AUSTIN, Texas — There's a big focus right now on Austin's future. How will we adapt and evolve to booming growth?
We've asked that question a lot in our Boomtown 2040 series. The Austin Business Journal (ABJ) tackled the topic with an event Friday morning.
You've all heard these stories before: as we're walking down the street – we know that in the next 20 years – the number of people should double and because of that, we need to build.
That's why Austinites see so much of the construction downtown. In fact, at the Austin Business Journal's Austin 2040 event, panelists talked about all of the buildings that we're going to see in town.
Eventually, it'll make Austin one of the a top 10 largest cities in America, ABJ predicts.
"Our city has a good chance of being one of the 10 largest cities in the United States in the coming years," said Colin Pope, an ABJ editor. "About 3.6 Million – maybe up to 3.9 Million people – will live in the five-county metro area we call Central Texas in 2040."
So, we know there's growth and it's visually vertical downtown.
However, the growth isn't centralized to the downtown Austin area.
Take a look at this picture from NASA:
"So, you see Houston, Dallas and San Antonio have grown to be circular blobs. We're keeping things weird here in Austin. You know the population and the development is pretty much spouting out of the top of the metro once you hit 183 and MoPac," added Pope.
The issue with all of this is we can have an idea of what the growth boom might look like, but will we ever actually know until it happens.
ABJ also brought in Nancy Giordano, a futurist, which means she studies the future.
"Can you all predict what the applications are," Giordano asked. "Can you predict how we will live and work? Predict how we're going to play? I can't and I spend a lot of time thinking about this," said Giordano. "So, my question to you guys is 'who can predict what's going to happen when all of these technologies merge and converge and emerge simultaneously?'"
Giordano's question brings up a pretty interesting topic: we have an idea what's going to happen, but at the end of the day, we're still not sure exactly what it's going to look like.
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