Houston, Texas, United States

History | Early settlement to the 20th century | World War II to the late 20th century | Early 21st century | Geography | Economy | Culture | Arts and theater | Tourism and recreation | Sport | Education : Universities | Media | Healthcare | Transport : Road | Transit | Transport : Cycling : Air

🇺🇸 Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas. Located in South-east Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston is the south-east anchor of the greater mega-region known as the Texas Triangle.

Comprising a land area of 640.4 square miles (1,659 km²), Houston is the ninth-most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties). It is the largest city in the United States by total area whose government is not consolidated with a county, parish, or borough. Though primarily in Harris County, small portions of the city extend into Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, bordering other principal communities of Greater Houston such as Sugar Land and The Woodlands.

Houston was founded by land investors on August 30, 1836, at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou (a point now known as Allen's Landing) and incorporated as a city on June 5, 1837. The city is named after former General Sam Houston, who was president of the Republic of Texas and had won Texas's independence from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto 25 miles (40 km) east of Allen's Landing. After briefly serving as the capital of the Texas Republic in the late 1830s, Houston grew steadily into a regional trading centre for the remainder of the 19th century.

The arrival of the 20th century brought a convergence of economic factors that fueled rapid growth in Houston, including a burgeoning port and railroad industry, the decline of Galveston as Texas's primary port following a devastating 1900 hurricane, the subsequent construction of the Houston Ship Channel, and the Texas oil boom. In the mid-20th century, Houston's economy diversified, as it became home to the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, home to the Mission Control Center.

Since the late 19th century Houston's economy has had a broad industrial base, in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second-most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits (after New York City). The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled.

Nicknamed the "Bayou City", "Space City", "H-Town", and "the 713", Houston has become a global city, with strengths in culture, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major city in the U.S. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than seven million visitors a year to the Museum District. The Museum District is home to nineteen museums, galleries, and community spaces. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District, and offers year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.

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History The Houston area occupies land that was home of the Karankawa (kə rang′kə wä′,-wô′,-wə) and the Atakapa (əˈtɑːkəpə) indigenous peoples for at least 2,000 years before the first known settlers arrived. These tribes are almost nonexistent today; this was most likely caused by foreign disease, and competition with various settler groups in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the land then remained largely uninhabited from the late 1700s until settlement in the 1830s.

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Early settlement to the 20th century The Allen brothers—Augustus Chapman and John Kirby—explored town sites on Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay. According to historian David McComb, "[T]he brothers, on August 26, 1836, bought from Elizabeth E. Parrott, wife of T.F.L. Parrott and widow of John Austin, the south half of the lower league [,214-acre (896 ha) tract] granted to her by her late husband. They paid $5,000 total, but only $1,000 of this in cash; notes made up the remainder".

The Allen brothers ran their first advertisement for Houston just four days later in the Telegraph and Texas Register, naming the notional town in honor of President Sam Houston. They successfully lobbied the Republic of Texas Congress to designate Houston as the temporary capital, agreeing to provide the new government with a state capitol building. About a dozen persons resided in the town at the beginning of 1837, but that number grew to about 1,500 by the time the Texas Congress convened in Houston for the first time that May. The Republic of Texas granted Houston incorporation on June 5, 1837, as James S. Holman became its first mayor. In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County (now Harris County).

In 1839, the Republic of Texas relocated its capital to Austin. The town suffered another setback that year when a yellow fever epidemic claimed about one life for every eight residents, yet it persisted as a commercial centre, forming a symbiosis with its Gulf Coast port, Galveston. Landlocked farmers brought their produce to Houston, using Buffalo Bayou to gain access to Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico. Houston merchants profited from selling staples to farmers and shipping the farmers' produce to Galveston.

The great majority of enslaved people in Texas came with their owners from the older slave states. Sizable numbers, however, came through the domestic slave trade. New Orleans was the centre of this trade in the Deep South, but slave dealers were in Houston. Thousands of enslaved black people lived near the city before the American Civil War. Many of them near the city worked on sugar and cotton plantations, while most of those in the city limits had domestic and artisan jobs.

In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce, in part to promote shipping and navigation at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou.

By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for Confederate Major General John B. Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston. After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between Downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890, Houston was the railroad centre of Texas.

In 1900, after Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane, efforts to make Houston into a viable deep-water port were accelerated. The following year, the discovery of oil at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt approved a $1 million improvement project for the Houston Ship Channel. By 1910, the city's population had reached 78,800, almost doubling from a decade before. African Americans formed a large part of the city's population, numbering 23,929 people, which was nearly one-third of Houston's residents.

President Woodrow Wilson opened the deep-water Port of Houston in 1914, seven years after digging began. By 1930, Houston had become Texas's most populous city and Harris County the most populous county. In 1940, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Houston's population as 77.5% White and 22.4% Black.

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World War II to the late 20th century When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products by the defense industry during the war. Ellington Field, initially built during World War I, was revitalized as an advanced training centre for bombardiers and navigators. The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in 1942 to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Due to the boom in defense jobs, thousands of new workers migrated to the city, both blacks, and whites competing for the higher-paying jobs. President Roosevelt had established a policy of nondiscrimination for defense contractors, and blacks gained some opportunities, especially in shipbuilding, although not without resistance from whites and increasing social tensions that erupted into occasional violence. Economic gains of blacks who entered defense industries continued in the postwar years.

