April 4, 2023

The Evolution of Downtown Austin in a Multi-Hub Innovation Region

The Evolution of Downtown Austin in a Multi-Hub Innovation Region
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This is a topic that we have had many conversations about off-air and thought it might be interesting and worthwhile to record and share with our listeners. We talk about downtown Austin's role within a multi-hub innovation region, the tension between physical proximity and remote work and their impact agglomeration effects, and the scale that only a central business district can bring. 


Episode Highlights

  • Austin is evolving as a multi-hub innovation metro with growth happening from Bastrop to Georgetown to San Macros in addition to the continued convergence of the Austin San Antonio mega region. 
  • Not all industries work in a central business district given space, price, and types of talent i.e., manufacturing doesn’t work downtown, while software development fits very well.
  • Intellectual density is key for a thriving innovation ecosystem and there is a challenge building that density in a physically larger region and with the growth and continued demand for remote work
  • The potential of downtown Austin becoming a central location for cross-sector convergence, and how the entertainment district, arts, and parks can be used to drive creative collisions.
  • What’s next downtown Austin?
    • Michael: “Downtown is going to continue to be the kind of vibrant Austin-specific area that it always has been. Come back to me in two years where we are on the other side of this and all these companies are growing, all these companies are putting more people downtown, as well as other places the residential towers are opening and people are moving there.” 
    • Jason: “As downtown embraces and understands truly what its role in that ecosystem is I think then it's going to thrive at a new inflection point as we are hitting a new inflection point in Austin.”


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Our music is “Tech Talk” by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 License