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Sustainable Economic Perspectives in the Texas Triangle


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Title: Sustainable Economic Perspectives in the Texas Triangle

Sustainable Economic Perspectives in the Texas
September 25, 2009
Better Luck This Time
  • " Exhilaration over clean energy has so
    thoroughly swept Silicon Valley.....The problem
    30 years ago was doing something environmentally
    sound required asceticism and sacrifice. That is
    no longer required. No one is asking you to
    huddle in the dark, shivering and eating beans by
    candle light to save the planet."
  • - "Better Luck this Time" Atlantic Monthly Aug

ECOTOPIA vs. Texas Triangle
The Third Wave?
  • The first wave of environmentalism was
  • The second was regulation.
  • We believe the third wave is investment.
  • - Van Jones

Old Economy vs. Sustainable Eco-economy
Source Texas Business Review, University of
Texas at Austin
Consuming vs. Sustaining
Source Texas Business Review, University of
Texas at Austin
Evolution of Economic Development Strategy in
Source Texas Business Review, University of
Texas at Austin
Funding for green jobs flowing but what exactly
is a green job?- September 2009.
Green Jobs
  • Renewable Power Generation
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Transportation Fuels

Source Green Jobs in US Metro Areas, October
2008, Global Insight
Talent Attraction
  • US 18 to 34 year olds say that living in a city
    that they define as sustainable is an important
    factor in deciding where to locate (7 or 8 on a
    10 point scale)
  • 70 or more define sustainability in terms of
    clean air and water, and open space versus 20 in
    terms of downtown living, 30 green buildings or
    40 transit

Source Collective Strength and Harris
Interactive June 2009
2008 US City Sustainability Rankings
1. Portland, OR 2. San Francisco, CA 3. Seattle,
WA 4. Chicago, IL 5. New York, NY 6. Boston,
MA 7. Minneapolis, MN 8. Philadelphia, PA 9.
Oakland, CA 10. Baltimore, MD 11. Denver, CO 12.
Milwaukee, WI 13. Austin, TX 14. Sacramento,
CA 15. Washington, DC 16. Cleveland, OH 17.
Honolulu, HI 18. Albuquerque, NM
19. Atlanta, GA 20. Kansas City, MO 21. San Jose,
CA 22. Tucson, AZ 23. Jacksonville, FL 24.
Dallas, TX 25. Omaha, NE 26. San Diego, CA 27.
New Orleans, LA 28. Los Angeles, CA 29.
Louisville, KY 30. Columbus, OH 31. Detroit,
MI 32. Phoenix, AZ 33. San Antonio, TX 34. Miami,
FL 35. Charlotte, NC 36. Houston, TX 37. Fresno,
  • 38. El Paso, TX
  • 39. Fort Worth, TX
  • 40. Nashville, TN
  • 41. Arlington, TX
  • 42. Long Beach, CA
  • 43. Colorado Springs, CO
  • 44. Indianapolis, IN
  • 45. Virginia Beach, VA
  • 46. Memphis, TN
  • 47. Las Vegas, NV
  • 48. Tulsa, OK
  • 49. Oklahoma City, OK
  • 50. Mesa, AZ

Sustain Lane City Rankings
Overall Rank Housing Affordability Transit Ridership Food Agriculture Energy and Climate Water Supply Green Economy Planning/ Land Use Green Building

