Jeremi and Zachary, with special guest, Steven Pedigo, discuss the results of the recently published U.S. Census and what it means for society.
Zachary sets the scene with his poem, “It Is A True Sonnet”.
Steven Pedigo is a Professor of Practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and the inaugural director of the LBJ Urban Lab. Pedigo has advised more than 50 cities and regions across the world on how to build more creative, innovative, and inclusive communities.
This episode of This is Democracy was mixed and mastered by Oscar Kitmanyen and Ean Herrera.
- Steven PedigoProfessor of Practice at the University of Texas at Austin
[0:00:07 Speaker 1] Yeah. Mhm. This is Democracy, a podcast about the people of the United States, a podcast about citizenship about engaging with politics and the world around you. A podcast about educating yourself on today’s important issues and how to have a voice in what happens next. Welcome to our new episode of this is Democracy. As many of our listeners know in the last week, the new census data has been released at least in part by the US government and this is data reflecting the once every 10 years counting of american citizens. This is required in the U. S. Constitution. It’s one of the things that we do like clockwork and the census this year has revealed some extraordinary changes in american society. We are fortunate to be joined today by someone who is writing some of the most interesting analysis of this uh material, someone who’s really looking at what the census tells us about how our society is changing. This is my colleague and friend, Stephen Pedigo steven is a professor of practice at the LBJ school at the University of texas at Austin and the inaugural director of our really cool urban lab and I’m sure some of the cool stuff they’re doing will come up in our conversation uh steven has advised more than 50 cities in the regions across the world. I was looking through on his website uh some of the really cool projects he’s been involved in all kinds of things related to transportation, Urban planning, really, really cool stuff. His real specialty is helping urban environments learn to be more creative, innovative and particularly inclusive communities. It’s going to be really interesting to hear what Stephen has to say about the census for us today. Stephen, thank you for joining
[0:02:00 Speaker 0] Jeremy. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to geek out with you guys about numbers.
[0:02:04 Speaker 1] That’s what we like to do. Geek out on the numbers and understand historical change. Uh before we turn to our conversation with steven, of course we have Mr Zachary’s poem for today. Uh we’re excited to hear what you’ve come up with.
[0:02:20 Speaker 2] If you could zoom in on the map and see the refugee who traces poems at night, the family that sits under a tree, a
[0:02:29 Speaker 0] purple mountain
[0:02:30 Speaker 2] majesty of sites. If only you could hear their ageless
[0:02:35 Speaker 1] sigh. If you could
[0:02:36 Speaker 2] see the face that is the spot.
[0:02:39 Speaker 0] If you could only
[0:02:40 Speaker 2] look them in the eye up close the orange mark, the census dot, If you could make a perfect photograph from this, the heap of our
[0:02:49 Speaker 1] uncaring hate.
[0:02:51 Speaker 2] If you could find a piercing epitaph in these, The hopes the visions told to wait, it would be worth it all. The endless quest for you to find a vision not oppressed.
[0:03:04 Speaker 1] It is a true sonnet, wow! What what is your problem
[0:03:06 Speaker 2] about My poem is really about the ways in which the american city is defined
[0:03:12 Speaker 0] by inequality
[0:03:13 Speaker 2] and biracial oppression. Um and the ways in which the census count reflects that and
[0:03:19 Speaker 1] how these data can seem really
[0:03:21 Speaker 2] abstract, but we’re really talking about is a singular person or a group of people and and their experience and the
[0:03:29 Speaker 1] oppression that they face. Right, wow. Well and I’m sure many of these themes will will come up Stephen to give us some background for understanding some of these themes that Zachary raises. What what really struck you as new and different in this census as compared to other
[0:03:45 Speaker 2] censuses that we’ve had.
