Apparently urban planners in every corner of the world have decided that downtown Houston is the Way of the Future, at least if the BBC and the Times of India are to be believed.
Last Friday, the Beeb reported that Houston's Scottish sister city Aberdeen is in the early stages of renewing its core. Aberdonian businessman Sir Ian Wood has pledged about $75 million towards the creation of a "new heart" in the city, one that "has the potential to make us the Houston of the Eastern Hemisphere." (Indeed, they've taken a solid first step -- right now they have embarked on what promises to be a long and expensive "feasibility study.")
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Eastern Hemisphere, in the Indian state of Mahrashtra not far from Mumbai, the town of Pimpri-Chinchwad is also cloning our downtown. This Bayou City replicant is slated to consist of 37 acres of zoned offices, retail, entertainment and restaurants, all developed, according to one of the city engineers, "along the lines of the Bandra Kurla complex and Mindspace in Mumbai, Houston city centre and other well-known city centres in the world."
Hair Balls has mixed emotions. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, from the looks of both Mindspace and Bandra Kurla, it seems the Indians have confused Westchase with Downtown.