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Austin (, ) is the
capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a department, country, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the ...
of the
U.S. state In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares ...
of
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
, as well as the
seat SEAT, S.A. (, ; ''Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo'') is a Spanish automobile manufacturer with its head office in Martorell, Spain. It was founded on May 9, 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), a Spanish state-owned i ...
and largest city of
Travis County Travis County is located in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2019 was 1,273,954. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The ...
, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. Incorporated on December 27, 1839, it is the 11th-most populous city in the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, the fourth-most-populous city in Texas, and the second-most-populous state capital city (after Phoenix,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain states. It is the 6th largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. I ...
). It was also the fastest growing large city in the United States in 2015 and 2016. It is the southernmost state capital in the
contiguous United States The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states (plus the District of Columbia) on the continent of North America. The terms exclude the non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawa ...
and is considered a "Beta −"
global city A global city, also called a power city, world city, alpha city or world center, is a city which is a primary node in the global economic network. The concept comes from geography and urban studies, and the idea that globalization is created and ...
as categorized by the
Globalization and World Cities Research Network The Globalization and World Cities Research Network, commonly abbreviated to GaWC, is a think tank that studies the relationships between world cities in the context of globalization. It is based in the geography department of Loughborough Universit ...
. As of the
U.S. Census Bureau The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U. ...
's July 1, 2019 estimate, Austin had a population of 978,908, up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,227,083 , nearly an 80% increase from the year 2000. Located in within the greater
Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the America ...

Texas Hill Country
, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including
Lady Bird Lake Lady Bird Lake (formerly, and still colloquially referred to as Town Lake) is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, United States. The City of Austin created the reservoir in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new city power plan ...
and
Lake Travis 250px, thumbnail, Aerial shot of Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. Serving principally as a flood-control reservoir, Lake Travis' historical minimum to maximum water height change ...
on the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. states ...
,
Barton Springs Barton Springs is a set of four natural water springs located at Barton Creek on the grounds of Zilker Park in Austin, Texas, resulting from water flowing through the Edwards Aquifer. The largest spring, Main Barton Spring (also known as Parthenia ...
, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long. Residents of Austin are known as Austinites. They include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, high-tech workers, and
blue-collar worker A blue-collar worker is a working class person who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled labor. The type of work may involve manufacturing, warehousing, mining, excavation, electricity generation and power plan ...
s. The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World", a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues, as well as the long-running
PBS The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations i ...
TV concert series ''
Austin City Limits ''Austin City Limits'' is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, by PBS member television station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known ...
''. The city also adopted "
Silicon Hills Silicon Hills is a nickname for the cluster of high-tech companies in the Austin metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Texas. The name is analogous to Silicon Valley, but refers to the hilly terrain on the west side of Austin. High tech industries ...
" as a nickname in the 1990s due to a rapid influx of technology and development companies. In recent years, some Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan "
Keep Austin Weird ''Keep Austin Weird'' is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. It is intended to promote local businesses and is inspired by comments made by Red Wassenich in 2000 while giving a ...
", which refers to the desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations. Since the late 19th century, Austin has also been known as the " City of the Violet Crown", because of the colorful glow of light across the hills just after sunset. In 1987 Austin originated and remains the site for
South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
(stylized as SXSW and colloquially referred to as ''South By''), an annual conglomeration of parallel film,
interactive media#REDIRECT Interactive media#REDIRECT Interactive media {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
, and
music festival Music festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria, picturing both the main stage and the camping grounds on the farm behind A music festival is a community event oriented towards live performances of singing and instrument playing that is often presented wit ...
s and
conferences A conference is a meeting of people who "confer" about a topic. Conference types include: Physical * Academic conference, in science and academic, a formal event where researchers present results, workshops, and other activities. * Athletic confer ...
that take place in mid-March. Emerging from a strong economic focus on government and education, since the 1990s Austin has become a center for technology and business. A number of
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin, including
3M The 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, US health care, and consumer goods. The company produces over 60,000 products under several brands, including adhesives, abr ...
, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD),
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of woman warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology company ...
,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, ''Ma ...
,
Facebook Facebook (stylized as ) is an American online social media and social networking service based in Menlo Park, California, and a flagship service of the namesake company Facebook, Inc. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard ...
,
Google Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered ...
,
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
,
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in Silicon Valley. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is the developer of the x ...
,
Oracle An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions, most notably including precognition of the future, inspired by deities. As such, it is a form of divination. Description The word ''orac ...
,
Texas Instruments Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is an American technology company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, that designs and manufactures semiconductors and various integrated circuits, which it sells to electronics designers and manufacturers globall ...
, and
Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A USDA Certified Organic grocer in the Un ...
.
Dell Dell is an American multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services, and is owned by its parent company of Dell Technologies. Founded in 1984 by Michael Dell, t ...
's worldwide headquarters is located in the nearby suburb of
Round Rock Round Rock is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, in Williamson County (with a small part in Travis County), which is a part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area. Its population was 99,887 at the 2010 census. The city straddles the Balcones Es ...
. With regard to education, Austin is the home of the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
, which is one of the largest universities in the U.S. and is attended by over 50,000 students.


