Houston is a city of the Texas in the south of the the United States. With a population of: 2144491 inhabitants in 2006 (Houstoniens) and: 5539949 in the agglomeration, it is more the big city of the state as well as South of the United States. The city is spread out over three counties whose main thing is the county of Harris. It is the fourth plus big city of the United States after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Houston has a petrochemical big industry as well as a port maritime open on the Gulf of Mexico. NASA installed one of its centers there dedicated to the astronauts. The agglomeration is equipped with the strongest concentration of research laboratories on health (Texas Medical Center).
Houston is a city whose population growth is most considerable of the United States. In 1900, its population was of approximately: 45000 inhabitants. In 2005, the urban Aire includes/understands approximately 5,53 million people on 10 counties, it is 7th country.
Birth of Houston
It is in August 1836 which two property developers of New York, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen which sought a site to build a " great center of government and commerce" the 27 km ² acquired ground of T.F.L. Parrot, the widow of John Austin for the sum of: 9428 dollars. The Allen brothers baptized this city according to Sam Houston and persuaded the congress to indicate the site like temporary capital of the new Republic of Texas.
Houston was at the simple beginning only one Hameau. Gail and Thomas H. Borden drew the plans of the city in checkerwork with broad streets parallel and perpendicular to the Bayou S, these arms of typical rivers dead of the area of Texas and Louisiana (from where the nickname of the town of " Bayou City" or " city of the bayoux).
June 5th 1837, Houston accepted its statute of Municipalité and James S. Holman became the first Maire about it. The same year, the city became also the Chef-lieu county of Harrisburg (renamed in 1839 county of Harris). Houston was also temporarily the capital of the Republic of Texas before this one is not transferred on January 14th 1839 to Austin, then called Waterloo.
The first colonist S arrived at Houston lived in houses of wood and a network of ditches was dug to allow the drainage of the streets. They also used pigs to clean the streets. But the reigning saddle-oyster, the epidemics (the city known of the epidemics of Yellow fever with repetition of which that of 1839 which decimated approximately 12% of the population) and the financial problems pushed the population to seek solutions to improve the living conditions. Thus, on a proposal from the senator Robert Wilson on November 26th 1838, was founded the Chamber of commerce, charged to manage the urban development and to solve the many problems.
Owing to the fact that many colonists came from the states of the south, they accepted the system of slavery. The slaves lived scattered in the surroundings and there were some free blacks downtown.
Into 1840, the city was divided into four wards (equivalent of a district, to see the English article (politics) for a more precise definition), each one having a different function in the community. These districts do not have today any more a role electoral or political but their names remain always used. The Republic of Texas started to promote the colonization of the state at the same time as the Allen brothers started to promote their city.
In 1860, Houston started to appear to emerge like centers of trade and important rail junction for the export of cotton. The city was a place of correspondence between the lines coming from the interior of the Texas and the lines joining the ports Galveston and Beaumont.
During the American Civil War, the general John Bankhead Magruder used Houston like staff and as not neuralgic of command for the battle of Galveston. It is on this occasion which its first hero knew after the victory in 1863 of Dick Dowling, a tenant of saloon, with the Bataille of Sabine Pass.
After the war, it became more than necessary to improve the network of navigation of the city and to widen the system of bayous for goods transport between the downtown area and the port of Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico. Projects of dredging of these bayous were carried out in the years 1860 and 1870 thanks to private funds but it is the government of the United States which took again this project of channel in 1881.
The construction of ships during the Second world war éperonna the growth and the establishment in 1961 of Manned Spacecraft Center of NASA (renamed Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973) brought the development of aerospace industry. In 1948, several suburbs were built-in the city which extended in the meadow. In 1981, Kathryn J. Whitmire became the first woman mayor. The first mayor Afro-American Lee P. Brown was elected in 1997. Houston profited from the high oil prices in the years 1970 but suffered from the fall from the prices in the years 1980. Since the beginning of the year 1980, Houston makes efforts to diversify its economy and to reduce its dependence with respect to the Pétrole.
In June 2001, the Tropical storm Alison, after being themselves cut down on the city, because of important Inondation S. One counted 22 dead and the damage was estimated at more than 5 billion Dollar S. Aujourd'hui the city is completely rebuilt and one does not find any more traces of the disaster.
After the passage of the Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Houston was used as reception with more: 25000 refugees of La Nouvelle-Orléans in Louisiana. Many equipment of the city (of which famous Astrodrome) were requisitioned. This situation without pérécédent should last of many months and of many public schools of the city will have to provide an education to the children réfugiés.
According to the CNN chain, approximately: 230000 inhabitants of the agglomeration of New-Orleans live from now on in Houston, sometimes in shelters. Since much of them is poor, do not have an insurance of goods and are not laid out to wait a long time for retouner in New-Orleans, the city could undergo a wave of emigration new permanent residents.
Houston again was partly evacuated with the approach of the hurricane Rita but that finally caused only little damage on the city and its agglomeration. The areas of Beaumont to the Texas and Lake Charles in Louisiana were most severely touched.
According to the organism in charge of the statistics in the United States (the United States Census Office), Houston occupies a surface of: 1558.4 km ², of which: 1500.7 km ² of ground and 57,7 km ² of lakes or rivers (either 3,7% of surface).
Four principal Bayou S cross the city: the bayou Buffalo which crosses the center town, the bayou Brays which skirts Texas Medical Center, the bayou White Oak which crosses the district " Heights" with the North-East and the bayou Sims which crosses the downtown area and the south of Houston to go to throw itself in the channel. This channel crosses Galveston and makes it possible to join the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston is a city relatively punt, the floods are thus a recurring problem for the inhabitants. The city is with approximately 15 meters with the top of the sea level, the point highest being " Houston Heights".
To supply itself out of water, the city drew from the ground water but is now obliged to use surface water such as for example the lake Houston.
When the town of Houston was founded in 1837, it was divided into Circonscription S called wards . These wards thereafter gave rise to the 9 districts which compose the town of today.
The Autoroute Interstate 610 is used as ring road with the city and form a kind of loop around this one. It is called the loop 610 (loop 610) or very simple the loop (the loop) and one often classifies the places as being either inside, or outside this loop. Inside the loop is located the Center-ville ( Central business district ) and its Gratte-ciel while the remainder of the city, the Aéroport S and the Banlieue S are located.
outwards Highway 610 is more than one simple highway, it defines almost a lifestyle and a frame of mind. That which lives inside the loop resembles to the typical townsman rather, it is somebody who likes to be close to the Musée S, of the Université S, the events, the parks, the leisures. Another peripheral highway, the Texas State Highway Beltway 8 (called Beltway ) girdles the city further 8 km. Still another peripheral, the Texas State Highway 99 , called the Grand Parkway is currently in construction.
Houston increased in a rather disordered way. The city does not have a single downtown area; five other centers developed through the Agglomération. If they all had been joined together, they would then have formed the third larger downtown area of the United States.
Houston knows a wet subtropical climate. The city is located on the coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico and its vegetation is classified in the moderate meadows. Most of the city was built on forest zones, marshes or meadows, which one can still see in the surroundings. Average annual precipitation oscillates between 914 and 1219 Misters the dominant winds come from the south and south-east and bring the heat of the deserts of the Mexico and the moisture of the Gulf of Mexico.
In summer, the diurnal Température can reach 35°C and until 45°C during August and July. There is not much wind and moisture (often between 90 and 100% of relative Humidité) gives the impression only it makes hotter than actually. To fight heat, the cars and the buildings built after the Second world war have the air-conditioned. The storms of summer bring sometimes the development of Tornade S. the rains are not rare in the afternoon and the every day the meteorologists envisage a risk of downpour. The temperature highest ever recorded in Houston east of 42,7°C the September 4th 2000.
The winter is fresh and moderate. The temperatures oscillate between 7° and 16°C. The coldest period is January when the winds of north cause winter downpours.
Snow is rare and never holds on the ground. But a storm of Neige struck Houston all the same the day before Christmas in 2004. A few centimetres fell but all had disappeared the following day afternoon. The coldest temperature ever recorded was - 15°C on January 23rd 1940.
The climate of Houston is often compared with that of Dallas, the two cities knowing of the higher temperatures with 32°C in summer. However, the climate of Dallas is dry while that of Houston is wet. Dallas also knows higher temperatures but the high water content of Houston gives him a more important Facteur humidex. In winter, the temperatures are regularly negative in Dallas, seldom in Houston.
