Houston Matters

What Houston Can Learn From Mid-Sized Towns Like Oklahoma City

In his book, The Next American City, former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett explains what places like Indianapolis and Des Moines can teach places like Houston.

Oklahoma City Skyline
Downtown Oklahoma City. The city’s former mayor, Mick Cornett, argues mid-size cities like OKC are the models for how future cities will look.


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The Next American City - BookWe often hear that Houston today reflects what cities in the rest of America will look like in the future – with multiple urban centers and a diverse workforce. But what if we're wrong? What if Houston isn't the model on which other cities will develop?

Former four-term Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett makes the case in his new book The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros. He says mid-sized metropolitan areas, like Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Charleston, and Des Moines, will lead the way in the coming years.

Cornett visits Houston for a Rice University event on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at The MATCH.

In the audio above, he tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty what those towns have going for them, how they can grow sustainably, and what cities like Houston can learn from them.

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett
Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is the author of The Next American City.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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