The Economist: Houston going green

Texas sprawl

Houston, which was named America’s most polluted city in 1999, is working to remedy their environmental maladies. It’s happening at the level of policy–they have overhauled their building energy codes, for example–but it is also seen in individuals’ behaviors and preferences. Houston is also America’s fastest-growing city; it grew by more than 1.2 million people between 2000 and 2010.

The Economist reports: “In 2008 59% [of Houston residents surveyed] said they would prefer a big house with a big garden, even if that meant they had to use their car to go everywhere. Just 36% preferred a smaller house within walking distance of shops and workplaces. By 2012, preferences were running the other way: 51% liked the idea of a smaller house in a more interesting district, and only 47% said they wanted the lavish McMansion.”


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