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Houston — The Spread-Out City 

Houston — The Spread-Out City

Houston is a city known for its ever-growing expansion. Yes, that means the addition of more corporate housing and apartments for people to move into. 

Still, with the ever-rising inflation prices and economic impacts, why does Houston continue to grow as a city? 

Why is Houston such a spread-out city? 

There are a couple of reasons why Houston is a spread out city: zoning laws, land, and the ever-growing automobile industry in Houston. 

Zoning Laws 

What are zoning laws?Zoning laws are when a community defines the boundaries of a community’s residential and commercial areas of their real estate. 

Without zoning laws set in place, the market is the key determining factor in choosing real estate. So how does this affect Houston? 

In Houston, they do not have specific zoning laws. Rather, the development of any new property is overseen by ordinance codes. 

These codes address how the property is divided, not how land is used. So, there are no strict laws against building a new spa, gym, or even bookstore anywhere—if that’s what you want to do. 

The role the city’s department plays is that they check the land to make sure that the site plans meet building regulations, such as parking, shrubs, street access, etc. 

So because of these flexible building laws and conditions in Houston, that’s why you see more and more things like furniture stores popping up alongside the highway. 


There is nothing impeding Houston’s development in most directions. Hence people of Houston see it as a reason to expand. 

Houston does not have any natural geographic barriers preventing the city from adding, say, another massage store to your neighborhood. No need to worry about large oceans or mountains stopping developers. 

The truth of the matter is that Houston is flat and in the middle of farm and ranch country. Thus, purchasing land is relatively cheap for most who hope to expand Houston. 

Automobile Industry in Houston 

There’s a reason why you’ll find so many car dealerships and transmission shops across Houston. 

As Houston is a city run by automobiles instead of other forms of transportation, Houston expanded their freeway system to make it possible for people who don’t want to live in downtown Houston. 

Despite the immense amount of traffic the people of Houston deal with already, the city continues to expand outward onto new horizons as far as their land will allow them, that is. 


What is Houston expanding? 

The Houston ship channel is a current project the city of Houston hopes to expand, known as “Project 11”. 

What is the current population of Houston? 

As of 2022, the current population of Houston is approximately 6,603,000 people. 

Is Houston the fastest growing city? 

No. Believe it or not, Houston is actually one of the fastest declining cities in Texas—as of late, that is. 

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