In 1945, the M.D. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center. After the war, Houston's economy reverted to being primarily port-driven. In 1948, the city annexed several unincorporated areas, more than doubling its size. Houston proper began to spread across the region. In 1950, the availability of air conditioning provided impetus for many companies to relocate to Houston, where wages were lower than those in the North; this resulted in an economic boom and produced a key shift in the city's economy toward the energy sector.

The increased production of the expanded shipbuilding industry during World War II spurred Houston's growth, as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973). This was the stimulus for the development of the city's aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World", opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor domed sports stadium.

During the late 1970s, Houston had a population boom as people from the Rust Belt states moved to Texas in large numbers. The new residents came for numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab oil embargo. With the increase in professional jobs, Houston has become a destination for many college-educated persons, most recently including African Americans in a reverse Great Migration from northern areas.

In 1997, Houstonians elected Lee P. Brown as the city's first African American mayor.

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Early 21st century Houston has continued to grow into the 21st century, with the population increasing 17% from 2000 to 2019.

Oil & gas have continued to fuel Houston's economic growth, with major oil companies including Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, Halliburton, and ExxonMobil having their headquarters in the Houston area. In 2001, Enron Corporation, a Houston company with $100 billion in revenue, became engulfed in an accounting scandal which bankrupted the company in 2001. Health care has emerged as a major industry in Houston. The Texas Medical Center is now the largest medical complex in the world and employs 106,000 people.

Three new sports stadiums opened downtown in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2000, the Houston Astros opened their new baseball stadium, Minute Maid Park, in downtown adjacent to the old Union Station. The Houston Texans were formed in 2002 as an NFL expansion team, replacing the Houston Oilers, which had left the city in 1996. NRG Stadium opened the same year. In 2003, the Toyota Center opened as the home for the Houston Rockets. In 2005, the Houston Dynamo soccer team was formed. In 2017, the Houston Astros won their first World Series.

Flooding has been a recurring problem in the Houston area, exacerbated by a lack of zoning laws, which allowed unregulated building of residential homes and other structures in flood-prone areas. In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain on parts of Houston, causing what was then the worst flooding in the city's history and billions of dollars in damage, and killed 20 people in Texas. In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans, who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. One month later, about 2.5 million Houston-area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area. This was the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States. In May 2015, seven people died after 12 inches of rain fell in 10 hours during what is known as the Memorial Day Flood. Eight people died in April 2016 during a storm that dropped 17 inches of rain. The worst came in late August 2017, when Hurricane Harvey stalled over south-eastern Texas, much like Tropical Storm Allison did sixteen years earlier, causing severe flooding in the Houston area, with some areas receiving over 50 inches (1,300 mm) of rain. The rainfall exceeded 50 inches in several areas locally, breaking the national record for rainfall. The damage for the Houston area was estimated at up to $125 billion U.S. dollars, and was considered to be one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, with the death toll exceeding 70 people.

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Geography Houston is 165 miles (266 km) east of Austin, 88 miles (142 km) west of the Louisiana border, and 250 miles (400 km) south of Dallas. The city has a total area of 637.4 square miles (1,651 km²); this comprises over 599.59 square miles (1,552.9 km²) of land and 22.3 square miles (58 km²) covered by water. Most of Houston is on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as Western Gulf coastal grasslands while further north, it transitions into a subtropical jungle, the Big Thicket.

Much of the city was built on forested land, marshes, or swamps, and all are still visible in surrounding areas. Flat terrain and extensive greenfield development have combined to worsen flooding. Downtown stands about 50 feet (15 m) above sea level, and the highest point in far north-west Houston is about 150 feet (46 m) in elevation. The city once relied on groundwater for its needs, but land subsidence forced the city to turn to ground-level water sources such as Lake Houston, Lake Conroe, and Lake Livingston. The city owns surface water rights for 1.20 billion US gallons (4.5 Gl) of water a day in addition to 150 million US gallons (570 Ml) a day of groundwater.

Houston has four major bayous passing through the city that accept water from the extensive drainage system. Buffalo Bayou runs through Downtown and the Houston Ship Channel, and has three tributaries: White Oak Bayou, which runs through the Houston Heights community north-west of Downtown and then towards Downtown; Brays Bayou, which runs along the Texas Medical Center; and Sims Bayou, which runs through the south of Houston and Downtown Houston. The ship channel continues past Galveston and then into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Economy Houston is recognised worldwide for its energy industry—particularly for oil and natural gas—as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. Renewable energy sources—wind and solar—are also growing economic bases in the city, and the City Government purchases 90% of its annual 1 TWh power mostly from wind, and some from solar. The city has also been a growing hub for technology startup firms. Major technology and software companies within Greater Houston include Crown Castle, KBR, Cybersoft, Houston Wire & Cable, and HostGator. On April 4, 2022, Hewlett Packard Enterprise relocated its global headquarters from California to the Greater Houston area. The Houston Ship Channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base.

Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The Houston area is the top U.S. market for exports, surpassing New York City in 2013, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. In 2012, the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land area recorded $110.3 billion in merchandise exports. Petroleum products, chemicals, and oil and gas extraction equipment accounted for roughly two-thirds of the metropolitan area's exports last year. The top three destinations for exports were Mexico, Canada, and Brazil.

The Houston area is a leading centre for building oilfield equipment. Much of its success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy ship channel, the Port of Houston. In the United States, the port ranks first in international commerce and 16th among the largest ports in the world. Unlike most places, high oil and gasoline prices are beneficial for Houston's economy, as many of its residents are employed in the energy industry. Houston is the beginning or end point of numerous oil, gas, and products pipelines.

The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metro area's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was $478 billion, making it the sixth-largest of any metropolitan area in the United States and larger than Iran's, Colombia's, or the United Arab Emirates' GDP. Only 27 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product (GAP). In 2010, mining (which consists almost entirely of exploration and production of oil and gas in Houston) accounted for 26.3% of Houston's GAP up sharply in response to high energy prices and a decreased worldwide surplus of oil production capacity, followed by engineering services, health services, and manufacturing.

The University of Houston System's annual impact on the Houston area's economy equates to that of a major corporation: $1.1 billion in new funds attracted annually to the Houston area, $3.13 billion in total economic benefit, and 24,000 local jobs generated. This is in addition to the 12,500 new graduates the U.H. System produces every year who enter the workforce in Houston and throughout Texas. These degree-holders tend to stay in Houston. After five years, 80.5% of graduates are still living and working in the region.

In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes magazine. Ninety-one foreign governments have established consular offices in Houston's metropolitan area, the third-highest in the nation. Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here with 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. Twenty-five foreign banks representing 13 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.

In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance "Best Cities of 2008" list, which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs, and quality of life. The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to Forbes magazine. In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters, first for Forbes magazine's "Best Cities for College Graduates", and first on their list of "Best Cities to Buy a Home". In 2010, the city was rated the best city for shopping, according to Forbes.

In 2012, the city was ranked number one for paycheck worth by Forbes and in late May 2013, Houston was identified as America's top city for employment creation.

In 2013, Houston was identified as the number one U.S. city for job creation by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics after it was not only the first major city to regain all the jobs lost in the preceding economic downturn, but also after the crash, more than two jobs were added for every one lost. Economist and vice president of research at the Greater Houston Partnership Patrick Jankowski attributed Houston's success to the ability of the region's real estate and energy industries to learn from historical mistakes. Furthermore, Jankowski stated that "more than 100 foreign-owned companies relocated, expanded or started new businesses in Houston" between 2008 and 2010, and this openness to external business boosted job creation during a period when domestic demand was problematically low. Also in 2013, Houston again appeared on Forbes' list of "Best Places for Business and Careers".

Fortune 500 companies based in Houston

27 Phillips 66; 56 Sysco; 93 ConocoPhillips; 98 Plains GP Holdings; 101 Enterprise Products Partners; 129 Baker Hughes; 142 Halliburton; 148 Occidental Petroleum; 186 EOG Resources; 207 Waste Management; 242 Kinder Morgan; 260 CenterPoint Energy; 261 Quanta Services; 264 Group 1 Automotive; 319 Calpine; 329 Cheniere Energy; 365 Targa Resources; 374 NOV Inc.; 391 Westlake Chemical; 465 APA Corporation; 496 Crown Castle; 501 KBR.

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Culture Located in the American South, Houston is a diverse city with a large and growing international community. The Greater Houston metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area's foreign-born population from south of the United States–Mexico border since 2009. Additionally, more than one in five foreign-born residents are from Asia. The city is home to the nation's third-largest concentration of consular offices, representing 92 countries.

Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest-running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from early to late March, and is the largest annual livestock show and rodeo in the world. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Gay Pride Parade, held at the end of June. Other notable annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show, the Houston International Festival, and the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States.

Houston is highly regarded for its diverse food and restaurant culture. Several major publications have consistently named Houston one of "America's Best Food Cities". Houston received the official nickname of "Space City" in 1967 because it is the location of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Other nicknames often used by locals include "Bayou City", "Clutch City", "Crush City", "Magnolia City", "H-Town", and "Culinary Capital of the South".

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Arts and theater The Houston Theater District, in Downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a Downtown area in the United States.

Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars). Houston is also home to folk artists, art groups and various small progressive arts organizations.

Houston attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions for a variety of interests. Facilities in the Theater District include the Jones Hall—home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Society for the Performing Arts—and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

The Museum District's cultural institutions and exhibits attract more than 7 million visitors a year. Notable facilities include The Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, the Holocaust Museum Houston, the Children's Museum of Houston, and the Houston Zoo.

Located near the Museum District are The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, the Moody Center for the Arts and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.

Bayou Bend is a 14-acre (5.7 ha) facility of the Museum of Fine Arts that houses one of America's most prominent collections of decorative art, paintings, and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg.

