For the first time in the Texas Tribune Festival’s history, the hub of activity was moved from the shady campus setting at the state’s flagship university, to the streets of Austin.
In a mix of locations along Congress Avenue, influential names in politics, business, healthcare, and many other industries shared their perspectives on the current state of affairs for the state and nation, and how to best manage our futures. The new location for the festival was fitting, as a common theme in Texas’s growth story is the role played by cities. Businesses have influenced the demographics and economics of Austin, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, and San Antonio, to be unrecognizable to the Texas of our grandparents. Such a spectacle is positive, as Texas has become a major player in politics and trade as a result. The challenge rests on the cities, and how to successfully manage the influx of thousands of ‘new Texans’, arriving every day.
While Texas’s cities are driving the economic engine, it’s up to city leadership to ensure the new urban environments are fit for long term sustainability. Transportation and the challenge of affordable real estate in major cities are high on the list of problems for which mayors are ready to tackle. Texas is in an era of “New Urbanism” and in order to retain our talent and industry, cities aim to stay competitive while maintaining the state’s well known quality of life. This is a very exciting time to be living in and doing business in Texas.