[0:03:46 Speaker 0] Yeah. Sure. So let’s just talk I think would start with like maybe four kind of headlines that really jumped out at me right? Um first I think is obviously um the US is growing but we’re growing a lot slower than we’ve grown in the past. Right? So we went from about 331 million Americans. Excuse me? We’re at 331 million Americans are about 308. Um that’s about a 7% increase. It is this, you know, the second smallest increase that we’ve seen in terms of in terms of the U. S. Census only since after the Great Depression. So it’s we’re growing a lot slower. I think that to me is is quite striking. I think if you look at where the growth is happening across the country, um we see that the continued decline of the Rust belt and the boom of the Sun Belt in this sense, it’s really sort of speaks to that now right? You’ve got um nearly seven in 10 people in the US now living in the Sun Belt. And when I call somebody, I’m sort of thinking the mountain west texas Arizona florida, right? So you’ve got the sun belt really rising up. Um and that’s going to play out obviously as we talk about congressional redistricting things to that affair. Um you know, thirdly, I think what’s interesting to me is how much more diverse we’ve become as a country. And I think this speaks to exactly poem. But it also speaks to, I think a lot of the challenges that we have are facing in the next few years about how we grow more equitable equitable cities and communities and metro’s, but we’re way more diverse. White population has declined across the country. Um and you know, um bipod populations have grown. In fact, I think one of the most striking headline out of the census for me was out of the texas data. And that is that if you look at the number of new Texans, About 95% of all new Texans. Um and there’s a lot of us, it’s about 1000 of us every day are people of color. And so that’s going to have significant ramifications. I think about the way we build more inclusive economies going forward. And um Jackie is right and this poem, I mean I use this data all the time to drive strategic work for cities and counties and regions. And um and so it’s gonna be interesting about how we vary strategy with some of this data.
[0:05:59 Speaker 1] So Stephen, just building on these excellent points about diversity, about slower growth, about the shifting nature of the US population in a sense from Northern Rust belt, midwestern rust belt to the Sun Belt as you put it. Um Is it also indicate indicative that we’ve become a more urban society? Is that a fair
[0:06:21 Speaker 0] right? Absolutely. I mean if you look at the data across Across the US um it is most of the, most of the growth happening in urban areas. And in fact now I think if you look across the US I was looking at this earlier, I think about 87% of the us population now lives in a metropolitan metropolitan environment. Um you know, I’m kind of a geek about Texas data I think you know that Jeremy and one of the things that’s that’s really striking to me just to give a put a pin in that for you is that prior to the US Census, about about 87% of Texans lived in metropolitan areas Now, again it’s it’s almost 90-91% of all Texans live and live in metro areas. And the other thing that’s interesting is that if we look at texas again um if we talk about what we call the texas triangle. And I’m talking, you know for folks that are listening to the aren’t familiar with with that, it’s the Dallas fort worth metropolitan area down to Houston, over to san Antonio and also kind of forms forms this triangle. Um what’s interesting about that is uh is that nearly 70% of all Texans now live in that triangle. And if you look at all the data, people that have moved right, we are the sort of the booming state us in Utah Arizona and florida nine and 10 Texans moved to the, to the metropolitan areas of boston Dallas and san Antonio Houston. So we are absolutely more more urban. And if you look at the data across the country about rule rural communities, um significant decline um in in rural communities, um not just in the rust belt, but also in places that you would expect, you know, places that are booming um here in texas for instance, or even out west and some of the western mountain states have seen significant declines in the rural communities as well.
[0:08:14 Speaker 1] Why do you think that is? I mean, we, we have long been a society that’s had both rural and urban communities obviously in the 19th century, we were predominantly rural society, but the 20th century is really a century of mixed rural urban living, why do you think we’re going so heavily in the urban and more diverse exchange
[0:08:35 Speaker 0] Jacobs one on one of the great urbanists, right, that is that the idea of sharing of ideas ideas. Um and that is that we’re now a knowledge based economy into knowledge based economies like requires people and you and I to come together to share ideas to formulate um new thinking. And so an innovation is very much driven about proximity. And so um the idea of just the makeup of the industrial based economy moving from industrial based economy to a knowledge based economy or what, you know, what colleague Ridge florida would call it. Creative based economy is required us to come together a cluster to create these notes of innovation um and particularly around um you know, institutions, right, health care institutions, universities, science innovation centers and those types of things. And much of that is being frankly driven by um by having to be in close proximity and that’s happening in metropolitan areas frankly.
