Preserving its own quirkiness amidst modern transformation, Austin, Texas, served as host city and hub for a delegation of 40 Gainesville-area civic, business and academic leaders who traveled to attend its recent city leadership event.
The 2016 Intercity Leadership Exchange attracted participants from across the nation Oct. 10-12 to spotlight Austin’s successful segue into a global center for technology companies, music and more while managing to maintain its unique nature — encouraging both residents and visitors to “Keep Austin Weird.”
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce delegates took note of Austin’s numerous parallels with their own city, hearing from Mayor Steve Adler, Austin Chamber President Mike Rollins, Transportation Director Rob Spillers and downtown redevelopment experts.
Gainesville Chamber representatives reported that the most significant takeaway was the recognition of employment and community collaboration as vehicles for transformation. They learned how Austin has utilized technology to increase efficiency in education, transportation and other sectors; and how music and culture play a role in the city’s growth and sense of community.
By corralling the best that it has to offer and making it available to the world at large, Austin has provided Gainesville with an example of sustainability. Its internal achievements have facilitated everyday living and resulted in growth — both in terms of population and economy.
The Gainesville Chamber intends to explore avenues for modeling local endeavors after the pattern established by its host city while keeping the public informed of its progress.