Comments of the Day: The Centers of the City

COMMENTS OF THE DAY: THE CENTERS OF THE CITY CityCentre™ is not the center of the city. Not by a long shot. The center of population for the the city of Houston is at Kirby Drive in River Oaks. This is as close to downtown as it is to Uptown, and it is further east than Greenway Plaza. It makes sense that it’s slightly west because the COH’s annexed land is to the west. Other populated cities to the east — Pasadena, Jacinto City, Deer Park, Channelview, and La Porte — are incorporated separately. The center of population of Harris County is basically in the Heights. It makes sense that it’s further north since Houston is located in the southern part of the county. This is all based on 2010 Census data. . . . I just calculated the center of population for the metro area (Greater Houston MSA). It’s . . . in the rail yard just west of TC Jester about 1/3 mile north of I-10. Interesting how by any measure — COH, Harris County, or metro area –– the population all seems to be centered inside the loop.” [eiioi, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Diluted Center City]

22 Comment

  • The Loopers win. The Westsiders are peripheral.

  • Government entities are paid millions to plot population centers, all you had to do was look it up, or buy an Almanac, it’s all there. Of course the center of Houston isn’t CityCentre, just look at a map. Most reports I’ve read put the actual city center right at River Oaks or Briar Hollow.

  • I think CityCentre is, or will be in the near future, the center of population for the Houston metropolitan area. They were just thinking ahead when they named it.

  • Sorry – not “is.” Only “will be.”

  • Puh-lease. Everyone knows that red phone booth is outside the Black Lab on Montrose.

  • No, anon22, not even “will be”. Barring a nuclear catastrophe or tsunami of some kind, the center of Houston won’t be anywhere near City Centre in our lifetimes.

    For that to happen, we would have to add another 6 million people to Houston AND the average person moving in would have to move to a point centered around Greenhouse Road and I-10. The average person.

    So for every new resident in the north part of The Woodlands, someone else has to move to the Wharton/Fort Bend County Line south of Needville. For every infill development near Kemah, a neighborhood will need to be built on the southern edge of Brenham. For every apartment building constructed in Eado, there will need to be an apartment building constructed in those up-and-coming, soon-to-be-gentrified slums which currently blight the landscape 5 miles west of Brookshire, Texas.

    Like I said, not in our lifetimes.

  • And what real difference does it make? Is it really affecting anyone’s decisions to build a McMansion, tear down an MCM or erect a high rise in the middle of a vaunted residential area?

  • JT, if it doesn’t interest you, there are plenty of other threads.

  • I just realized I don’t know what your criteria or process were, so I have no idea how you came to your conclusions, but the big center-less amorphous blob called Houston MSA is definitely expanding westward at an extremely rapid pace.

  • When I am in the Heights, I feel like I am in the center of the universe.

  • Agree with anon22. The center of the big center-less amorphous blob called Houston MSA is somewhere close to CityCentre, with a growth moving in the westward direction.

  • Bill and anon22,

    Feelings are nice, but you are both wrong.

    The center of population can be found by taking the weighted average (weighted by population of course) of the lat/long of every census tract in the entity you’re looking at (e.g., City of Houston, or Houston-TW-SL MSA, etc.). There are about 1100 tracts in the metro area.

    Most people, in fact, don’t live near Katy, and Harris County shouldn’t cater just to people on the west side of town.

  • OK, the population center is shifting slowly west …. as the Houston SMA grows that is to be expected … after all you won’t be building in the waters of the bay or the Gulf. But, when you look at a map you see all the major highways either pointing toward or circling downtown …. that is the center no matter how you carve it up.

  • City Centre can be the center of the city in the hearts and minds of some. I think it’s too bland and tacky to tug on anyone’s heartstrings in such a way.
    Geographically, Population wise, whatever, it is not, nor will it be in our lifetimes the actual center of the city.
    Sorry folks who have bought into it, I didn’t let you down easy.

  • On another note, I like to gauge the city center based on the economic driving areas. CBD, Galleria area, Greenway, Medical District, Port, Refineries. Thanks to the port, and refineries, the actual city center is somewhere east of downtown.

  • Using that measurement criteria, that is your conclusion – I don’t doubt that.

    But it’s like saying the “center” of the US is on some prairie somewhere with zero population. You’d be right, but it would be a useless kind of right.

    If you want River Oaks to be the center of your world, I don’t blame you. There are many, many people in Houston who are completely on board with that idea.

    You are free to see what you want to see. Likewise, all I see out here is growth.

  • Had they named CityCentre ‘middle of flipping nowhere’ instead, I’m not sure if anyone would have gone there on a Friday night. Does ‘The Heights’ make you feel atop a grand urban mountain??

  • @# 10

    Thanks for my first laugh out loud of the day!!

  • Anon22, you have a different definition of “center of population” than they entire rest of the world.

    Attempting to slander me as rich (or whatever it was that you were doing) or implying that the inner loop is as empty as farmland in Kansas – that’s also pretty weak.

  • I thought the center of Houston was around I-10 and Silber?

  • Hey it’s your methodology not mine. I just didn’t want to get into a long drawn out discussion about measurement.

    I’ve had these types of discussions before about a very similar topic, density, and long story short you can make the numbers look however you want, as it turns out.