The National Museum of Funeral History is in Houston near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The museum houses the original Popemobile used by Pope John Paul II in the 1980s along with numerous hearses, embalming displays, and information on famous funerals.

Venues across Houston regularly host local and touring rock, blues, country, dubstep, and Tejano musical acts. While Houston has never been widely known for its music scene, Houston hip-hop has become a significant, independent music scene that is influential nationwide. Houston is the birthplace of the chopped and screwed remixing-technique in Hip-hop which was pioneered by DJ Screw from the city. Some other notable Hip-hop artists from the area include Destiny's Child, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Bun B, Geto Boys, Trae tha Truth, Kirko Bangz, Z-Ro, South Park Mexican, Travis Scott and Megan Thee Stallion.

Beyoncé Knowles also originated in Houston.

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Tourism and recreation The Theater District is a 17-block area in the centre of Downtown Houston that is home to the Bayou Place entertainment complex, restaurants, movies, plazas, and parks. Bayou Place is a large multilevel building containing full-service restaurants, bars, live music, billiards, and Sundance Cinema. The Bayou Music Center stages live concerts, stage plays, and stand-up comedy.

Space Center Houston is the official visitors' centre of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The Space Center has many interactive exhibits including Moon rocks, a Space Shuttle simulator, and presentations about the history of NASA's manned space flight program. Other tourist attractions include the Galleria (Texas's largest shopping mall, in the Uptown District), Old Market Square, the Downtown Aquarium, and Sam Houston Race Park.

Houston's current Chinatown and the Mahatma Gandhi District are two major ethnic enclaves, reflecting Houston's multicultural makeup. Restaurants, bakeries, traditional-clothing boutiques, and specialty shops can be found in both areas.

Houston is home to 337 parks, including Hermann Park, Terry Hershey Park, Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Discovery Green, Buffalo Bayou Park and Sam Houston Park. Within Hermann Park are the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Sam Houston Park contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905. A proposal has been made to open the city's first botanic garden at Herman Brown Park.

Of the 10 most populous U.S. cities, Houston has the most total area of parks and green space, 56,405 acres (228 km²). The city also has over 200 additional green spaces—totaling over 19,600 acres (79 km²) that are managed by the city—including the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is a public skatepark owned and operated by the city of Houston, and is one of the largest skateparks in Texas consisting of a 30,000-ft² (2,800 m²) in-ground facility.

The Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park—in the Uptown District of the city—serves as a popular tourist attraction and for weddings and various celebrations. A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Houston the 23rd most walkable of the 50 largest cities in the United States.

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Sport Houston has sports teams for every major professional league except the National Hockey League. The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball expansion team formed in 1962 (known as the "Colt.45s" until 1965) that have won the World Series in 2017 and 2022 and appeared in it in 2005, 2019, and 2021. It is the only MLB team to have won pennants in both modern leagues. The Houston Rockets are a National Basketball Association franchise based in the city since 1971. They have won two NBA Championships, one in 1994 and another in 1995, under star players Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe, Clyde Drexler, Vernon Maxwell, and Kenny Smith. The Houston Texans are a National Football League expansion team formed in 2002. The Houston Dynamo is a Major League Soccer franchise that has been based in Houston since 2006, winning two MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. The Houston Dash team plays in the National Women's Soccer League. The Houston SaberCats are a rugby team that plays in Major League Rugby.

Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets), are in Downtown Houston. Houston has the NFL's first retractable-roof stadium with natural grass, NRG Stadium (home of the Texans). Minute Maid Park is also a retractable-roof stadium. Toyota Center also has the largest screen for an indoor arena in the United States built to coincide with the arena's hosting of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. PNC Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium for the Houston Dynamo, the Texas Southern Tigers football team, and Houston Dash, in East Downtown. Aveva Stadium (home of the SaberCats) is in south Houston. In addition, NRG Astrodome was the first indoor stadium in the world, built in 1965. Other sports facilities include Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston Cougars basketball), Rice Stadium (Rice Owls football), and NRG Arena. TDECU Stadium is where the University of Houston's Cougars football team plays.

Houston has hosted several major sports events: the 1968, 1986 and 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Games; the 1989, 2006 and 2013 NBA All-Star Games; Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and Super Bowl LI, as well as hosting the 1981, 1986, 1994 and 1995 NBA Finals, winning the latter two, and hosting the 2005 World Series, 2017 World Series, 2019 World Series, 2021 World Series and 2022 World Series. The city won its first baseball championship during the 2017 event and won again 5 years later. NRG Stadium hosted Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017. Houston will host multiple matches during the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The city has hosted several major professional and college sporting events, including the annual Houston Open golf tournament. Houston hosts the annual Houston College Classic baseball tournament every February, and the Texas Kickoff and Bowl in September and December, respectively.

The Grand Prix of Houston, an annual auto race on the IndyCar Series circuit was held on a 1.7-mile temporary street circuit in NRG Park. The October 2013 event was held using a tweaked version of the 2006–2007 course. The event had a 5-year race contract through 2017 with IndyCar. In motorcycling, the Astrodome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1974 to 2003 and the NRG Stadium since 2003.

Houston is also one of the first cities in the world to have a major esports team represent it, in the form of the Houston Outlaws. The Outlaws play in the Overwatch League and are one of two Texan teams, the other being the Dallas Fuel. Houston is also one of eight cities to have an XFL team, the Houston Roughnecks.

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Education: Universities Houston has four state universities. The University of Houston (UH) is a research university and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The third-largest university in Texas, the University of Houston has nearly 44,000 students on its 667-acre (270-hectare) campus in the Third Ward. The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are stand-alone universities within the University of Houston System; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Slightly west of the University of Houston is Texas Southern University (TSU), one of the largest historically black universities in the United States with approximately 10,000 students. Texas Southern University is the first state university in Houston, founded in 1927.

Several private institutions of higher learning are within the city. Rice University, the most selective university in Texas and one of the most selective in the United States, is a private, secular institution with a high level of research activity. Founded in 1912, Rice's historic, heavily wooded 300-acre (120-hectare) campus, adjacent to Hermann Park and the Texas Medical Center, hosts approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 3,000 post-graduate students. To the north in Neartown, the University of St. Thomas, founded in 1947, is Houston's only Catholic university. St. Thomas provides a liberal arts curriculum for roughly 3,000 students at its historic 19-block campus along Montrose Boulevard. In south-west Houston, Houston Christian University (formerly Houston Baptist University), founded in 1960, offers bachelor's and graduate degrees at its Sharpstown campus. The school is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and has a student population of approximately 3,000.

Three community college districts have campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System (HCC) serves most of Houston proper; its main campus and headquarters are in Midtown. Suburban northern and western parts of the metropolitan area are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the south-eastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College, and a north-eastern portion is served by Lee College. The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are among the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Houston also hosts a number of graduate schools in law and healthcare. The University of Houston Law Center and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University are public, ABA-accredited law schools, while the South Texas College of Law, in Downtown, serves as a private, independent alternative. The Texas Medical Center is home to a high density of health professions schools, including two medical schools: McGovern Medical School, part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine, a highly selective private institution. Prairie View A&M University's nursing school is in the Texas Medical Center. Additionally, both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston have pharmacy schools, and the University of Houston hosts a medical school and a college of optometry.

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Media The primary network-affiliated television stations are KPRC-TV channel 2 (NBC), KHOU channel 11 (CBS), KTRK-TV channel 13 (ABC), KTXH channel 20 (MyNetworkTV), KRIV channel 26 (Fox), KIAH channel 39 (The CW), KXLN-DT channel 45 (Univision), KTMD-TV channel 47 (Telemundo), KPXB-TV channel 49 (Ion Television), KYAZ channel 51 (MeTV) and KFTH-DT channel 67 (UniMás). KTRK-TV, KTXH, KRIV, KTXH, KIAH, KXLN-DT, KTMD-TV, KPXB-TV, KYAZ and KFTH-DT operate as owned-and-operated stations of their networks.

The Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area is served by one public television station and two public radio stations. KUHT channel 8 (Houston Public Media) is a PBS member station and is the first public television station in the United States. Houston Public Radio is listener-funded and comprises one NPR member station, KUHF (News 88.7). The University of Houston System owns and holds broadcasting licenses to KUHT and KUHF. The stations broadcast from the Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting on the campus of the University of Houston. Houston additionally is served by the Pacifica Foundation public radio station KPFT.

Houston and its metropolitan area are served by the Houston Chronicle, its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution. Hearst Communications, which owns and operates the Houston Chronicle, bought the assets of the Houston Post—its long-time rival and main competition—when Houston Post ceased operations in 1995. The Houston Post was owned by the family of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby of Houston. The only other major publication to serve the city is the Houston Press—which was a free alternative weekly newspaper before the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey resulted in the publication switching to an online-only format on November 2, 2017. Other notable publications include Houston Forward Times, OutSmart, and La Voz de Houston. Houston Forward Times is one of the largest black-owned newspapers in the metropolitan area and owned by Forward Times Publishing Company. OutSmart is an LGBT magazine in Houston and was ranked "Best Local Magazine" by the Houston Press in 2008. La Voz de Houston is the Houston Chronicle's Spanish-language newspaper and the largest in the area.

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Healthcare Houston is the seat of the Texas Medical Center, which is the largest medical centre in the world, and describes itself as containing the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions. All 49 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are non-profit organizations. They provide patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. Employing more than 73,600 people, institutions at the medical centre include 13 hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight, was created, and an inter-institutional transplant program was developed. Around 2007, more heart surgeries were performed at the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world.

Some of the academic and research health institutions at the centre include MD Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, UT Health Science Center, Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, and University of Houston College of Pharmacy.

In the 2000s, the Baylor College of Medicine was annually considered within the top ten medical schools in the nation; likewise, the MD Anderson Cancer Center had been consistently ranked as one of the top two U.S. hospitals specialising in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report since 1990. The Menninger Clinic, a psychiatric treatment centre, is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and the Houston Methodist Hospital System. With hospital locations nationwide and headquarters in Houston, the Triumph Healthcare hospital system was the third largest long term acute care provider nationally in 2005.

