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Houston’s Place in America and the World: Monday’s Show (August 29, 2016)

All this week, NPR and public radio stations nationwide are taking part in this week’s A Nation Engaged project which asks, “What is America’s place in the world?” Well, we’re Houston Matters, your daily guide to the people, places, issues and ideas that define Greater Houston. So guess what we’ve decided to ask? Yep: “What is Houston’s […]

Houston Matters microphonesAll this week, NPR and public radio stations nationwide are taking part in this week’s A Nation Engaged project which asks, “What is America’s place in the world?” Well, we’re Houston Matters, your daily guide to the people, places, issues and ideas that define Greater Houston. So guess what we’ve decided to ask? Yep: “What is Houston’s place in the world?”

It’s an important question for a community that is home to one of America’s top exporting ports, a large expat population, industries with strong international ties and a diverse community with friends and family all over the world. So, on this edition of the program, we explore Greater Houston’s role on the global stage with the help of members of two Houston-based, internationally focused organizations: the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston, and Refugee Services of Texas.

Then, we consider Houston’s place in the United States, with the help of a Houston historian, and News 88.7’s politics and government reporter Andrew Schneider.

Also this hour:

Using Green Infrastructure to Mitigate Flooding

We try all sorts of things to mitigate flooding, from limits and controls on development to improving storm water drainage capacity, to other ways maintaining and improving existing drainage systems and flood control structures. But there’s another piece of the puzzle: what you might call natural defense, or “green infrastructure.” In essence, one way to reduce the risk of flooding in certain areas is to leave some prairies and bayous alone, to grow grasses that absorb more water or oyster reefs that fend off storm surge. Deborah January-Bevers is the president and CEO of Houston Wilderness, a proponent of green infrastructure. She tells Houston Matters producer Paige Phelps about the concept.

The Astros’ Winning Week and the Texans’ Preseason Push

The Houston Astros took two of three this week from both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays. At 68-and-62, the Astros are in a three-way tie with the Royals and Mariners and just a half-game ahead of the Yankees for the second and final American League Wild Card slot. We discuss what the Astros need to do to hang on in the final month of the regular season with Jeff Balke, who writes for Houstonia Magazine and Houston Press, and joins us each Monday to discuss developments in Houston sports. We also discuss the Houston Texans’ first-half offensive explosion in preseason play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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