Austin 13 25 33 31 5 24 14 6 9
Dallas 24 15 17 48 13 33 26 33 21
Fort Worth 39 2 18 35 30 31 32 49 47
Houston 36 11 14 39 24 32 33 32 11
San Antonio 33 1 28 32 32 26 30 34 38
Texas Triangle Average 29 11 22 37 21 29 27 31 25
Massive Change
The new mobility culture considers not only
transit but also prosperity, health, education,
housing, waste and other social needs. No
transportation system is an island, it must
coordinate all shared systems for maximum
effect. - Massive Change
Central Texas Core Beliefs
Driving is just going to get more and more
expensive in the future
I just can't afford to drive as much as I used to
I'd like to be able to drive a little less
I drive because I have to, not because I want to
Im concerned about traffic congestion
Im concerned about air pollution
Im concerned about climate change
N 802
I would like to take public transportation but
it is not available or convenient
Survey of 5 Central Texas Counties
Source Environmental Defense Fund/ Collective
Strength Q1 2009
Employer Transportation Benefits
Available to you now? Yes Use it now? Yes Use it in the future? Yes GAP ANALYSIS
Cash allowance for not using parking spaces when using alternatives 5 4 67 63
Telecommuting from home one or more days per week 25 21 64 43
Staggered work hours one or more days per week 31 28 63 35
Car pools for employees 20 10 62 52
Van pools for employees 10 4 57 53
Showers available for those who walk, run or bike to work 25 10 48 38
N 802
Q For each of the following transportation
benefits that are offered by employers tell me
whether it is available to you now, whether you
use it now and if not, if you would be willing to
use it in the future?
Employer-Sponsored Transportation Programs
  • Morning service starts at 5am
  • Pick up as far as 54 miles away
  • Operates through private transportation company

Googles aim is to make commuting painless for
its pampered workers and keep attracting new
recruits in a notoriously competitive market for
top engineering talent. NY Times, March 10,
Its the most useful Google fringe benefit.
Employee Bus system was a factor in turning
down job offer from Apple. Employee
Message to Leaders Balance Our Mix
Repairing and maintaining streets 77
Easing traffic by building new roads that are not tolled 60
Creating choices like light rail and streetcars 51
Building city rail 48
Building high speed regional rail connected to other cities around the state 48
Making Central Texas more walkable and less car oriented 44
Adding bike lanes, sidewalks and rights of way 43
Giving neighborhood associations more tools like carsharing and carpooling among neighbors 32
Adding many more cars to the carshare program 21
Building new toll roads 13
Q Which of the following priorities do you want
your elected officials to focus on in the next
year to help with transportation problems? Tell
me if each should be a high, medium or low
N 802
Investment Priorities Implications for Stimulus

Adding carshare, carpooling and employee vanpools
Maintaining existing or building new roads 33
Adding sidewalks 14
Non-road Investments 88
Adding bike lanes 14
Building city rail and regional train systems 27
Expanding bus service 19
N 802
Q If your elected officials are able to allocate
funding for transportation, how do you want them
to spend it? Assume they have 100 dollars to
invest, how much of it should they invest in
Comparison of Differing Forms of Development --
200 unit developments with varying footprints,
infrastructure need and utility usage
Urban Condo Project Suburban Condo Project Suburban Single Family Project One Acre Lot Project
Approx. acreage needed incl. infrastructure 0.75 20 65 225
Density 260 units/acre 10 units/acre 3 units/acre 1 unit/acre
Impervious coverage of total project Total acres of IC 100 0.75 acres 55 to 60 11 to 12 acres 45 29 acres 15 to 45 34 to 101 acres
Length of project streets and utility lines 334 feet App. 1900 feet 1.5 to 2 miles 4 to 5 miles
Landscape water usage Zero 6,800,000 gal/year 15,600,000 gal/year 40,000,000 gal/year
Electricity usage (per month) 10 to 60 50 to 200 80 to 250 250 to 450
Taxable value per acre 80 million to 150 million 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 700,000 to 1,225,000 1 million
of taxes used to provide city services to community 10 to 20 Taxes may pay for services needed for community Taxes do not pay for services needed for community Taxes do not pay for services needed for community
Source Terry Mitchell, Momark Inc
Texas Triangle Key Issues
  • What set of economic indicators in terms of jobs,
    income, education, sustainability to use?
  • How to develop mega-regional collaboration as a
    core competency?
  • How to engage the Masters of the Universe?
  • How to restructure tax incentive policy for job
    creation and economic development around
    sustainability criteria?

Texas Triangle Key Issues
  • How to Brand and Market the natural beauty,
    cultural uniqueness and unlimited sense of
    opportunity that is inherent in the Texan
    mystique along with sustainability attributes
    necessary for talent attraction?
  • How to maximize and leverage energy, telecom,
    computing, green building, port, aerospace and
    bio tech expertise in new combinations new
    generation of incubators and to innovate far
    beyond just clean energy?
  • Focusing the political and business will to
    succeed in a highly competitive context framed as