In the study of cities,Â getting biggerÂ is usually seen as desirable if not inevitible.Â So interesting issues are raised whenÂ growth starts to bring with it some questionable effects.
Austin, TexasÂ has been a sanctuary for pickers, singers and painters for generations.Â The problem is, the creative class is startingÂ to get squeezed out.
People move to Austin because it’s so cool and hip, but the influx has pushed theÂ costÂ of livingÂ UP and the artists OUT.
Now Austin is the priciest place to live in Texas.Â The fancy $500,000 condos must be the target of the famous “Keep Austin Weird” slogan on the back of every VW van down there.
It’s a tricky chicken-and-egg situation when prosperity rides into town withÂ unaffordabilityÂ as its sidekick.Â Austin is stepping up admirably, though – the city has spent $55 million on affordable housing in the past five years.
There’s an article all about it on the NPR site: