Opportunity Urbanism: An Emerging Paradigm for the 21st Century, the 2007 report by Joel Kotkin and the Greater Houston Partnership, outlines a new development philosophy using Houston as a model city. The Praxis research team provided the completive economic and demographic analysis that became the foundation of the report.
The study looks at the region’s signs of urban vibrancy: its ability to create jobs, offer affordable housing and present entrepreneurial openings to a growing and highly diverse population.
Houston exemplifies the characteristics identified with Opportunity Urbanism: openness to outsiders, a diverse and highly entrepreneurial economy, a friendly business climate, a commitment to continued infrastructure development, and a positive attitude toward growth. Although historical and statistical analysis shows many other cities have some or all of these characteristics, few exhibit them as clearly or on such a scale as Houston.
The study addresses the long-term potential of urban opportunity areas, like Houston, to become global cities. It has long been assumed that although places such as Houston may service regional or national markets, they lack the savoir faire to be taken seriously on an international level.
Opportunity Urbanism shows that some opportunity cities have already achieved significant global status and will demonstrate their true long-term potential. During the coming generation, Houston is an example of an engine of upward mobility and can be used as a city of aspiration for other communities.