[0:09:32 Speaker 1] Uh the data obviously shows that and you’ve been predicting this for a long time along with richard florida and many of the other real leading thinkers in the field that you were part of, but it does seem counterintuitive in a moment when we’re living through covid when people aren’t going into their offices in the same way they did before, when we’re communicating in the way, for instance, we’re recording this podcast right over the web uh place seems to be less important in some ways, but you’re saying that the data shows that it’s actually becoming more important, how
[0:10:02 Speaker 0] do we understand? I actually think that place is gonna be, I think that one of the things that could come out of this is that, so, I think the way that we think about place in the use of place is that for a lot of our mundane type of work that we do right for stuff where we need to sort of maybe have independent time and thinking and writing and a lot of those types of things that stuff can obviously what happened at home and what can happen remotely. Right? Um but the real exchange of ideas right, where we see the friction of ideas together, the friction of innovation together, it requires people to come together and so, um you know, I don’t think that this is the depth of distance or the depth of place. In fact, I think that what we start to see is um is a greater emphasis, particularly in a high driven innovation sectors, um where people come together more, maybe don’t, don’t come together frequently, but come together um more um with much more purposeful time together and so, um you know, I think that, you know, we will probably spend less time in the office, but more intentional time together and in fact that may, that may actually played pretty well for us in terms of in terms of Innovation piece, I think one of the things that’s interesting is that a lot of folks have said remote work will remote work actually save rural communities well. The reality is is that without having access to the type of infrastructure that’s needed to support remote work, right, Many of these rural communities can really will never really sort of be able to sort of take advantage of it. That’s one of the reasons that infrastructure development continues to be such an important, important piece of this um this conversation, but at the end of the day, right, I mean, I think what’s always interesting about the data, particularly one of things I love about census data, and particularly as you start to dive into census data, looking at the types of communities that form, um, you know, by immigrant communities or racial communities or lbgt communities or any of those types of things. What’s interesting is that people clustered together, there’s a likeness of community creation. And so that’s the same thing that happens on the knowledge, that very much same thing happens on knowledge based side. Right. One of the things that um that’s come out of a lot of the work that I’ve done in terms advising cities about innovation, ecosystems and innovation districts and blah blah, blah blah, you know, as much as mayors and officials think it’s all about the beautiful buildings in the real estate really, it’s not, it’s about how do you bring people together? And I think that’s one of the things that cities has done for a really long time. And what we see the rise of urban, the urban economies is that is that it’s about people coming together. The other thing about the other additional point not to rattle on this is a lot of folks will say if you look at the metropolitan economies of growth. Yeah, it’s metro’s are growing but it’s all growing on the peru field. Um A little bit. That is somewhat true that somewhat false. In fact some of our urban core areas, surprisingly the one that I think is the poster child for urban growth has been the rise of new york city. New york city was expected to see a significant decline in this U. S. Census and in fact it added a substantial amount of residents is almost nine million residents. Um Now, same here when we look at our in texas many of our urban economies, particularly our urban counties, Travis Travis County, for instance, Dallas County, um The urban core of Harris County, we’ve seen significant population increases that have kind of frankly been a bit dwarfed by some of the suburban growth but also continues to be pretty strong. Um So I think it’s clear then
[0:13:24 Speaker 2] that cities and America as
[0:13:25 Speaker 1] a whole have become more diverse
[0:13:27 Speaker 2] but have american cities and
[0:13:29 Speaker 1] american communities
[0:13:30 Speaker 2] at large become more integrated.
[0:13:33 Speaker 0] So that’s a really interesting question. Right. I think once the date, once we’re able to get the data and and really dive into the data and look at the way the neighborhood called the confirmations of neighborhoods in the makeup of neighborhoods. I think that’s a question to ask and that will be able to answer the data just hasn’t been released at that granular of A. Level yet for us to be able to do that analysis. But there will be in the coming year. Absolutely. An interesting look at that for sure. I mean generally speaking, I think what we know right is that is that we actually probably aren’t becoming more integrated. In fact we continue to probably become more segregated. Um That’s been what some of the trends have looked at. If you follow the trends over the past few years. Using the A. C. S. Day the american community survey data that in fact we actually become more segregated. The question is will we be able to confirm that when we look at the U. S. Census, I think that probably will be the case.
[0:14:26 Speaker 1] It does seem Stephen that for instance, taking a city like Austin the the inner core which we used to call the inner city right in negative terms 2030 years ago, right, has now become the cool part of the city. And from what I saw in the data has become whiter uh and then the outer core has become wider and then a lot of places in between it become more diversity. Is that a pattern we’re seeing across?
