas. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Looscan, Adele B. (1916). "Harris County, 1822–1845". Southwestern Historical Quarterly 19: 37–64. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- Born on the Bayou: city's murky start. John Perry, City Savvy Online Edition. Published Summer 2006. Retrieved on February 6, 2007.
- Cotham, Edward T. (2004). Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70594-8.
- J.H.W. Stele to Sayers, September 11–12, 1900. Texas State Library & Archives Commission, Retrieved on August 31, 2007
- Olien, Diana Davids; Olien, Roger M. (2002). Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1895–1945. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-76056-6.
- "Marvin Hurley, 1910–1920, Houston History". Retrieved April 6, 2008.
- Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). "Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990". Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Census Bureau). Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Texas - Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
- "Houston Ship Channel". TSHA Handbook of Texas. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
- Carlson, Erik (February 1999). "Ellington Field: A Short History, 1917–1963" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
- Streetman, Ashley. "Houston Timeline". Houston Institute for Culture. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- How Air Conditioning Changed America. The Old House Web, Retrieved on April 4, 2007
- A Short History. Houston Geological Auxiliary, Retrieved on April 4, 2007
- "Shipbuilding". TSHA Handbook of Texas. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
- Barks, Joseph V. (November 2001). "Powering the (New and Improved) "Eighth Wonder of the World"". Electrical Apparatus.
- "Polish-Texans". Texas Almanac 2004–2005. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Lee P. Brown - Biography". TheHistoryMakers.com. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
- Ward, Christina (June 18, 2001). "Allison's Death Toll Hits 43". RedCross.org. Archived from the original on December 4, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
- Mack, Kristen. "Living in Neglect / Decades of Disappointment / ORIGINALLY MARKETED AS A BIT OF GENTEEL COUNTRY WITH QUICK AND EASY ACCESS TO THE CITY, ACRES HOMES IS AS IMPOVERISHED TODAY AS IT WAS 10 YEARS AGO, RESIDENTS SAY." Houston Chronicle. Sunday November 17, 2002. A20. Retrieved on February 19, 2010.
- "Katrina's Human Legacy". Houston Chronicle. August 27, 2006. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
- Flakus, Greg (September 25, 2005). "Recovery Beginning in Areas Affected by Hurricane Rita". Voice of America News. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- 8th Congressional District of Texas 2007 Appropriations Project Requests. Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Houston (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 28, 2009.
- Flood Forecasting for the Buffalo Bayou Using CRWR-PrePro and HEC-HMS. Center for Research in Water Resources, The University of Texas at Austin Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Downtown Houston, Texas. TopoQuest.com Retrieved on July 5, 2008.
- USGS Satsuma (TX) Topo Map. TopoQuest.com. 2008. Retrieved on July 5, 2008. Note: The boundaries of the City of Houston are shown as "HOUSTON CORP BDY" along the dotted line.
- Super Neighborhood# 1-Willowbrook. City of Houston. Retrieved on May 15, 2012.
- PDF (5.89 MB). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- "Drinking Water Operations". Publicworks.houstontx.gov. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- Harris County. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- RICE CULTURE. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- R. Engelkemeir. "Mapping Active Faults in the Houston Area using LIDAR Data, #50034 (2006)". Online Journal for E&P Geoscientists. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- Earl R. Verbeek, Karl W. Ratzlaff, Uel S. Clanton. "Faults in Parts of North-Central and Western Houston Metropolitan Area, Texas", United States Geological Survey, September 16, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.
- Sachin D. Shah and Jennifer Lanning-Rush. Principal Faults in the Houston, Texas, Metropolitan Area, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved on February 23, 2012.
- Texas Earthquakes, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, July 2001. Retrieved on August 29, 2007.
- "Weather Stats". Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "Average Relative Humidity (%)", National Climatic Data Center. Retrieved on February 23, 2012.
- Afternoon thunderstorms are common.Wind - Average Speed (mph). Department of Meteorology, University of Utah. 1993. Retrieved on January 10, 2007
- http://www.nbm.org/blueprints/90s/summer92/contents/contents.htm A Moment in Building. BLUEPRINTS, Volume X, Number 3, Summer 1992. National Building Museum. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- National Weather Service Forecast Office, Houston/Galveston, Texas. Public Information Statement. at the Wayback Machine (archived December 12, 2006) Retrieved on December 1, 2006.
- Houston Extremes Data and Annual Summaries. National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Published January 5, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.
- "State of the Air 2005, National and Regional Analysis", American Lung Association, page 26, March 25, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.
- American Lung Association SOTA 2014: Top 10 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities Accessed September 22, 2014
- "Summary of the Issues", Citizens League for Environmental Action Now, August 1, 2004. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.
- "Station Name: TX HOUSTON INTERCONT AP". National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-27.