Harris Health System (formerly Harris County Hospital District), the hospital district for Harris County, operates public hospitals (Ben Taub General Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital) and public clinics. The City of Houston Health Department also operates four clinics. As of 2011 the dental centres of Harris Health System take patients of ages 16 and up with patients under that age referred to the City of Houston's dental clinics. Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) serves as the hospital district for Houstonians living in Montgomery County. Fort Bend County, in which a portion of Houston resides, does not have a hospital district. OakBend Medical Center serves as the county's charity hospital which the county contracts with.

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Transport Houston is considered an automobile-dependent city, with an estimated 77.2% of commuters driving alone to work in 2016, up from 71.7% in 1990 and 75.6% in 2009. In 2016, another 11.4% of Houstonians carpooled to work, while 3.6% used public transit, 2.1% walked, and 0.5% bicycled. A commuting study estimated the median length of commute in the region was 12.2 miles (19.6 km) in 2012. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, the average work commute in Houston (city) takes 26.3 minutes. A 1999 Murdoch University study found Houston had both the lengthiest commute and lowest urban density of 13 large American cities surveyed, and a 2017 Arcadis study ranked Houston 22nd out of 23 American cities in transportation sustainability. Harris County is one of the largest consumers of gasoline in the United States, ranking second (behind Los Angeles County) in 2013.

Despite the region's high rate of automobile usage, attitudes towards transportation among Houstonians indicate a growing preference for walkability. A 2017 study by the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research found 56% of Harris County residents have a preference for dense housing in a mixed-use, walkable setting as opposed to single-family housing in a low-density area. A plurality of survey respondents also indicated traffic congestion was the most significant problem facing the metropolitan area. In addition, many households in the city of Houston have no car. In 2015, 8.3 percent of Houston households lacked a car, which was virtually unchanged in 2016 (8.1 percent). The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Houston averaged 1.59 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.

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Transport: Road The eight-county Greater Houston metropolitan area contains over 25,000 miles (40,000 km) of roadway, of which 10%, or approximately 2,500 miles (4,000 km), is limited-access highway. The Houston region's extensive freeway system handles over 40% of the regional daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Arterial roads handle an additional 40% of daily VMT, while toll roads, of which Greater Houston has 180 miles (290 km), handle nearly 10%.

Greater Houston possesses a hub-and-spoke limited-access highway system, in which a number of freeways radiate outward from Downtown, with ring roads providing connections between these radial highways at intermediate distances from the city center. The city is crossed by three Interstate highways, Interstate 10, Interstate 45, and Interstate 69 (commonly known as U.S. Route 59), as well as a number of other United States routes and state highways. Major freeways in Greater Houston are often referred to by either the cardinal direction or geographic location they travel towards. Highways that follow the cardinal convention include U.S. Route 290 (Northwest Freeway), Interstate 45 north of Downtown (North Freeway), Interstate 10 east of Downtown (East Freeway), Texas State Highway 288 (South Freeway), and Interstate 69 south of Downtown (Southwest Freeway). Highways that follow the location convention include Interstate 10 west of Downtown (Katy Freeway), Interstate 69 north of Downtown (Eastex Freeway), Interstate 45 south of Downtown (Gulf Freeway), and Texas State Highway 225 (La Porte or Pasadena Freeway).

Three loop freeways provide north–south and east–west connectivity between Greater Houston's radial highways. The innermost loop is Interstate 610, commonly known as the Inner Loop, which encircles Downtown, the Texas Medical Center, Greenway Plaza, the cities of West University Place and Southside Place, and many core neighborhoods. The 88-mile (142 km) State Highway Beltway 8, often referred to as the Beltway, forms the middle loop at a radius of roughly 10 miles (16 km). A third, 180-mile (290 km) loop with a radius of approximately 25 miles (40 km), State Highway 99 (the Grand Parkway), is currently under construction, with six of eleven segments completed as of 2018. Completed segments D through G provide a continuous 70.4-mile (113.3 km) limited-access tollway connection between Sugar Land, Katy, Cypress, Spring, and Porter.

A system of toll roads, operated by the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) and Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority (FBCTRA), provides additional options for regional commuters. The Sam Houston Tollway, which encompasses the mainlanes of Beltway 8 (as opposed to the frontage roads, which are untolled), is the longest tollway in the system, covering the entirety of the Beltway with the exception of a free section between Interstate 45 and Interstate 69 near George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The region is serviced by four spoke tollways: a set of managed lanes on the Katy Freeway; the Hardy Toll Road, which parallels Interstate 45 north of Downtown up to Spring; the Westpark Tollway, which services Houston's western suburbs out to Fulshear; and Fort Bend Parkway, which connects to Sienna Plantation. Westpark Tollway and Fort Bend Parkway are operated conjunctly with the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority.

Greater Houston's freeway system is monitored by Houston TranStar, a partnership of four government agencies which is responsible for providing transportation and emergency management services to the region.

