What will Austin Become?

 
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Too often I find myself using my time in Chicago in conversations to compare life: how life in a big city worked, how biking worked, how public transportation worked, how neighborhoods worked. I feel like I am that annoying person in the room who can't shut up about living somewhere else. I just can't help myself. My husband and I made such a conscious decision to stay in the city to have our kids and raise them in an urban environment, despite all of the reasons not to. We became intertwined with people and community and depended on each other so much. The closeness of people brought us together, in ideals, actions, and how to conquer life in the city. You get this sense that you are part of a group and those people will be there for you no matter what. I have to admit, in all of my years in Texas, I have only felt that way in college, and then post college, it all disappeared. My close knit circle spread out to achieve design greatness all over the country. 

Upon moving back to Texas, and settling in Austin, not Dallas or Houston, we made the decision to become a part of this community. Austin, is what we see, a city of the future. It is a city that gets to make decisions that work, based off of role models around the globe. We get to study other places and steal what might work for us and really affect how our city will grow. I grew up in south Texas, and understand what it means to live here, to be from here. I also left Texas to see what it is like in other places. I find that being back, I am once again being judged, but this time, I am an insider. I get to speak for "Texans" because I am one. We are a new generation of Texan that want urban spaces, we were trained to love our local ecologies in undergrad at Texas A&M and to nurture our landscape and build with respect to the place where we are building. I just constantly find myself asking, what will Austin become? What does Austin want to be? What will my and the other generations of Texans bringing back to this state and how will we become the leaders of change? 

alyson beaton