Building on the success of our recent collaboration on the Pop Up Poll, we spent last week compiling statistics on everything Houston for our next project: the Coaster Campaign. As we noted previously, the idea behind the Coaster Campaign is to create a series of coasters with maps and statistics to help bring contextualized data to potential voters in unexpected places (a la bars and restaurants).
There is a lot going on in Houston. The nation's fourth largest city, Houston presented quite a challenge in finding statistics that are particularly meaningful or could be illuminated in a glance. Quickly getting caught up in the scale of some of the problems the city is facing (what does it mean to spend $100 million on "Mayoral Priorities" if the overall budget is $5.1 billion?), we realized that analogies might be the best way to translate some of the numbers.
As a result, we've been digging through a trove of classic texts on data to get into the proper mindset. A recent NY Times blog post on the incredible amount of rain we received in the Memorial Day floods proved particularly insightful.
Be on the lookout for a post soon about our brainstorming process, but in the meantime here are a few interesting Houston statistics to whet your appetite.
- Voter turnout in the last comparable mayoral election (2009) was just 13.7%
- There were 950 crashes with cyclists, 218 of which were hit and runs, and 25 resulted in fatalities last year. (Source: Houston Press)
- Houstonians recycle just 6% of their waste compared to the national average of 36% (Source: Houston Chronicle)
- Houstonian ranks third in the country in per capita parkland behind San Diego and Dallas (Source: Houston Visitors Bureau)