Greater Houston's arterial road network is established at the municipal level, with the City of Houston exercising planning control over both its incorporated area and extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Therefore, Houston exercises transportation planning authority over a 2,000-square-mile (5,200 km²) area over five counties, many times larger than its corporate area. The Major Thoroughfare and Freeway Plan, updated annually, establishes the city's street hierarchy, identifies roadways in need of widening, and proposes new roadways in unserved areas. Arterial roads are organized into four categories, in decreasing order of intensity: major thoroughfares, transit corridor streets, collector streets, and local streets. Roadway classification affects anticipated traffic volumes, roadway design, and right of way breadth. Ultimately, the system is designed to ferry traffic from neighborhood streets to major thoroughfares, which connect into the limited-access highway system. Notable arterial roads in the region include Westheimer Road, Memorial Drive, Texas State Highway 6, Farm to Market Road 1960, Bellaire Boulevard, and Telephone Road.

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Transit The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) provides public transportation in the form of buses, light rail, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and paratransit to fifteen municipalities throughout the Greater Houston area and parts of unincorporated Harris County. METRO's service area covers 1,303 square miles (3,370 km²) containing a population of 3.6 million.

METRO's local bus network services approximately 275,000 riders daily with a fleet of over 1,200 buses. The agency's 75 local routes contain nearly 8,900 stops and saw nearly 67 million boardings during the 2016 fiscal year. A park and ride system provides commuter bus service from 34 transit centres scattered throughout the region's suburban areas; these express buses operate independently of the local bus network and utilize the region's extensive system of HOV lanes. Downtown and the Texas Medical Center have the highest rates of transit use in the region, largely due to the park and ride system, with nearly 60% of commuters in each district utilizing public transit to get to work.

METRO began light rail service in 2004 with the opening of the 8-mile (13 km) north-south Red Line connecting Downtown, Midtown, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, and NRG Park. In the early 2010s, two additional lines—the Green Line, servicing the East End, and the Purple Line, servicing the Third Ward—opened, and the Red Line was extended northward to Northline, bringing the total length of the system to 22.7 miles (36.5 km). Two light rail lines outlined in a five-line system approved by voters in a 2003 referendum have yet to be constructed. The Uptown Line, which runs along Post Oak Boulevard in Uptown, was under construction as a bus rapid transit line—the city's first—while the University Line has been postponed indefinitely. The light rail system saw approximately 16.8 million boardings in fiscal year 2016.

Amtrak's thrice-weekly Los Angeles–New Orleans Sunset Limited serves Houston at a station north-west of Downtown. There were 14,891 boardings and alightings in FY2008, 20,327 in FY2012, and 20,205 in FY2018. A daily Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach connects Houston with Amtrak's Chicago–San Antonio Texas Eagle at Longview.

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Transport: Cycling Houston has the largest number of bike commuters in Texas with over 160 miles of dedicated bikeways. The city is currently in the process of expanding its on and off street bikeway network. In 2015, Downtown Houston added a cycle track on Lamar Street, running from Sam Houston Park to Discovery Green. Houston City Council approved the Houston Bike Plan in March 2017, at that time entering the plan into the Houston Code of Ordinances. In August 2017, Houston City Council approved spending for construction of 13 additional miles of bike trails.

Houston's bicycle sharing system started service with nineteen stations in May 2012. Houston Bcycle (also known as B-Cycle), a local non-profit, runs the subscription program, supplying bicycles and docking stations, while partnering with other companies to maintain the system. The network expanded to 29 stations and 225 bicycles in 2014, registering over 43,000 checkouts of equipment during the first half of the same year. In 2017, Bcycle logged over 142,000 check outs while expanding to 56 docking stations.

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Transport: Air The Houston Airport System, a branch of the municipal government, oversees the operation of three major public airports in the city. Two of these airports, George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport, offer commercial aviation service to a variety of domestic and international destinations and served 55 million passengers in 2016. The third, Ellington Airport, is home to the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base. The Federal Aviation Administration and the state of Texas selected the Houston Airport System as "Airport of the Year" in 2005, largely due to the implementation of a $3.1 billion airport improvement program for both major airports in Houston.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), 23 miles (37 km) north of Downtown Houston between Interstates 45 and 69, is the eighth busiest commercial airport in the United States (by total passengers and aircraft movements) and forty-third busiest globally. The five-terminal, five-runway, 11,000-acre (4,500-hectare) airport served 40 million passengers in 2016, including 10 million international travelers. In 2006, the United States Department of Transportation named IAH the fastest-growing of the top ten airports in the United States. The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center is at Bush Intercontinental.

Houston was the headquarters of Continental Airlines until its 2010 merger with United Airlines with headquarters in Chicago; regulatory approval for the merger was granted in October of that year. Bush Intercontinental is currently United Airlines' second largest hub, behind O'Hare International Airport. United Airlines' share of the Houston Airport System's commercial aviation market was nearly 60% in 2017 with 16 million enplaned passengers. In early 2007, Bush Intercontinental Airport was named a model "port of entry" for international travelers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), known as Houston International Airport until 1967, operates primarily short- to medium-haul domestic and international flights to 60 destinations. The four-runway, 1,304-acre (528-hectare) facility is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Downtown Houston. In 2015, Southwest Airlines launched service from a new international terminal at Hobby to several destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. These were the first international flights flown from Hobby since the opening of Bush Intercontinental in 1969. Houston's aviation history is showcased in the 1940 Air Terminal Museum in the old terminal building on the west side of the airport. In 2009, Hobby Airport was recognised with two awards for being one of the top five performing airports globally and for customer service by Airports Council International. In 2022 Hobby Airport was certified as the first 5-Star Airport in North America by Skytrax. It became the first Airport in North America to do so and just the 16th airport worldwide to receive the accomplishment.

