“Don’t Move Here!” – Is That Really the Answer You Want to Go With?

Ever since Austin band The Wannabes printed a t-shirt with the message “Don’t Move Here” in 1997, the sentiment has been repeated on bumper stickers, clothing and social media. Lately, it made another appearance in the form of a well-designed infographic that gives people reasons not to move to Austin. Amusing? Sure. Helpful? Not so much. Even Kammie Russel, the designer, admits “Everyone wants to come here, and they’re going to move here no matter what.” So let’s talk about how your move to Austin can be a smashing success.

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 10.53.15 AM

Destinations: Ideally, the places you will go – groceries, restaurants, coffee shops, places of worship – are close together. Walkscore is a great way to see destinations near homes you’re considering.

Distance: The time, costs, and frustrations of sitting in traffic are lurking disasters for “drive till you qualify” house shopping. Seek to live, work, and play within a two mile radius. If that isn’t possible, look for neighborhoods with “connected blocks,” bike lanes, or transit that can help you get places without having to get in a car.

Design: Seek out areas where the public realm is inviting for people. Areas designed with human activity in mind tend to have more sidewalk space, feature buildings with pedestrian access, and are all around more pleasant than areas designed to have cars speed by.

Density: People and activities should be close to each other and near active transit stops and stations. The density of people, buildings and activities helps everything become more affordable, and frankly more interesting – we are social beings after all.

Diversity: A mix of housing types, uses, tenures, sizes, price points, retail, leisure and employment opportunities allows a resilient balance of activities and jobs in easy walking and biking range.

Demand Better: Are some of your car trips unnecessary? You will be happier if you can avoid traffic frustrations. You will be healthier with more physical activity. Opting to walk to the corner store or bicycle to a neighborhood restaurant instead of sitting in traffic is the easiest way to add a little activity to your day.

People and Families moving to Austin: Neighborhoods around East Austin, South Congress, Hyde Park, and along Burnet Road or Lamar Boulevard are some of Austin’s most popular because they already have all or most of the D’s. A qualified realtor can help you find other neighborhoods as well, but you have to ask for these factors to be considered.

Businesses moving to Austin: Downtown is a great place to locate, primarily because proximity is everything for many businesses. Talented people get to work and live in a community that is walkable, bike-able, connected by transit, and close to services. Major companies across multiple sectors are practicing “open innovation” in Austin and have proximity to other firms, research labs, and universities. Entrepreneurs can start their companies in collaborative spaces, where they share ideas and have efficient access to everything from legal advice to sophisticated lab equipment.

But we cannot add people and companies downtown if everyone continues to drive alone and then tries to park in downtown. Movability can help you and your employees explore and use travel options to keep downtown growing and vibrant, and keep people moving.

Comments are closed.