The Production of Urban Space in the ‘Free Enterprise City’, Houston, Texas

José L. Beraud Lozano, Barry A. Espinosa-Oropeza


The history of Texas and Houston is directly related to the rise of modern capitalism. Through a historiographic observation, in this paper we examine the emergence and consolidation of the city of Houston and how it has captured the intervention of private capital in a voracious land appropriation scheme and speculative real estate industry. This development is founded over a deep-rooted ideology that permeates Houston and Texas, considering land as a commodity and a culture of privatism. We review the rationale and protagonists of the relevant historic phases of urban development that have fed the cultural symbolic dimension of the “free enterprise city” and “city of the future.” And, demonstrate the fallacy of the laissez-faire ideology predicated by the business elite while lobbying for government funds to extend Houston’s urban territory, build infrastructure, and invest in expensive industrial facilities which mainly benefit the elite.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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