The importance of the social technology in Austin is already familiar to most visitors, through the annual SXSW festival, but the special quality with Austin’s creative classes have always been the urban fuel and the continuous developments feeding the needs of innovative newcomers. The educational and economic programs that the city provides has been developed especially for the creative growth, accommodating affordable transport, workspaces, housing and healthcare.
Austin is one of America’s fastest growing cities with a population growth rate of 2.5 percent and job opportunities staggering at 3 times the national average. To provide and sustain its growth, the city of Austin is undergoing an ambitious development to revise its urban planning scheme, with changes addressing critical issues such as diminishing natural resources, house affordability and a more easy access to a healthy lifestyle.
Austin City Plan
Parallel InitiativeOne of the priorities to make the city vibrant, livable and connected is the special focus on the city’s downtown area, digging deeper into initiatives for business attraction, retention, and expansion. Through a compacted Austin, the city planners envision a less car-dependent and more walking, bicycling and transit friendly city. Learn more <a href="https://austintexas.gov/department/downtown-redevelopment">here</a>.
In the aftermaths of the post war oil boom, Austin’s downtown area became a legacy in its own right. Motorola, IBM and Texas Instruments all settled, setting off a wave of new high-rise buildings, accommodating for the 400 high technology manufacturers that came to follow with about one fourth of them relocating from California. That figure has now reached 4000 tech companies, representing 37 percent of the city’s payrolls. After many years, the downtown area is finally seeing the envisioned master plan, moving towards a more walkable community. With the ambition to create a civic heart of the region, the new downtown plan includes interpretations of a downtown village for people to live, work and play. With a specific emphasis on mix-used transport, Austin will in the next coming years, be at the forefront of the pedestrian America, increasing an overall sustainability in a dynamic and social way.
As the wave from memories of building skyscrapers in the nineties flows in, the city of Austin soaks up the new developments of downtown like a sponge. As the key aspect of improvements lies in human capital, the key to success lies in the physical form of a cultural and public landscape. With enhanced physical access the planners of Austin wish to push sustainability as well as healthy lifestyles by leveraging on the economic drivers that already exist within tech, art and education. To ensure the social authorship of downtown, Austin is opening its arms, manifesting a welcoming to all members of the community by requesting diversity, character and personality.