Trip to Austin TX

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Municipalities Austin TX

United States

From: 01 Mar 2001 - To - 01 Mar 2001

Description: Best Practices Trip to Austin TX (March 2001)

  1. There’s a big mindset difference between Austin and Portland: Austin is very pro-growth, not focused enough on environment and livability issues (such as environment, transportation), other than money, and growth. The biggest part of their culture is all towards driving growth.
    1. Austin has an incentive-based business attraction strategy for luring new industry
    2. To market Austin, they offered everything they could; ignored problems; sell Austin as the most wonderful place on the planet;
    3. BUT it’s awful to ignore everything about it -- particularly technology –
    4. Austin is less focused on urban issues, urban planning, green initiatives, etc. compared to Portland.
  2. Austin has a terrific digital divide, and huge income gaps.
  3. Austin has terrible urban sprawl, and little concern for degradation of land, water, air.
  4. Austin has an attitude of Growth – growth, growth – like Seattle – growth, biz attraction.
  5. Poor relationship between the city and the state government, and also a poor relationship between Austin and the University Texas (similar to Boston)
    • The University of Texas has huge resources, and is well endowed,
  6. Austin has many local venture capital firms and an entrepreneurship culture
  7. Austin investment rewards people and technology
  8. Austin is trying to grow younger new business leadership; has or is developing a leadership/public policy group of key tech-private sector leadership

Austin 360: news outlet for hyper local news. (Austin 360 was their Chamber/GPI equivalent for growth, attracting business.)

Note by Randy (2024): One of their mayoral candidates, Robin Rather (daughter of Dan Rather) said the environmental issues were hugely serious…no one had any concern for the ….all of it.   I bet now, as the cost of living there has skyrocketed, housing is also a huge issue.