Out of Control Policy Blog

Houston's "New Weather Urbanism"

On the lighter side of things, here's an April Fools' take on the latest urban planning innovation:

    Today, Houston's mayor Bill White officially announced a novel program to embrace "New Weather Urbanism" as a model for Houston. "For too long, we've allowed uncontrolled sprawling temperatures to dictate how we live. No more. From now on, we will be actively encouraging a more compact range of temperatures for our city – ideally between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit," he said. "And the afternoon thunderstorms? We're definitely going to reign those in."

    . . . .

    Houston is the largest city in America without zoning, and they don't plan to use it in this program. Instead, "form-based weather design guidelines" will be set, allowing for some flexibility. "Sunny, partly cloudy, overcast, even a gentle rain shower from time to time – all will be acceptable within the city limits – but extremes of heat, cold, and rain will not be tolerated," said Guy Hagstette, Mayor Bill White's special assistant for urban design.

Read the whole thing for a chuckle at the expense of planners.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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