Houston Maps and Data: April 2016

Each month, we round up all the interesting stories told with data that help us understand the Houston region.

Houston Public Housing Debate Rages

houston public housing at risk

Photo: Texas Low Income Housing Information Service

A proposed public housing project at the edge of a fancy Houston neighborhood is causing confusion about the effects of public housing. This article drops some serious data (and a little bit of shaming) to make the case that public housing in stable communities benefits everyone.

Lack of Recycling Centers in Houston’s Inner Loop

Clearly, there are no glass drop off locations in the densest parts of the city. Will people truck their glass across town? Or will they toss their beer and wine bottles in the garbage? Looking at the data, it would be great to measure the decrease in curbside recycling with any increase in recycling center activity.

Stories Told With Data: Eastside Growth

Future growth on the east side of Houston stories told with data

Image: Houston Chronicle

Houston’s economic indicators are weak, but there’s a “multibillion dollar petrochemicals boom” happening around Baytown. Some speculate that this is a holdover from $100 oil. But others say this boom, temporary or not, could be just enough to keep Houston from slipping into a recession.

Awesome Growth Maps at Texas Landscape Project

Credit: Texas Landscape Project

Credit: Texas Landscape Project

The Texas Landscape Project looks at conservation and environmental efforts in unique ways. They have a pretty sweet list of maps. My favorites include:

Houston Botanic Garden could reduce neighborhood parkland by 43%

houston botanic garden could reduce neighborhood parkland by 43%

Photo: West 8

The renderings of the Houston Botanic Garden are beautiful and ridiculous, but neighborhood activists say the private park is bad for the community. The site will take up 120 acres of Sector #6’s 280 total acres of parkland. Sector #6 is 80% Hispanic and 60% low income. To remedy this problem, the authors recommend that the City of Houston make it a public park.

Democracy Hack Night at Station Houston

We had a great time at the Democracy Hack Night in March. Our three guest speakers — Mike Morris, Steven David, and Kris Banks — all had interesting things to say about election maps and data. Find out more about these hack nights by joining the Sketch City meetup.

Map of HISD Funding Cuts by School

Houston school district cuts by school on a map

Image: Houston Chronicle

One of the saddest stories told with data this month is a map of the HISD funding cuts. In general, it represents an increase in funding for low-income, at-risk, homeless, and refugee students. It also represents an increase in funding for early childhood programs. The downside? HISD is cutting funding for gifted students by approximately 50%.

City of Houston Economic Indicators

Don’t forget that the Greater Houston Partnership puts together excellent, public research about Houston’s economy. Here’s the latest report.


Jeff Reichman

Jeff is passionate about data. He founded January Advisors, and serves on the board of two Houston nonprofits. Read his full bio on LinkedIn.