Houston's third municipal airport is Ellington Airport, used by the military, government (including NASA) and general aviation sectors.

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Houston, Texas, United States 
<b>Houston, Texas, United States</b>
Image: Adobe Stock digidreamgrafix #149786241

Houston is rated Beta + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy.

Houston is ranked #12 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Houston was ranked #431 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Houston has a population of over 2,340,890 people. Houston also forms part of the Greater Houston metropolitan area which has a population of over 6,997,384 people. Houston is the #162 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.7852 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Houston is ranked #52 for startups with a score of 8.251.

To set up a UBI Lab for Houston see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Houston has links with:

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Aberdeen, Scotland 🇦🇪 Abu Dhabi, UAE 🇹🇷 Bağcılar, Turkey 🇮🇶 Basra, Iraq 🇿🇦 Cape Town, South Africa 🇨🇳 Changning, China 🇯🇵 Chiba, Japan 🇻🇳 Da Nang City, Vietnam 🇨🇳 Dalian, China 🇹🇷 Esenyurt, Turkey 🇪🇸 Huelva, Spain 🇲🇽 Irapuato, Mexico 🇹🇷 Istanbul, Turkey 🇵🇰 Karachi, Pakistan 🇩🇪 Leipzig, Germany 🇦🇴 Luanda, Angola 🇯🇵 Nagoya, Japan 🇹🇼 New Taipei City, Taiwan 🇫🇷 Nice, France 🇨🇳 Qingpu District, China 🇨🇳 Shanghai, China 🇨🇳 Shenzen, China 🇨🇳 Shenzhen, China 🇳🇴 Stavanger, Norway 🇨🇳 Wuhan, China 🇻🇳 Đà Nẵng, Vietnam
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | GUCR | Hipster Index | Nomad | StartupBlink

  • Kevin Roche |

    🇮🇪 🇺🇸 Architect Kevin Roche is associated with Houston. He was a member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Italy.

East of: -95.367

🇺🇸 Tyler -95.301

🇺🇸 Pearland -95.286

🇺🇸 Lawrence -95.25

🇺🇸 Pasadena -95.219

🇺🇸 League City -95.095

🇺🇸 Willmar -95.05

🇺🇸 Baytown -94.95

🇺🇸 Leavenworth -94.917

🇺🇸 Texas City -94.912

🇲🇽 Acayucan -94.9

West of: -95.367

🇺🇸 Spring -95.383

🇺🇸 Angleton -95.417

🇺🇸 Conroe -95.45

🇺🇸 The Woodlands -95.476

🇺🇸 Spring Branch -95.517

🇺🇸 Sugar Land -95.615

🇺🇸 Topeka -95.671

🇺🇸 Cypress -95.694

🇺🇸 Richmond -95.75

🇺🇸 Broken Arrow -95.802

Antipodal to Houston is: 84.633,-29.75

Locations Near: Houston -95.3667,29.75

🇺🇸 Spring Branch -95.517,29.8 d: 15.5  

🇺🇸 Pasadena -95.219,29.692 d: 15.7  

🇺🇸 Pearland -95.286,29.564 d: 22.1  

🇺🇸 Sugar Land -95.615,29.599 d: 29.3  

🇺🇸 Spring -95.383,30.05 d: 33.4  

🇺🇸 Cypress -95.694,29.877 d: 34.6  

🇺🇸 League City -95.095,29.503 d: 38.1  

🇺🇸 The Woodlands -95.476,30.144 d: 45  

🇺🇸 Baytown -94.95,29.733 d: 40.3  

🇺🇸 Richmond -95.75,29.567 d: 42.3  

Antipodal to: Houston 84.633,-29.75

🇲🇺 Port Mathurin 63.417,-19.683 d: 17603.3  

🇲🇺 Mahébourg 57.7,-20.407 d: 17119.4  

🇲🇺 Centre de Flacq 57.718,-20.2 d: 17110.7  

🇲🇺 Rivière du Rempart 57.633,-20.05 d: 17095.3  

🇲🇺 Goodlands 57.633,-20.033 d: 17094.5  

🇲🇺 Curepipe 57.517,-20.317 d: 17097.8  

🇲🇺 Vacoas-Phoenix 57.493,-20.3 d: 17094.7  

🇲🇺 St Pierre 57.517,-20.217 d: 17092.8  

🇲🇺 Moka 57.496,-20.219 d: 17091  

🇲🇺 Quatre Bornes 57.479,-20.266 d: 17091.8  

Bing Map

Option 1