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Why Houston is the Best City in America – Part II

Strong & Successful Sports

The Texans, the Rockets, and Dynamo are all winning teams.  The current outlook for the Texans is that they’ll be a contender for next year’s Super Bowl.  The Rockets made it to the playoffs, and the Houston Dynamo are also expected to be a playoff contender.

International Trade

Houston’s massive international trade contributed to another big job boost.  The Port of Houston is the largest port as it relates to international tonnage handled.  This means that the city handles a large amount of international business and trade.  The city is also extremely business-friendly and is the only major US city that doesn’t have zoning laws.  Between 2008 and 2010, Houston had over 100 foreign-owned companies either relocate, expand, or start a new business:  the Port of Houston, the strong energy sector, and the city’s proximity to Latin America are all reasons for this.

The Medical Center

The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world.  It has 21 hospitals, eight academic and research institutions, and 50 organizations related to it.  One of the research institutions is the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  This facility is recognized as the world’s premier cancer treatment and research hospital.  The Cancer Center is currently spending billions of dollars in an effort to cure five types of cancer.  The Texas Medical Center is the largest employer in the city of Houston.

Museums and Cultural Landmarks

The city has a number of world-class museums along with cultural landmarks such as the Rothko Chapel.  The Houston Museum District is made up of 19 museums.  The Museum of Fine Arts is considered to be one of the largest museums in the United States.  It hosts the best collections of American decorative art and furniture in the house of a former trustee.

The Rothko Chapel was dedicated in 1971 to people of every belief as an intimate sanctuary.  Mark Rothko helped design the Chapel and spent three years creating the works of art within.  Mark Rothko was a Russian born American painter who created mural canvases within the chapel to give people a tranquil, meditative environment.

Abundance of Parks

Houston has more parks than any other top 10 metropolitan area.  The city has a total of 50,632 acres worth of parks.  This places the city as third behind San Diego and Dallas, only in acreage per capita.  The city has invested a large dollar amount to build out its parks, especially the area surrounding the Buffalo Bayou, which is Houston’s main waterway.

Two Major Universities

Houston is not considered to be a college town the way Boston is.  However, the city’s higher education is extremely significant.  The University of Houston has approximately 41,000 students, and in 2011 was given a tier one status as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation.  Rice University ranks 17th on the list of the country’s best undergraduate schools and has particularly strong programs in applied sciences.


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