Somehow no Texas city has ever been selected as the US host bid to the International Olympic Committee. Both Dallas and Houston have been passed over by the US Olympic Committee in the last decade-plus, with the most common reasons cited: lack of public transportation and a weak worldwide brand identity. (No one, it seems, wants to mess with Texas.) But in the past few years, Houston has created new venues, green spaces, hotel rooms, and infrastructure that might make it the most prepared city in America to hold such an event.
Houston has, though, been building a global metropolis for a while now. The city built the Museum District, an area with 19 large museums, including one of the top art museums in America. It turned a festering swamp into one of America's best urban parks at Buffalo Bayou Park. Houston is making a $33 million renovation of historic Emancipation Park, and will have the posh mixed-use Midtown Park up and running soon. It also put $1.5 billion into the convention center, built three new stadiums, and developed a 22.7-mile rail system to help ease the burden on its epic highway loops. While many cities talk about becoming great, Houston and its public-private partnerships have put money in the right places to do it.