Houston, Texas - A Diverse City
Houston is an international city with a diverse economic mix. It's known for its energy industry, aeronautics, biomedical research, and burgeoning port industry. The city is also home to professional sports teams such as the Houston Rockets, Houston Comets, Houston Texans, and the Houston Aeros. Houston City
Located on the Gulf coastal plain, Houston has an area of 601.7 square miles. The city is the fourth largest in the United States. Founded in 1836, it was named after Sam Houston, who was elected as president of the Republic of Texas in September of that year. After the Battle of San Jacinto, Houston became the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas.
In the late 1970s, Houston saw a population boom. People from Rust Belt states moved to Houston in large numbers, and the population of the area increased significantly. But the economy began to suffer in the mid-1980s, as the recession and oil prices declined.
During World War II, the growth of the shipbuilding industry spurred the city. The city's population expanded even further. However, the population boom ended abruptly in the mid-1980s. While Houston's economy largely recovered from the recession, oil prices fell precipitously. As a result, the petroleum industry largely declined, and Houston became less reliant on the petroleum industry.
Since its founding, Houston has grown to include a variety of industries. Its aerospace sector was centered on NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center. It is still a center for space exploration. Today, Johnson Space Center, one of NASA's most recent space programs, is located in Houston. This facility has served as mission control for several of the world's space programs.
Among the attractions of Houston are its numerous parks. Nearly 56,405 acres of parks and green spaces are maintained in the city. Many of these areas are within a short walk from the downtown area. Others are a little farther away.
Houston's downtown is home to several cultural institutions. Performing arts organizations abound in the city, and the Museum District is a short walk from downtown. There are over 18 museums, and visitors can discover a wealth of collections at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Zoo, and the Rice University Museum of History and Culture.
Houston has a vibrant nightlife. It is a great place for a long weekend or a weeklong trip. Besides live music, Houston has a thriving dining scene, and visitors from all over the world travel annually to attend events in the city.
The city has a wide diversity of ethnic groups. There are twenty-three foreign trade associations in Houston. A large number of foreign governments maintain offices in the area.
Air quality in Houston is not excellent, but the area does have a seven-mile system of underground tunnels that allow pedestrians to avoid the intense summer heat. However, long runs of rain and humidity contribute to the city's poor air quality.
Houston is an important transportation hub, with the Port of Houston ranking first in international waterborne tonnage handled. The city has a diversified transportation infrastructure, including a light rail system, expanded bus routes, and improved sidewalks.