As much of zones of Texas, Houston is often invaded by the Fourmi S reds.
Many a hurricane S fell down on the coast texanne. Several struck Houston, involving often died and destruction. At the time of the hurricane of 1900, Galveston was very touched and lost its statute of major port and economic power of the south-east of Texas. Thereafter, the development of the channel of Houston as of the oil port gave its major statute to Houston. The last hurricane having struck Houston was Alicia in 1983 but the Allison tropical storm in 2001 because of the billion dollars damage and makes 43 dead. Allison created worst the Inondation S than knew Houston. Many districts changed since the storm and the oldest houses in the devastated districts were destroyed then replaced by larger and more resistant dwellings. Lately, at the time of the Hurricane Rita, Houston was evacuated but underwent only minor damage.
Panorama of the city
Downtown Houston (Center town)Today, the center of Houston east one of most important of the United States, with a great number of skyscrapers among which One Shell Plaza in 1971 (218 meters, 50 stages) and Houston Drives out Tower (305 meters, 75 stages) the most building of Texas with a view-point with the 60e stage. In spite of this urban growth, the center preserved some buildings of the XIXe century around old Market Square and in Sam Houston Park. Row Length reconstitutes a commercial street of the XIXe century. The cultural district ( Theater District ) shelters Wortham Theater Center where the ballet and the opera of Houston occur. Jones Hall for Performing Arts and Alley Theater supplement the cultural offer of the city.
Uptown Houston (District of Galleria in the west of the city)The district of Galleria, as well as the remainder of the city, underwent a strong expansion in the years 1970 and with the beginning of the year 1980. A series of office buildings was created along the western branch of the highway Interstate 610 (the " West Loop") who constitutes the second business district of the city. The greatest success of its development was the construction of Williams Tower (1986, Ex Transco tower), 274 height m historical skyscraper. Williams Tower was the one time old single fruit in Houston--one period when the oil companies were in full rise and sought immense monumental structures to symbolize their power.
In Uptown Houston are also located other important buildings, drawn in particular by architects like Cesar Pelli and Philip Johnson. However, the massive construction of office buildings in Uptown stopped when the economy of the city crumbled, during the collapse of the prices of energy in the years 1980. Uptown counted: 2380000 m ² of offices in 2001, while Downtown Houston had some about: 4000000 m ². Towards the end of the year 1990, the city knew a considerable growth in the construction of residential buildings of intermediate size, generally of 30 stages.
The energy industry of Houston is reproduced among most powerful on the world plan, (especially in the Pétrole), but biomedical research, the air transport air, and the port form also part of the industrial base of the city. The city constitutes the greatest zone of petrochemical manufacture of the world, including in the fields of synthetic rubber, insecticides, and produced fertilizing. The area is also the principal center of the world for the manufacture of the oil equipment. The success of Houston as a petrochemical center results mainly from its ship canal, the Port off Houston, which is among the most important ports of the United States and occupies the second place in the world in foreign tonnage. Thanks to the economic trade, many inhabitants arrived of other American states, as well as much of country throughout the world. Contrary to the majority of the areas, where the high oil prices are regarded as being harmful for the economy, these prices are generally well seen in Houston since so many people earn their living in the energetic sector.
Historically, Houston underwent a few periods of growth sudden (as well as economic recessions devastators) related to oil industry texane. The discovery of oil close to Houston in 1901 started the first of these periods - as of the years 1920, Houston counted already almost: 140000 inhabitants. The budding aircraft industry of the city caused its second fast period of growth, which was solidified by the oil crisis of 1973. The request of oil texan increased, and much people of the North-East of the country moved in Houston to benefit from the increased trade. When the Embargo was raised, the majority of the growth stopped. Nevertheless, Pasadena still has its refineries, and the Wearing of Houston east among most important of the world.
The number of companies classified by Fortune 500 whose seat is in Houston is exceeded only by New York. The city tried to develop a financial industry, but the companies which had begun in Houston ended up amalgamating with other firms through the country. The financial activity is still essential in the area, but the majority of the banks of Houston do not have their central seats there. However, Houston became more recently a great center of finance with step badly of banks, of which many foreign. The real sector also has a considerable importance in the area of Houston.