- "WMO Climate Normals for HOUSTON/INTERCONTINENTAL, TX 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-10.
- Reinhold, Robert (August 17, 1986). "FOCUS: Houston; A Fresh Approach To Zoning". New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "Zoning Without Zoning". planetizen.com. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "Lack of zoning has paid off for Houston". chron.com, Houston Chronicle. May 27, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "The Healthiest Housing Markets for 2009 - Local Markets, Construction, Home Prices". Builder Magazine. February 27, 2009. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
- "World's Ten Tallest Cities". Ultrapolis Project. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- "Calculated Average Height of the Ten Tallest (CAHTT)", UltrapolisProject.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2007.
- Fast Facts, Downtown Houston[dead link]. Houstondowntown.com 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Houston Chronicle
- Residential Real Estate[dead link]. Uptown-houston.com Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- Sarnoff, Nancy (December 14, 2001). "Genesis Laying Down Plans for Newest Uptown Condo Highrise". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- Apte, Angela (October 26, 2001). "Rising Land Costs Boost Houston's Mid-Rise Market". Houston Business Journal. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
- "Living the High Life. Earthbound Houstonians consider something uplifting.". HoustoniaMag.com. HoustoniaMag. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- Commercial Real Estate[dead link]. Uptown-houston.com Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- - Results
- "Houston Facts and Figures", City of Houston. Retrieved on December 15, 2006.
- PDF (4.35 MB). East-West Gateway Council of Governments. 2006. Retrieved on January 11, 2007. Page 25 in PDF File, labeled as page 21.
- Houston city, Texas. 2005 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights, United States Census Bureau. 2005. Retrieved on January 12, 2007.
- United States and States R0101. Median Age of the Total Population: 2005. 2005 American Community Survey, United States Census Bureau. 2005. Retrieved on January 12, 2007.
- The Face of Texas Jobs, People, Business, Change. D'Ann Petersen and Laila Assanie, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. October 2005. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- Hegstrom, Edward (February 21, 2006). "Shadows Cloaking Immigrants Prevent Accurate Count". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Houston, TX 2010 Census Profile". census.gov. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
- "Houston city, Texas - DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000". census.gov. Retrieved July 10, 2009.
- "Houston (city), Texas". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau.
- From 15% sample
- Fortune 500 web site as retrieved on December 12, 2013
- "Alternative Energy in the Houston Region" (PDF). Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
- "Alternative Energy in the Houston Region". Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- Houston surpasses New York as top U.S. export market - Houston Business Journal. Bizjournals.com. Retrieved on July 21, 2013.
- Houston Passes New York to Become Nation's Top Exporting Metro Area. App1.kuhf.org (July 12, 2013). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- " PDF (24.8 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
- " PDF (18.2 KB)", The Port of Houston Authority, May 15, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
- "General Information", The Port of Houston Authority, May 15, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.
- Bustillo, Miguel (December 28, 2006). "Houston is Feeling Energized". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 21, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Nominal 2012 GDP for the world and the European Union (EU).". World Economic Outlook Database, October 2013. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- " PDF (28.3 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
- "Houston: Economy". Advameg Inc. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
- TRESAUGUE, Matthew (May 17, 2006). "Study suggests UH degrees are crucial economic factor". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- "The Economic Impact of Higher Education on Houston: A Case Study of the University of Houston System" (PDF). University of Houston System. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
- Badenhausen, Kurt. "2006 Best Places for Business and Careers", Forbes, May 4, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-15.
- "Houston Facts and Figures". Houstontx.gov. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
- " PDF (30.2 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
- "International Banks in the Houston Area" (PDF). Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- Jane Bennett Clark (July 1, 2008). "2008 Best Cities, Houston, Texas". Kiplinger.com. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- Pentland, William (March 10, 2008). "Top 10 Up-And-Coming Tech Cities". Forbes. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- "Fortune 500 2008: Cities". CNN. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
- Andrew Egan (June 28, 2008). "Best Cities For Recent College Grads". Forbes. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
- Desmond, Maurna (July 14, 2008). "Best Cities To Buy A Home". Forbes,com. Retrieved March 4, 2009.
- Goldwert, Lindsay (December 14, 2010). "Houston is top U.S. shopping city, per Forbes; New York comes in 23rd due to sales tax, retail space". Daily News (New York).
- "Forbes ranks Houston No. 1 for paycheck worth". Houston Business Journal (Bizjournals.com). July 10, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- Derek Thompson (May 28, 2013). "Houston Is Unstoppable: Why Texas' Juggernaut Is America's #1 Job Creator". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- "Best Places For Business and Careers - Forbes". Forbes. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
- "Components of Population Change" (PDF). houston.org. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- "Foreign Born Population" (PDF). houston.org. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- "International Representation in Houston" (PDF). houston.org. Retrieved March 21, 2009.
