The New Houston – From Green Energy to Web Hosting – Houston Is on a Roll!
Bike proportion kiosks in downtown. Electric means charging stations at the grocery store. Over 15 miles of new rail lines being constructed. Wind turbines and solar on rooftops. Solar-powered mini-offices at schools and parks. E-cycling and polystyrene foam recycling. Urban gardens surrounding office buildings. LEED-certified historic buildings. Complete Streets in urban neighborhoods. easy to reach and recreation-oriented bayous.
What City is this you ask? Houston, and not only is Houston going green, this great city has become a technology mecca with many web hosting firms developing strong relationships in the city.
Look at the testimonials of a company closely, especially those featured on their site. Many web hosting companies offer cheap plans on their site, but there are few that are located in the great state of Texas, and already fewer with a long history in the City of Houston.
For some companies, this may be easy to identify, for others it may be more difficult. In either case, do not take web hosting companies at confront value. Get reviews from independent message boards not affiliated with the web hosting company, then choose a great number with a strong foundation in Houston.
The New Houston.
When looking for a web hosting provider, a good indicator of a specialized firm is a regularly updated blog on the provider’s website. Although it may be overlooked, a blog indicates that the provider is willing to continue communication, whether it’s about server issues, upgrades, or new features that are on the way. Also look for specialized responses to comments left for the provider by other users.
Innovation, creativity and a black gold rush spirit dominated industrial Houston at the turn of the last century – putting Houston on the map as an economic leader.
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Today, Houston is at an historic juncture. Decision-drivers for the city and the vicinity are no longer only economic. There is an emerging recognition that the city has the building blocks to be one of the most livable, equitable and sustainable places in the nation, and rule the next dramatical change: the green dramatical change.
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What are these building blocks? Recently, Forbes Magazine placed Houston as the number one city for young professionals. And young professionals excursion innovation and use new thinking to solve old issues. Houston has a business-friendly ecosystem and a plethora of large companies conducting business in new ways. Houston has high average incomes and a concentration of graduates from elite colleges from across the country. Also, for the first time in thirty years, the Kinder Houston Area Study revealed a meaningful increase in the number of residents who sustain mass transit and prefer a less automobile-dependent, more urbanized lifestyle. And Mayor Annise Parker’s forward-thinking and inventive approaches and initiatives are putting Houston on the map as a national green leader.
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What’s most exciting about Houston is that few people think it will rule the green dramatical change. But this sleeping giant is starting to awaken. Houstonians love a good challenge and love to save money.
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At the turn of the last century, high resources made Houston a national economic leader. At the turn of this century, high resources will do the same. Texas has, by far, the largest installed wind strength capacity of any U.S. state. The City of Houston capitalized on this and has been recognized by the EPA as the number one municipal purchaser of green strength and the seventh largest overall purchaser in the nation.
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The City has a strong partnership with the University of Houston’s College of Architecture’s Green Building elements Program. Their inventive faculty has designed the first movable solar powered office/generator, and the City, by a grant, has purchased 17 of these units for emergency preparedness and other uses. Houston also recently received two large grants to reduce the cost of solar for residents and test out new types of rooftop solar technology.
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Houston does not only create cleaner ways to use energy, Houston truly uses less energy. The City knows about energy efficiency: over 80 City facilities are expected to unprotected to guaranteed energy use reductions of 30% with paybacks of, on average, less than ten years.
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The City also wants energy efficiency to be part of the urban fabric of Houston. by our Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP), led by the General sets Department, the City has helped 13k Houston residents weatherize their homes, resulting in 12-20% kWh reduction and $60-125 savings each month. On the commercial side, the award-winning Houston Green Office Challenge and the City’s partnership in the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge are encouraging building owners and character managers to find inventive measures to reduce their energy and water consumption and decline waste.
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We also know that equally important to encouraging high performing buildings is looking at our codes. In January 2012, the City, with leadership from the Public Works and Engineering Department, set the bar high by adopting the Houston Residential Energy Code. This code makes Houston’s standards 5% above the state code for residential energy efficiency standards, and also requires all new residential buildings to be solar ready. And Houston is poised to adopt another 5% increase above state code this year.
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It’s not just about energy efficiency. Houston also embraces green buildings. Currently Houston is number four in the nation in the number of LEED certified buildings with 186 certified projects. That’s up from #7 just a year ago.
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One of the most impressive pieces of the green dramatical change is the emphasis on public transportation and new transportation technologies. Under the leadership of METRO, Houston will soon have three new rail lines, adding over 15 miles to the system.
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Houston is at the spotlight of the electric car movement. Houston was one of the first cities to receive EV cars for a City fleet, which now includes 40 Nissan Leafs and plug-in hybrids. And with partners such as NRG launching the first private investment in public EV charging infrastructure, Houston is leading in electric means readiness.
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In addition to electric, CNG is offering cleaner, cheaper fuel for additional options: In a partnership with Apache, the Airport’s new parking shuttles at IAH are being powered by natural gas.
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With the set afloat of Houston B-cycle, the City’s bike proportion program is now a reality with 3 stations and 18 bikes in downtown, with $1 million in committed funding to grow to 20 stations and 225 bikes by the fall of 2012. This grant-funded program offers a transportation different for citizens and will help address pollution issues, traffic congestion, and rising oil costs.
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And the City, under the leadership of the Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, recently won a $15 million highly competitive U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2012 TIGER grant. This project will assist in eliminating gaps in Houston’s bike grid: the project includes building 7.5 miles of off-street shared-use paths, 2.8 miles of sidewalks, and 7.9 miles of on-street bikeways.
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And the dream and vision behind the Bayou Greenway project is becoming more of a reality. This hypothesizedv linear park system is unrivaled in its breadth and scope.
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Finally, sustainability must include urban agriculture. The City Gardens and Farmers Market Initiative supports urban gardens and markets: the City has planted numerous new vegetable gardens (some of which are highlighted in First Lady Michele Obama’s new book, American Grown) and, with its partner Urban Harvest, has promoted the sale and buy of local food by starting a weekly farmers market at City Hall, with over 40 vendors.
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In addition, the Mayor’s Council on Health and the ecosystem produced an obesity task force to look at the importance of healthy eating and exercise. The Healthy Houston initiative will review and implement sustainable food policies for Houston to create work, school, and neighborhood environments conducive to healthier eating and increased physical activity. And under the leadership of Councilmember Stephen Costello, Houston is working to minimize food deserts and increase food access.
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These initiatives are helping to make Houston a growing, thriving, modern, green city of the future, a destination for visitors, a magnet for new residents and a city well positioned in the global market.
If a web hosting provider offers you a deal that seems to be good to be true, it probably is. No provider can offer unlimited storage space or unlimited bandwidth, so if a great number claims to provide these, they are most likely scamming you. Look for a great number that offers more realistic sets.
The New Houston is here, and it’s on a roll.