History

Austin, Travis County and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC. The area's earliest known inhabitants lived during the late
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often colloquially referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally confirme ...
(Ice Age) and are linked to the
Clovis culture The Clovis culture is a prehistoric Paleoamerican culture, named for distinct stone tools found in close association with Pleistocene fauna at Blackwater Locality No. 1 near Clovis, New Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. It appears around 11,500–1 ...
around 9200 BC (over 11,200 years ago), based on evidence found throughout the area and documented at the much-studied Gault Site, midway between Georgetown and
Fort Hood Fort Hood is a United States Army post located in Killeen, Texas. Named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, it is located halfway between Austin and Waco, about from each, within the U.S. state of Texas. The post is the headquarters of I ...
. When settlers arrived from Europe, the
Tonkawa The Tonkawa are a Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Oklahoma. Their Tonkawa language, now-extinct, is a linguistic isolate. Today, Tonkawa people are enrolled in the federally recognized Tonkawa Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Name ...
tribe inhabited the area. The
Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ; "the people") are a Native-American nation from the Great Plains whose historic territory consisted of most of present-day northwestern Texas and adjacent areas in eastern New Mexico, southeastern C ...

Comanche
s and Lipan Apaches were also known to travel through the area. Spanish colonists, including the Espinosa- Olivares- Aguirre expedition, traveled through the area, though few permanent settlements were created for some time. In 1730, three missions from
East Texas East Texas is a distinct cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the ''Handbook of Texas'', the East Texas area "may be separated from the rest of Texas roughly by a line extending from the Red Rive ...
were combined and reestablished as one mission on the south side of the Colorado River, in what is now
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
, in Austin. The mission was in this area for only about seven months, and then was moved to
San Antonio de Béxar ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 280px , map_caption = Location within Bexar County , pushpin_map = Texas#USA#North America ...
and split into three missions. During the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. states ...
. Spanish forts were established in what are now Bastrop and San Marcos. Following Mexico's independence, new settlements were established in Central Texas, but growth in the region was stagnant because of conflicts with the regional Native Americans. In 1835–1836, Texans fought and won independence from Mexico. Texas thus became an independent country with its own president, congress, and monetary system. After Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic's capital, then in
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. states ...
(near the present-day
Congress Avenue Bridge , Texas (2013) Image:Austin - bats watching 1.jpg, 200px, The Richards Bridge at dusk The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge (formerly known simply as the Congress Avenue Bridge) crosses over Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas. Before constructio ...

Congress Avenue Bridge
). In 1839, the site was chosen to replace
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
as the capital of the
Republic of Texas A republic ( la, res publica, links=yes, meaning "public affair") is a form of government in which "power is held by the people and their elected representatives". In republics, the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern ...
and was incorporated under the name "Waterloo". Shortly afterward, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" and the republic's first secretary of state. The city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the
Texas State Capitol The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of the American state of Texas. Located in downtown Austin, Texas, the structure houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. Designed ...
and the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
. After a severe lull in economic growth from the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and las ...
, Austin resumed its steady development. In 1839, the Texas Congress formed a commission to seek a site for a new capital to be named for Stephen F. Austin. Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the newly formed Republic of Texas, advised the commissioners to investigate the area named Waterloo, noting the area's hills, waterways, and pleasant surroundings. Waterloo was selected, and "Austin" was chosen as the town's new name. The location was seen as a convenient crossroads for trade routes between Santa Fe and
Galveston Bay Galveston Bay ( ) is a bay in the western Gulf of Mexico along the upper coast of Texas. It is the seventh-largest estuary in the United States, and the largest of seven major estuaries along the Texas Gulf Coast. It is connected to the Gulf of M ...