- "About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo" (PDF). hlsr.com. Retrieved September 28, 2009.[dead link]
- "Houston Pride Parade". PrideHouston.com. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- The Original Greek Festival, Houston, Texas. 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. Warning: Automatic sound file.
- The Houston International Festival. 2007. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- "The 2004 Top 25 Fairs & Festivals". AmericanStyle Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2007.
- "AmericanStyle Magazine Readers Name 2005 Top 10 Art Fairs and Festivals" (PDF). AmericanStyle Magazine. October 25, 2005. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
- Ramsey, Cody. "In a state of big, Houston is at the top", Texas Monthly, September 2002. Retrieved February 16, 2014.
- "Houston Arts and Museums". City of Houston eGovernment Center. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- "About Houston Theater District", Houston Theater District. Retrieved on December 16, 2006. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- "Performing Arts Venues", Houston Theater District. Retrieved on December 16, 2006. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- "A Brief History of the Art Car Museum", ArtCar Museum of Houston. Retrieved on December 16, 2006.
- 2006 fall edition of International Quilt Festival attracts 53,546 to Houston. Quilts., Inc. Press release published November 30, 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.
- Houston Museum District. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on February 18, 2007.
- Jeanne Claire van Ryzin (April 1, 2006). "Central Austin has the makings of a museum district". Austin360.com. Retrieved May 22, 2007.
- Houston Museum District Day. Texas Monthly. 2006. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Home Page. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Houston Museum District. Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- "Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens, Houston, Texas". Retrieved March 23, 2008.
- Lomax, John Nova (February 1, 2007). "Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive - The Houston Rock Scene and the Cultural Cringe". The Houston Press.
- Frere-Jones, Sasha (November 14, 2005). "A Place In the Sun - Houston Hip-Hop Takes Over". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- The Heritage Society: Walk into Houston's Past. The Heritage Society. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Huber, Kathy. "Houston botanic garden slowly becoming reality." Houston Chronicle. Monday October 30, 2006. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.
- Continental Magazine, March 2008. p.67.
- "2011 City and Neighborhood Rankings". Walk Score. 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- Greenwood, Giselle (November 8, 2013). "Grand Texas Theme Park expected to open by summer 2015". Retrieved November 10, 2013.
- "Photo Release - Princess and Norwegian Cruising Into Port of Houston". Globenewswire.com. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- "Houston Astros: Historical Moments". sportsecyclopedia.com. October 18, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "Houston Rockets: History". sportsecyclopedia.com. May 2, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "Houston Dash first expansion team in NWSL". Washington Post. December 12, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.[dead link]
- "Reliant Stadium". UniSystems LLC. March 28, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "The Start Of Something Big: Toyota Center upgrades to Include New Concourse HD TVs, Wi-Fi and Concessions Systems". NBA. March 28, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Discover: The Astrodome". National Trust for Historic Preservation. March 28, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "Houston Unveils New Football Stadium Renderings". University of Houston Cougars. March 28, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "HOUSTON TO HOST SUPER BOWL LI IN 2017". Houston Super Bowl LI Committee. March 28, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "2014 Houston College Classic". MLB.com. March 28, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- Lewandowski, Dave (March 28, 2012). "Houston, we have liftoff for October 2013 event". IndyCar Series (IndyCar). Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "IndyCar's coming to town: Houston race slated for 2013 - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. March 28, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Office of the Controller, City of Houston". Summary of Significant Accounting Policies. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- Thomas R. Dye. "Local Government in Texas: Cities, Towns, Counties, and Special Districts". Politics in America, Sixth Edition. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "City Council". City of Houston eGovernment Center. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "Mayor's Office". City of Houston eGovernment Center. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "Strong Currents of Change". TIME Magazine. November 19, 1979. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- Matt Stiles (August 10, 2006). "City Council may grow by two seats, Houston Chronicle". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "Aimee Buras, "Clymer Wright, force for Houston term limits, found dead," January 25, 2011". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- Klineberg, Stephen. Houston Area Survey 1982–2005, Page 40.
- " PDF (30.4 KB)," Morgan Quitno. Retrieved on November 29, 2006.
- FBI Uniform 2010 (prov.) Crime Report Table 4 ". Retrieved on July 6, 2011.
- Lee, Renee C.. "Murder, other crimes drop in Hoston", Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2011, p. B2. Retrieved July 26, 2006.
- "Distribution - Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis 2009." U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved on August 11, 2009.
- Sex Trafficking: Groups Expose Houston's Dark Secret - US - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 - CBN.com
- "CRIME: The Houston Horrors". TIME Magazine. August 20, 1973. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Beaver Country Times". Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Houston ISD automates lunch", eSchool News online, February 21, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.