[0:14:48 Speaker 0] That’s really true. It’s the remaking of it’s the remaking of cities and remaking of suburban areas, you know, before I went to N. Y. U. I spent many years at the initiative for competitive inner city um looking at distressed urban communities uh and particularly um For a long time we were focusing on on the urban core on this was my quarters group out of Boston, but one of the things that we we noticed over time, and this is much this was this was about 2010 when the 2010 census was released as that. In fact, if we really want to understand the diversity of America cities and readily understand some of the challenges that are facing, particular when we look at distressed, distressed areas. In fact, it wasn’t really as much about the urban core, particularly jeremy, it was these sort of old streetcar like suburbs are those inner suburbs that are just outside of the urban belt. Right, so not not the excerpts with the sort of the the inner suburban ring, in fact, that continues to be the case where we’ve seen a much more diversification of those of those suburbs. Um we’ve obviously much of the work that’s been written from the folks at brookings since the brookings Institute um has looked at the suburbanization of poverty. And he said really, what’s happened is that we’ve actually seen a lot of that happening that in fact we’re becoming those suburbs are becoming much more diverse, but we’re also seeing um frankly our urban cores become the sort of, in a sense, almost gated like communities. And I think that’s a lot of what the challenge of how we, we have to think about city building going forward is how do you pull those sort of pull those gates down, so to speak.
[0:16:21 Speaker 1] Right, right. These are neighborhoods that are near prospering neighborhoods but seem left behind time and again, maybe because the highway has cut
[0:16:29 Speaker 0] the highways, cut them off or there’s been terrible land use planning. Right? So where there’s just a need to just go back and re imagine land use planning, right? I mean, that’s, I mean that’s one of the things that, so, um, that’s so important to understand the senses and gets back to the poem of it that was given is that, as you think about census data, census data are numbers and people’s and a lot of that is driven by economic policy, but a lot of it is also just driven frankly by the way that we as a cities and communities and metro’s have thought about land use policy as well. Um, and so I think one of the things that we’re starting to see is we become maybe a bit more knowledge based driven is that even in fact we maybe see some loosening around our land use codes where we see much more mixes of uses and so rather than having sort of strictly, you know, the not so great, uh, uses in distressed urban areas, what we may be able to do is because of technology and the lighter types of the different types of industries in our communities, we actually may see some of that go away, so maybe that gives us an opportunity to think about how we can re imagine land use planning as well,
[0:17:31 Speaker 2] but how do you do that
[0:17:32 Speaker 1] while also
[0:17:34 Speaker 2] making sure to account for
[0:17:36 Speaker 1] gentrification, to
[0:17:37 Speaker 2] prevent diverse communities from being kicked out of their homes or overpriced
[0:17:42 Speaker 0] priced out of their
[0:17:43 Speaker 2] homes because of rising demand. How do you develop, develop in a way that allows for affordability and allows communities to stay where they
[0:17:51 Speaker 0] that’s the million dollar question, and if I knew the answer, why we wouldn’t be teaching at the LBJ school. Um but I think it’s a really important one. Yeah, I mean, so that’s that’s the I mean, that’s the really challenging question, because at the end of the day, um all of our housing policy has been retro it’s sort of reactive, not, not sort of proactive right? Um I think there’s some a lot of solutions that have to happen there. One um thinking through better engagement of the use of tools that we’re seeing across the country, such as community land banks and Community trust as a way to think about addressing some of affordability issues, getting your private sector and incentivizing the private sector not to build more affordable housing. Um the other thing, I would say in a place like austin texas, um which is a fast-growing metropolitan area, but we grew about 33% were one of the fastest growing in the country. Um You know, what’s interesting about our city is that we’re just not even building it up market rate housing, right? So that just masturbates the affordable housing issues. And so I think, you know, if we’re talking about gentrification and for me one, it’s about housing policy that’s for sure, and thinking about both market rate and affordable housing and the mix of that to using some of the tools that are that are that are really um that are sort of new and innovative community land trust and community land banks and land corporations and stuff that all is new policy arenas for many, many cities particularly have been much done in the northeastern part of the United States, some in California, but now we’re starting to see more newer cities like ours and across others, Denver Seattle and others started to use those, I think using some more of those types of tools, but the other thing I think that our housing friends forget is that also, I think we have to ensure that not only we deal with the afford it, if you want to challenge the justification issue, we want to do it from the housing perspective, we want to ensure that we’re thinking about land use, we’ve got some policies in place that allow us maybe to think about how we um cap some of the property taxes or things to that affair, but also just thinking about our economic development issues as well. You know, making sure that we’re investing in the skills of residents, getting them the skills that they can needed to participate in the into this knowledge based economy, ensuring that they’ve got the right type of training, ensuring that their kids have access to to do that type us up. And so, you know, dealing with gentrification, it is fast, it’s a fast moving train, but we all um and so it requires some short term policies, but it also calls some really long term policies as well. And and it and it’s not just about doing on the housing side of the landing site, it’s also about that economic development piece as well, I think.
