By “next Silicon Valley, ” I mean a runaway housing affordability disaster that prices out all the diversity and creativity that we value about Austin.
Michael Agresta at Texas Monthly is opimistic that Austin won’t repeat the same housing mistakes as San Francisco.
If there’s one reason to be confident that Austin will not turn into the next Bay Area, it’s this: Austinites of all political types, from libertarian to social-justice-minded, have been warning each other for years that we don’t want to turn into the next San Francisco… there’s no chance we are sleepwalking through a reenactment of the past few decades of California history. For better or worse, what gets built here will be something brand-new.
I wish I could be as optimistic. That assumes that Austinites recognize and agree on what the mistakes of the Bay Area were. We may not sleep walk though it, but we seem to be courting disaster with our eyes wide open.