Galveston Bay
, as well as routes between northern Mexico and the
Red River Red River usually refers to one of the following: * Red River (East and Southeast Asia) (Chinese: 紅河, 红河, ''Hóng Hé''; Vietnamese: ''Sông Hồng'') in China and Vietnam * Red River of the North in Canada and the United States * Red River ...
.
Edwin Waller Edwin Waller (November 4, 1800 – January 3, 1881) was an entrepreneur, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, the first mayor of Austin, Texas, and the designer of its downtown grid plan. Texas independence He was born in Spotsylv ...
was picked by Lamar to survey the village and draft a plan laying out the new capital. The original site was narrowed to that fronted the Colorado River between two creeks, Shoal Creek and Waller Creek, which was later named in his honor. Waller and a team of surveyors developed Austin's first
city plan Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, a ...
, commonly known as the
Waller Plan The 1839 Austin city plan (commonly known as the Waller Plan) is the original city plan for the development of Austin, Texas, which established the grid plan for what is now downtown Austin. It was commissioned in 1839 by the government of the Repub ...
, dividing the site into a 14-block grid plan bisected by a broad north–south thoroughfare, Congress Avenue, running up from the river to Capital Square, where the new Texas State Capitol was to be constructed. A temporary one-story capitol was erected on the corner of Colorado and 8th Streets. On August 1, 1839, the first auction of 217 out of 306 lots total was held. The Waller Plan designed and surveyed now forms the basis of downtown Austin. In 1840, a series of conflicts between the Texas Rangers and the
Comanche The Comanche or Nʉmʉnʉʉ ( com, Nʉmʉnʉʉ; "the people") are a Native-American nation from the Great Plains whose historic territory consisted of most of present-day northwestern Texas and adjacent areas in eastern New Mexico, southeastern C ...

Comanche
s, known as the
Council House Fight The Council House Fight, often referred to as the Council House Massacre, was a decidedly lopsided fight between soldiers and officials of the Republic of Texas and a delegation of Comanche chiefs during a peace conference in San Antonio on March ...
and the
Battle of Plum Creek The Battle of Plum Creek was a clash between allied Tonkawa, militia, and Rangers of the Republic of Texas and a huge Comanche war party under Chief Buffalo Hump, which took place near Lockhart, Texas, on August 12, 1840, following the Great Raid ...
, pushed the Comanches westward, mostly ending conflicts in Central Texas. Settlement in the area began to expand quickly. Travis County was established in 1840, and the surrounding counties were mostly established within the next two decades. Initially, the new capital thrived but Lamar's political enemy,
Sam Houston Samuel Houston (March 2, 1793July 26, 1863) was an American general. He was an important leader of the Texas Revolution, Houston served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, and was one of the first two individuals to repre ...
, used two Mexican army incursions to
San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 280px , map_caption = Location within Bexar County , pushpin_map = Texas#USA#North America ...
as an excuse to move the government. Sam Houston fought bitterly against Lamar's decision to establish the capital in such a remote wilderness. The men and women who traveled mainly from Houston to conduct government business were intensely disappointed as well. By 1840, the population had risen to 856, of whom nearly half fled from Austin when Congress recessed. The resident
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term ''African American'' generally denotes descendants ...
population listed in January of this same year was 176. The fear of Austin's proximity to the Indians and Mexico, which still considered Texas a part of their land, created an immense motive for Sam Houston, the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, to relocate the capital once again in 1841. Upon threats of Mexican troops in Texas, Houston raided the Land Office to transfer all official documents to Houston for safe keeping in what was later known as the Archive War, but the people of Austin would not allow this unaccompanied decision to be executed. The documents stayed, but the capital would temporarily move from Austin to Houston to
Washington-on-the-Brazos Washington-on-the-Brazos is an unincorporated community along the Brazos River in Washington County, Texas, United States. The town is best known for being the site of the Convention of 1836 and the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. ...
. Without the governmental body, Austin's population declined to a low of only a few hundred people throughout the early 1840s. The voting by the fourth President of the Republic,
Anson Jones Anson Jones (January 20, 1798 – January 9, 1858), also known as the Architect of Annexation was a doctor, businessperson, member of Congress, and the fourth and last President of the Republic of Texas. Early life Jones was born on Januar ...