[0:20:21 Speaker 1] Right, that makes a lot of sense. And of course, at the root of all this is money capital. What did we learn from the census so far? Obviously there’s more data to be released. But what did we learn from the data you’ve seen so far steven about income distributions in the US. Have they changed? What what can we say about?
[0:20:39 Speaker 0] Yeah, I mean, I think they’re spike, I mean, again, I think they are they like themselves are kind of following a little bit like the Sun belt, Right? We’ve seen some income uh some spikes obviously in the sun belt. Um, I think some of our our metro area within the metro areas, I think in terms of income distribution, jeremy, you headed at the, at the beginning and that, is that the urban core or the central city areas um have seen significant increase in um income where we’ve seen the decline of that in suburban areas. Right. So again, it kind of plays out onto the same thing of of this quote unquote gated city. And I think that’s that’s gonna be one of, I mean, for me, that’s that real challenge going forward, is that as we think about urban policy and particularly, uh and I hate using the word urban because in fact, what we should be actually be thinking about this metropolitan policy, right. Metropolitan policy is probably the right word to be doing. And that’s getting um incentivizing cities and counties to work together to deal with these issues. So, you know, you know, one of the best metropolitan areas that have ever, that’s that’s that’s always been able to sort of really tackle these metropolitan issues. Has has really always has been that has been the new york metropolitan area. And that’s because they sort of think about themselves as a metropolitan area, not just as a um not just as a city here in texas, for instance, dealing with the challenges of our income distribution. Um you know, it’s it’s a game of chicken a lot of times with, with our, with our cities and counties in terms of fighting for incentives are fighting for investment in those types of things. And so we’re not thinking growing, we’re not we’re not thinking about our economic development policy and metropolitan since we’re not thinking about our land use policy and metropolises, nor we even thinking about transportation again, just continue to activate those issues right, putting up the gate around the urban core, higher and higher and higher.
[0:22:22 Speaker 1] You know, I think you touched on to me what is the most striking insight so far from the census, which is the degree to which our institutions, especially our institutions that make political choices and policy are out of touch with these demographic changes. And I think that’s part of the explanation for texas,
[0:22:39 Speaker 0] right? Yeah, I mean so much. I’m sorry, jimmy. This is the thing that pisses me the most off about being a Texan. Born again Texan I guess Is that um, I is that I actually have a little piece that’s gonna be the Texas month that’s gonna run Texas monthly about this. Is that, um, is that in a state like Texas where you’ve got, we’ve got 29,029 million residents. You’ve got 26 metropolitan areas. Um, and those metropolitan areas are as diverse as the gateway cities of Houston and Dallas. Um, to the tech city of Houston of austin texas, which has run away gentrification affordability issues we’re having to deal with to climate change on the gulf coast to the decline of alternative, you know, the decline of traditional energy and midland and Odessa in places like Beaumont, is that is that our state policy leaders don’t understand the diversification of those metropolitan areas that a one size fits all policy doesn’t work. Right? And so our cities and counties are city councils, for instance, for sure. Are, are the direct line to the people, right? That the direct line, um, you know, the great Ben Barber said that if mayors ruled the world, that the most, they are the most tend to be the most accountable. Um, and so while we’ve got these fast growing, diverse areas across texas and adding lots of residents, uh, we have this top down, we have now embraced from a state level here in texas. Just the state, this abrasive, um, top down policy that just doesn’t work for a state that is as diverse as we are. Um, with these many, uh, set of Metro’s are growing in, um, facing many, many different types of challenges. It just doesn’t work. It won’t work.