Governorship of the cityHouston is the seat of the county of Harris. A western southern portion of the city belongs to the counties of Strong Bend as well as part of north east with the county of Montgomery.
The mayor of the city as the members of the municipal council are elected for three two years mandates maximum. The municipal council comes from 9 districts of which 5 are very important electorally. The members are accustomed to representing the totality of the city, in a way nonin favor
A cosmopolitan city
Houston has several nicknames: " Gamma World City" and " Space City" because it accommodates the space center Lyndon B. Johnson which lodges the center of controls of missions (called " more familiarly; Houston" during the space missions). The city offers a great number of possibilities for the businesses, a little less for the leisures and the culture, of which a district of famous theater. At less than one hour of the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is close to sunny beaches and one of the broadest concentrations of tourist attraction and pleasure boats like Kemah Boardwalk and Galveston Island. It is a city very diversified and international for its sectors like biomedical energy manufacturing industry and aerospace. As a port city, Houston has also a very heterogeneous population of immigrants from China, of Indonesia, of Philippines, of Taiwan, of South Korea, of Japan, of Vietnam etc This contribution of population is partly responsible for the youth of the city.
Houston has two Chinatown, as well as the 3rd community Vietnamese of the United States. The restoration of the center town and its accesses pushed part of its population in other districts of the city. Approximately 90 languages are spoken in the agglomeration. More than 100000 Natives of Niger have immigrant as well as the many Hispanic ones who form the 3rd community of the US one.
Houston is one of the five American cities to have permanent companies in the various artistic disciplines, the Grand opera, the Symphony orchestra, the Ballet and the Large Theater. One of rare to have a cultural activity over the year, and a major center of the contemporary art. There are several museums of which Menil Collection which was created by the Frenchwoman Dominique De Menil who lived in the city as from the Forties. another museum recalls the history of Texas: The Heritage Society Museum.
The Space center is the official window of NASA with the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.
Le Space center is a ludic place where the visitors can include/understand space through various animations. It is also the only place where one can see astronauts involving oneself, to touch a lunar stone, to pose a shuttle and to visit the slides of NASA.
Education & Universities
Houston is the seat of prestigious the Université Rice, a private institution classified with the 17th position among the universities of the United States.
There exists a sytème educational academic including/understanding 4 universities of which the Université of Houston, largest with more: 35000 students. This University is the seat of more than 40 research institutes of which most prestigious is specialized in the right.
Houston is the seat of the Texas Medical Center (Medical center of Texas), which gathers many research centres and institutions of care including/understanding the Baylor College off Medicine , University off Texas Health Science Center At Houston and the Mr. D. Anderson Cancer Center . This last is regarded as one of the best center anti cancers of the world, as well for the treatment, education and research as for the reception of the patients.
The Texas Southern University is historically the black college of Houston.
Houston has also two Universities nun, one catholic with the St Thomas University , and the other Protestant woman with the Houston Baptist University .
The Metropolitan Transit Authority off Harris County, Texas, or SUBWAY, manages the network of public transport of the city.
Houston has a very flexible urban code compared to the other cities. The urban spreading out combined with heat and moisture, especially in summer, conduit with a transport system centered on the car. The city has the greatest highway network after Los Angeles but probably the largest exchangers of the world, of which much of them is on four even five levels ( five stacks interchanges ) and of the approach ramps of several hundred meters.
What characterizes more the highways of Houston and Texas in general, it is that they comprise ways parallel with the highway, which allows to the inhabitants zones crossed to be able to circulate and to return on the highway more easily. They are called " face road " or in Texas of the " feeders " . They have between two and four lanes in each direction, which can make broad highways of 14 ways minimum. The Southwest freeway has with certain sections up to 20 ways.
Houston is served by two Aéroport S principal: the intercontinental airport George Bush for the national and international traffic and the airport William P. Hobby for the national connections (until in 1963, this airport was called Houston International Airport). The Bush airport is used as platform of correspondence with the company Continental Airlines whose seat is located at Houston.
Houston is twinned with 16 other cities:
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- , 1973
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- , 1987
- , 1969
- , 1986
- , 1993
- , 2003
- , 1973
- , 1983
- , 1986
- , 1980
- , 1963
- , 2003
- , 1995
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