Los Angeles-based new geographist Joel Kotkin has long been high on Texas -- and Dallas in particular. Maybe you saw, most recently: Back in September, he included Dallas and Houston on his list of World Capitals of the Future. Among the reasons, "these energy-rich cities have actually added jobs, spurring a rapid population growth." Take that, Taxifornia! Or something. Not really good at that whole Us vs. Them thing.
But it's just that kind of optimism about the DFW that has landed Kotkin a speaking gig in Dallas on Wednesday: He'll be at the Fairmount Hotel addressing the Dallas Regional Chamber. Which I only knew about because somehow I stumbled across the chamber blog, where, yesterday, senior veep of Research and Stuff Duane Dankersreiter found plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the DFW's future -- chief among them, that Brookings Institute study released earlier this week that placed Dallas among "the 20 strongest-performing metro areas" in the country. Writes Dankersreiter:
We know we were not as hard hit by the Great Recession as some other parts of the country. And there are many locally who feel that the Dallas/Fort Worth area is well positioned for future growth given the struggles other cities have had. ... In fact, I think that getting an outsider's perspective of our region is so important that I asked Joel to come to Dallas and give a speech about what he sees happening here in relation to the rest of the country.
At next week's luncheon he will focus on how unprecedented future population growth will affect Dallas/Fort Worth's place in the emerging global environment.
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Here, as a sort of primer, is what he had to say about Houston in 2004 -- and much of it sounds awfully familiar. Especially that part about urban parks.