[0:24:26 Speaker 1] And do you see this as, uh, far worse than it was with the last census.
[0:24:33 Speaker 0] Yeah, I mean, I would, I mean, in the state of texas, I would say yes. I mean, I mean, at least you had some, some rationalization, some rational rational, some rational leadership maybe in the state house, I’m probably gonna get fired. Uh, you had your actually had rational leaders at the statehouse, right? Even though you’re a Republican controlled house and love love love or hate rick Perry, he at least understood diversification. He understood the market and what was happening here. I think what we have now is just this essentially, it’s almost like the, it’s almost like our legislatures tying the hands behind the backs of our city and county leaders and expecting them to solve the problems. Um, and that just doesn’t work.
[0:25:17 Speaker 1] Or or is it also, and this, this just builds on what you said Stephen, is it somewhat that there’s a powerful population of rural based, or at least those who identify with a rural imagery of white citizens and white voters who feel, um, I feel they’re losing control of the country and trying to just hold onto things as as, as, as
[0:25:40 Speaker 0] long as they think it’s a simple, it’s a simple explanation. I think it could be, I think it could be somewhat true and I think we’re going to see it’s gonna play out and um, we’re about to see how it plays out in the state of texas for sure, right, particularly come to redistricting. Um, um, I think that the redistrict, you know, the fight around redistricting in texas is gonna be an interesting case study to watch. It is going to be very, very challenging for um, a, you know, sort of rural Republican driven um legislature to jury mander a state that is now not an intent metropolitan urban and where Um you know, nearly 95% of all the growth has been people of color in our metro areas. That’s going to be a real challenge I think, and I think it’s incumbent to let’s say about that it’s incumbent upon people like us, right? There are policy folks to keep beating the drum that we are, that we are metro, that we are urban and that we are, we are a community that’s not extreme. That is not all um you know, white guys that look like me, but we are made up of um a diverse community of black and brown residents and fellow neighbors and we um and and so, you know, that’s going to be, I think really critical in terms of in terms of ensuring that our communities are representative in a way that makes sense going forward.
[0:26:58 Speaker 1] Right, right. It seems to me that one of the real positive takeaways from the census and we always look for the positive historical lessons on the podcast. Um is that despite a lot of the intolerant rhetoric we hear in our society, we really are growing more diverse and we are becoming a society that really embraces uh many, many more lifestyles. How do you think we can best get that message out? Is it is it telling the metropolitan story? What else should we be saying? So that we can recognize what’s really happening, not what people are
[0:27:31 Speaker 0] telling us. I mean, I think it’s, I mean, so I love the census data for me, particularly if you’re a Texan in a person studies texas, cities and a person that loves metro areas. Um It is a it is a story to be cheerleading, right? It’s a story where 1000 Texans today, nearly 1100 detection today. Um 95% of them are people of color if um and they’re very educated as well. We think the data is going to show that they’re going to be much more educated, they’re much more urban. Um and so for me, like um that’s absolutely absolutely fantastic. And in fact, if you look at the other thing I would say about this is that if you look across the texas, Metro’s right, and not to make this the texas show, but it’s what I know, If you look at the Texas metro those and they’re 26 of them. Um all 26 except for wine, grew um was on the positive side of uh was was in the positive side of uh in terms of in terms of population game, um only Wichita falls is the only method Paul Tina in Texas that declined. And so um if you if we are Thinking about communicating a message about metropolitan ism and diversity Texas becomes the poster child for that. We are again, much more diverse um are Hispanic population now is nearly 40% of our residents? Um it is a place that has strong um lbgt q communities as well. And so, you know, I think that there is a lot of good to be told out of the senses and frankly, I think it’s it’s also just a great story for economic development. You know, I always come back to how do you what’s the story and how does it come back to strategy for cities? What we know now is that is that is that our students, jeremy want to work in more diverse communities, are students want to live and work and have access and do work in those communities. We know that corporations are wanting to hire more diverse workers. And so for me as a texas economic development story, this is great, we’re kind of the front, we are really the front or the face of what what frankly America is going to look like um and will look like in the future.