Anson Jones
, and Congress, who reconvened in Austin in 1845, settled the issue to keep Austin the seat of government, as well as annex the Republic of Texas into the United States. In 1860, 38% of Travis County residents were
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
. In 1861, with the outbreak of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states that had seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Th ...
, voters in Austin and other Central Texas communities voted against secession. However, as the war progressed and fears of attack by Union forces increased, Austin contributed hundreds of men to the
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed between 1861 and 1865 ...

Confederate
forces. The African American population of Austin swelled dramatically after the enforcement of the
Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, during the Civil War. The Proclamation read: :That on the first ...

Emancipation Proclamation
in Texas by Union General
Gordon Granger Gordon Granger (November 6, 1821 – January 10, 1876) was a career U.S. Army officer and a Union general during the American Civil War, where he distinguished himself at the Battle of Chickamauga. Granger is best remembered for his June 19, 1865 p ...
at Galveston, in an event commemorated as
Juneteenth Juneteenth (a portmanteau of ''June'' and ''nineteenth'') – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Origin ...
. Black communities such as Wheatville, Pleasant Hill, and Clarksville were established, with Clarksville being the oldest surviving freedomtown ‒ the original post-Civil War settlements founded by former African-American slaves ‒ west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
. In 1870, blacks made up 36.5% of Austin's population. The postwar period saw dramatic population and economic growth. The opening of the
Houston and Texas Central Railway The Houston and Texas Central Railway (H&TC), a predecessor of today's Union Pacific Railroad, was an 872-mile railway system chartered in Texas in 1848, with construction beginning in 1856. The line eventually stretched from Houston northward to D ...
(H&TC) in 1871 turned Austin into the major trading center for the region, with the ability to transport both cotton and cattle. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas (MKT) line followed close behind. Austin was also the terminus of the southernmost leg of the
Chisholm Trail The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the post-Civil War era to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The trail was established by Black Beaver, a Lenape guide and rancher, and his friend Jesse Chisholm, a merchant. Th ...
, and "drovers" pushed cattle north to the railroad. Cotton was one of the few crops produced locally for export, and a
cotton gin in Hamden, Connecticut A cotton gin – meaning "cotton engine" – is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, enabling much greater productivity than manual cotton separation.. Reprinted by McGraw-Hi ...
engine was located downtown near the trains for "ginning" cotton of its seeds and turning the product into bales for shipment. However, as other new railroads were built through the region in the 1870s, Austin began to lose its primacy in trade to the surrounding communities. In addition, the areas east of Austin took over cattle and cotton production from Austin, especially in towns like
Hutto Hutto is a city in Williamson County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan area. The population was 14,698 at the 2010 census. Geography Hutto is located at (30.544517, −97.545198), about seven miles (11  ...
and
Taylor Taylor, Taylors or Taylor's may refer to: People * Taylor (surname) **List of people with surname Taylor **List of fictional characters named Taylor * Taylor (given name), including Tayla and Taylah * Taylor sept, a branch of Scottish clan Camero ...
that sit over the
blackland prairie#REDIRECT Texas Blackland Prairies {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
, with its deep, rich soils for producing cotton and hay. In September 1881, Austin public schools held their first classes. The same year, Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute (now part of
Huston–Tillotson University Huston–Tillotson University (HTU) is a private historically black university in Austin, Texas. Established in 1875, Huston–Tillotson University was the first institution of higher learning in Austin. The university is affiliated with the Unite ...
) opened its doors. The
University of Texas The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas
held its first classes in 1883, although classes had been held in the original wooden state capitol for four years before. During the 1880s, Austin gained new prominence as the state capitol building was completed in 1888 and claimed as the seventh largest building in the world. In the late 19th century, Austin expanded its city limits to more than three times its former area, and the first granite dam was built on the Colorado River to power a new street car line and the new " moon towers". The first dam washed away in a flood on April 7, 1900. In the late 1920s and 1930s, Austin implemented the 1928 Austin city plan through a series of civic development and beautification projects that created much of the city's infrastructure and many of its parks. In addition, the state legislature established the
Lower Colorado River Authority The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is a nonprofit public utility created in November 1934 by the Texas Legislature. LCRA's mission is to enhance the lives of the Texans it serves through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA ...
(LCRA) that, along with the city of Austin, created the system of dams along the Colorado River to form the Highland Lakes. These projects were enabled in large part because the
Public Works Administration In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the ''Öffentlichke ...
provided Austin with greater funding for municipal construction projects than other Texas cities. During the early twentieth century, a three-way system of social segregation emerged in Austin, with Anglos, African Americans and Mexicans being separated by custom or law in most aspects of life, including housing, health care, and education. Many of the municipal improvement programs initiated during this period—such as the construction of new roads, schools, and hospitals—were deliberately designed to institutionalize this system of segregation. Deed restrictions also played an important role in residential segregation. After 1935 most housing deeds prohibited African Americans (and sometimes other nonwhite groups) from using land. Combined with the system of segregated public services, racial segregation increased in Austin during the first half of the twentieth century, with African Americans and Mexicans experiencing high levels of discrimination and social marginalization. In 1940, the destroyed granite dam on the Colorado River was finally replaced by a hollow concrete dam that formed Lake McDonald (now called
Lake Austin Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is a water reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. The reservoir was formed in 1939 by the construction of Tom Miller Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Lake Austin is one of the seven Highla ...
) and which has withstood all floods since. In addition, the much larger Mansfield Dam was built by the LCRA upstream of Austin to form
Lake Travis 250px, thumbnail, Aerial shot of Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. Serving principally as a flood-control reservoir, Lake Travis' historical minimum to maximum water height change ...
, a flood-control reservoir. In the early 20th century, the
Texas Oil Boom The Texas oil boom, sometimes called the gusher age, was a period of dramatic change and economic growth in the U.S. state of Texas during the early 20th century that began with the discovery of a large petroleum reserve near Beaumont, Texas. Th ...
took hold, creating tremendous economic opportunities in Southeast Texas and North Texas. The growth generated by this boom largely passed by Austin at first, with the city slipping from fourth largest to 10th largest in Texas between 1880 and 1920. After the mid-20th century, Austin became established as one of Texas' major metropolitan centers. In 1970, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Austin's population as 14.5% Hispanic, 11.9% black, and 73.4% non-Hispanic white. In the late 20th century, Austin emerged as an important high tech center for
semiconductor A semiconductor material has an electrical conductivity value falling between that of a conductor, such as metallic copper, and an insulator, such as glass. Its resistivity falls as its temperature rises; metals behave in the opposite way. Its co ...
s and software. The
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
emerged as a major university. The 1970s saw Austin's emergence in the national music scene, with local artists such as
Willie Nelson Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American musician, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album ''Shotgun Willie'' (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of ''Red Headed Stranger'' (1975) and ''Stard ...