- Private Schools. Houston-Texas-Online. 2004. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- Houston Private Schools. HoustonAreaWeb.com. Retrieved on January 10, 2007.
- School Art Participation. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Retrieved on January 10, 2007. Archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- About HAIS. Houston Area Independent Schools. 2007. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
- Bonnin, Richard. "Carnegie Foundation Gives University of Houston its Highest Classification for Research Success, Elevating UH to Tier One Status". University of Houston. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "UH achieves Tier One status in research". Houston Business Journal. January 21, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "UH takes big step up to Tier One status". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- Khator, Renu (October 4, 2011). "State of the University: Fall 2011". University of Houston. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- "Rice University, Best Colleges 2009". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "About Lee College." Lee College. Retrieved on May 6, 2013.
- "Houston Press: About Us". Houston Press. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
- "Texas Medical Center - Largest Medical Center (Video HD (English))". Texas Medical Center. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Texas Medical Center". www.visithoustontexas.com. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
- "Institutional Profile". www.mdanderson.org. Retrieved February 21, 2007.
- "Rice and Baylor College of Medicine extend MOU". Rice University, News & Media. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
- "Quick Facts About The Menninger Clinic". menningerclinic.com, The Menninger Clinic. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
- "TA Associates - News". Ta.com. September 1, 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- "Census and You" (PDF). US Census Bureau. January 1996. p. 12. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
- " PDF (153 KB)", Greater Houston Partnership. Retrieved on March 21, 2009.
- "Which cities have the worst traffic?". CNN. January 20, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- About Houston TranStar. Houston TranStar. 2008. Retrieved on February 17, 2008.
- "Metro Solutions, Phase 1 and Phase 2" (PDF). Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. Archived from the original on February 16, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2008, State of Texas" (PDF). amtrak.com, Amtrak. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Amtrak ridership up in Houston area, Brookings Institution reports". Houston Business Journal.
- "Home". Houstonbikeways.org. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "New Shared Lane Designation". Houstonbikeways.org. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- "Houston bikesharing program enjoys robust growth". Retrieved August 24, 2014.
- "52 Million Travelers and Over 387,000 Metric Tons of Air Cargo Passed through Houston's Airports in 2007". fly2houston.com, Houston Airport System. January 28, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- "FAA selects the HAS as 2005 Airport of the Year" (Press release). Houston Airport System. March 24, 2006. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
- "List of the busiest airports in the United States". Retrieved February 8, 2015.
- "World's busiest airports by passenger traffic". Retrieved February 8, 2015.
- About George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Houston Airport System. Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
- "2005 Total Airline System Passenger Traffic Up 4.6% From 2004" (Press release). Bureau of Transportation Statistics. April 27, 2006. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
- "United Continental Holdings, Inc. - Investor Relations - News". Retrieved May 26, 2011.
- Facts and Figures. Houston Airport System. 2007. Retrieved on February 28, 2007.
- "United And Continental Announce Merger Of Equals To Create World-Class Global Airline". Retrieved June 4, 2011.
- Bill Hensel, Jr. (April 5, 2007). "Airport designated 'model port of entry', Houston Chronicle". chron. com. Retrieved June 21, 2008.
- "William P. Hobby Airport Rated Among Top Five Performing Airports Worldwide". Houston Airport System. March 10, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "About Ellington Airport". Houston Airport System. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "United States Pipelines map - Crude Oil (petroleum) pipelines - Natural Gas pipelines - Products pipelines". Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Sister Cities". houstontx.gov. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Houston, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Houston, New York Has a Problem, City Journal, Summer 2008
- 174 Years of Historic Houston Houstonhistory.com. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
- A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912, published 1912, hosted by the Portal to Texas History, republished 2007 by Copano Bay Press.
- True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., published 1913, hosted by the Portal to Texas History, republished 2007 by Copano Bay Press.
- Allen, O. Fisher (1936). City of Houston from Wilderness to Wonder. Self Published. NA..
- Johnston, Marguerite (1991). Houston, The Unknown City, 1836–1946. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0-89096-476-9.
- Miller, Ray (1984). Ray Miller's Houston. Gulf Publishing Company. ISBN 0-88415-081-X.
- Pruitt, Bernadette. The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African-Americans to Houston, 1900-1941. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2013.
- Slotboom, Oscar F. "Erik" (2003). Houston Freeways. Oscar F. Slotboom. ISBN 0-9741605-3-9.
- Wilson, Ann Quin (1982). Native Houstonian – A Collective Portrait. The Donning Company – Houston Baptist University Press. 80-27644.
Find more about
at Wikipedia's sister projects
|Definitions from Wiktionary|
|Media from Commons|
|News stories from Wikinews|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|
- City of Houston official website
- Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) Houston Chamber
- Greater Houston Transportation and Emergency Management Center
- Houston Public Library official website
- Houston at DMOZ