[0:29:37 Speaker 1] It’s so true and you say it’s so well steven, it’s, you know, on the one hand, what you see coming out of a lot of the politics in texas looks retro retrograde and reactionary, but yet the state itself is the leading edge of all kinds of extraordinary positive changes in terms of diversity and in terms of new
[0:29:58 Speaker 0] lifestyles, I mean the last thing I would say is that, you know, I love telling what people ask me, why did you come back to LBJ score. Why did you come back to texas? You were living in new york And I said, well if you really want to understand what the future cities are going to be like it’s going to happen here in the US, it’s going to happen here in texas. Just because of all those things that we have that we’re that we’re talking about, if you want to understand how a 15 minute city is going to be built and what that looks like that’s happening in texas. We’ve been doing 15 minute communities for many, many years. If you want to understand cities that have that are going to reach that are going to build brand new transportation systems and what that looks like in terms of displacement are and how we manage identification that’s going to be done here and here in a place like Austin texas. If you want to be able to think about communities that are going to be extremely global international, that’s Houston, that’s san Antonio um you know the birthplace of public private partnerships Dallas fort Worth And so a lot of, if you’re really interested in metropolitan cities and metropolitan urban policy, this is a great place to do it because this is really is the future I think
[0:31:02 Speaker 1] very well said and you predicted in your move, you predicted where things were going Zachary as, as a young person who you know sometimes can Face a lot of negative news out there, right? There’s so much this is we see the collapse of a 20-year investment in Afghanistan at the same time that the census comes out. Do you see a positive story here? Do you see hope in this? And do you think other young people will see hope uh in the sense?
[0:31:29 Speaker 2] I think so. I think there’s this, I think that in
[0:31:32 Speaker 0] many ways
[0:31:32 Speaker 2] multiculturalism has become the
[0:31:35 Speaker 1] norm uh in these very metropolitan
[0:31:38 Speaker 2] environments, perhaps not outside of them, and especially in my generation. And I think that
[0:31:44 Speaker 0] um the
[0:31:45 Speaker 2] continued sort of movement of people within our country and uh and and and just the bare facts
[0:31:52 Speaker 0] of of which populations
[0:31:54 Speaker 2] are growing and which aren’t. Uh I mean, that that’s going to continue to be our reality for a very long
[0:32:01 Speaker 1] time. Yeah, Well, Duh Stephen, last last question for us to close on, what, what do you think is the most interesting thing that hasn’t come out yet in terms of the data that you would suggest our listeners look for in coming weeks and months from your analysis and others.
[0:32:19 Speaker 0] Yeah, I mean, I think I’m always interested to see what’s going to happen with, you know, looking at immigrant data. I think that’s always really interesting to me. I’m really interested to look about how asking the questions are where skilled residents moving, you know, in terms of the educated educated class, do we really see them happening in urban areas are happening in other places that we don’t think so. I think some of that is going to be quite interesting to look at. I think asking the question and looking about how um people are commuting and are are we seeing the rise of different types of modality in terms of the way they were commuting, particularly um um those, those points. I think we’ll be quite interesting. I don’t know, I’m just a geek about this stuff. I love this stuff. I think it’s it’s fascinating to me. Um and um it is this is kind of, it’s interesting. I was on holiday last week and I was up in the middle of the night looking at census done a numbers and my husband’s like, what are you doing? I’m like this is like christmas for someone like me, right? So
[0:33:19 Speaker 1] you know, it’s it’s an archive of historical change. I mean it it gives us a snapshot of over a 10 year period how our society has changed. We’re fortunate Stephen to have people of your knowledge and experience analyzing this and helping us make sense of it. Um Thank you for joining us today, Stephen and sharing you.
[0:33:38 Speaker 0] Thanks for the questions. It’s great to be with you guys. Yeah.
[0:33:42 Speaker 1] And and Zachary, thank you as always for your poem and your insights and thank you most of all to our loyal listeners. Thank you for joining us for this week of this is Democracy. Yeah, Yeah. Mhm. Mhm. Yeah. This podcast is produced by the Liberal Arts Development Studio and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of texas at Austin Music. In this episode was written and recorded by Harris Corradini. Stay tuned for a new episode every week you can find this is Democracy on Apple podcasts, Spotify and stitcher.
[0:34:19 Speaker 2] See you next time. Yeah