austin

I Spent A Year Traveling Through America’s Fast-Growing Sunbelt

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

There’s a severe shift occurring right now in the United States. The Northeast and Midwest are ceding people to the South and West, with migrants moving particularly to America’s Sunbelt. Like with other global migration shifts, there is an underlying political context to all this. Regulations on housing construction and other economic activities are making certain northern cities hostile to all but elite income groups. Meanwhile, the more open southern economies are receiving the exodus, becoming more economically and culturally dynamic. For the last year, I’ve traveled through this southern slice of the country, witnessing all these changes at street level–and it’s been something to behold…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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San Antonio: Growth And Success In The Mexican-American Capital

[Originally printed in the San Antonio Business Journal (paywall) and republished by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism]

 

[Ed’s note: this was part of a larger project by Joel Kotkin’s think tank, the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, to explain the growth of Texas’ cities. Scott’s essay is on pg. 40 of the pdf.]

 

San Antonio, TX — For decades, as many U.S. cities declined, and others became overly exclusive, cities in Texas evolved into places of opportunity. Due in large part to liberalized economic policies, the state’s “Big Four” metro areas — Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio — consistently rank among the nation’s leaders in population growth and job growth, experiencing the rapid urbanization once common among America’s legacy cities.… Read more

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mexico

When Texas Stopped Looking and Feeling Like Mexico

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]

 

The cities along the Texas and Mexico border differ dramatically. Those in Texas are sprawling, while those in Mexico are buzzing with urban vibrancy. This is odd considering that many of these border cities have shared histories and cultures. U.S. cities like Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo and El Paso are demographically similar to their counterparts in Mexico, yet look like classic American Sun Belt cities. Their downtowns are quiet, with automobiles outnumbering pedestrians; interior neighborhoods have single-family homes; and strip malls sprawl into the peripheries.… Read more

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MARKET REVIEW: San Antonio’s Growth Part of a Macro-Level U.S. Trend

[Originally published by The Bexar Witness]

 

The United States is experiencing a profound shift in settlement patterns. Older metro areas in the north that were once America’s foremost economic hubs are ceding this role to southern ones. Texas has been ground zero for this shift, namely within its four largest metros, Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. As a roving urban affairs journalist for Forbes, I recently lived for a month each in all four, and became fascinated by their rapid urbanization. The least-touted among this bunch has been San Antonio, but in many ways, the city is a microcosm of this nationwide trend…[read the rest at Bexar Witness]… Read more

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America’s Progressive Developers–Silver Ventures

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

[part of an MU series by Scott Beyer on America’s Progressive Developers]

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(The Pearl’s central street leads up to Hotel Emma. / company photo)

 

In early April, I wrote in this series about a waterfront development project in New Orleans that, despite some progress, was facing roadblocks. The city had launched a $300 million plan called “Reinventing The Crescent,” which was meant to create a continuous walkway along 4.5 miles of city waterfront facing the Mississippi River. Only a fraction of the project was complete after 8 years, however, thanks to government misguidance.

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What Is The Best City In Texas?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Throughout my recent stay in Texas, residents would often ask which of its major cities I liked the most–Austin, Dallas, Houston or San Antonio. Residents were curious to hear this, given that I was an outsider living for a month each in all four. They also wanted to know because this is a hot topic in Texas; the four cities have become some of America’s most economically dynamic places, and have ongoing rivalries for food, sports, and cultural cache.

To this point, the question was always less about which city had the best economy, and more about quality of life and street cred–where would I actually want to live?…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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loop

Meet The Millennials Transforming San Antonio

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Antonio, TX—The dinner party that I hosted in late August, while passing through one night during my 1,000-mile drive between Austin and Phoenix, offered the quintessential combo of old and new San Antonio. I was dining at La Fonda On Main, a San Antonio institution in the historic Alta Vista neighborhood that is famous for its upscale Mexican cuisine. Yet sitting in the restaurant’s back room with me, amid the clatter from the kitchen, was a group that personifies the new San Antonio: 11 professional-class Millennials, selected at random, who are launching their careers in the Alamo City.… Read more

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Home, Away From Home

[Originally printed in City Journal]

 

[Ed’s note: my latest piece appeared as a sidebar in a larger print essay by Aaron Renn about the urbanization of Texas. The whole essay is worth reading, since it captures the monumental growth taking place in Texas’ four largest metros.]

Dominated by working-class families who’ve lived in the city for generations, San Antonio has long maintained stable demographics. Many Anglos descend from Texas’s early European settlers, while, contrary to public perception of the city as an immigrant hub, many Hispanics are Tejanos—native Texans of Mexican descent—who were born in the city or in the Rio Grande Valley.… Read more

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San Antonio’s Key to Economic Success: Immigrants

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]

 

The typical view of an immigrant in this country is not far removed from the image of thousands of people pouring in to Ellis Island in the early 1900s — people with little money to their names and big dreams of making their fortunes in America. That view is still true in many ways, but it’s also true that many of today’s immigrants are well-to-do international elites. For instance, in Miami — long associated with Cubans arriving by raft — there are now a lot of rich South Americans.… Read more

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‘Mexican Nationals’ Are Transforming San Antonio

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Antonio, TX–The oddest thing about today’s anti-immigration rhetoric, namely against Mexicans, is that it comes during an era when Mexican immigration has declined. According to American Community Survey data compiled by UT-San Antonio public policy dean Rogelio Saenz, “the volume of migration from Mexico to the United States fell from 1.9 million in 2003–2007 to 819,000 in 2008–2012, a drop of 57 percent,” and the decline has continued in recent years. Meanwhile, he writes, the demographic nature of these immigrants has changed.… Read more

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