Willie Nelson
,
Asleep at the Wheel Asleep at the Wheel is an American country music group that was formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia and is based in Austin, Texas. The band has won nine Grammy Awards since their 1970 inception, released over twenty albums, and has charted more tha ...
, and
Stevie Ray Vaughan Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, best known as the guitarist and frontman of the blues rock band Double Trouble. Although his mainstream career only spanned se ...
and iconic music venues such as the
Armadillo World Headquarters Armadillo World Headquarters (The 'Dillo or Armadillo WHQ) was an influential Texas music hall and beer garden in Austin at 525 Barton Springs Road – at South First Street – just south of the Colorado River and downtown Austin. The 'Dillo flo ...
. Over time, the long-running television program ''Austin City Limits'', its namesake Austin City Limits Festival, and the
South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
music festival solidified the city's place in the music industry.


Geography

Austin, the southernmost state capital of the contiguous 48 states, is located in
Central Texas Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin and roughly bordered by San Saba to Bryan and San Marcos to Hillsboro. Central Texas overlaps with and includes part of the Texas Hill Country and corresponds to a physiogra ...
. Austin is northwest of
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
, south of
Dallas Dallas () is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2019 population of 1,343,573, it is the ninth most-po ...
and northeast of
San Antonio ("Cradle of Freedom") , image_map = Bexar SanAntonio.svg , mapsize = 280px , map_caption = Location within Bexar County , pushpin_map = Texas#USA#North America ...
. In 2010, the city occupied a total area of . Approximately of this area is water. Austin is situated at the foot of the
Balcones Escarpment The Balcones Fault or Balcones Fault Zone is an area of largely normal faulting Edwards Aquifer in the U.S. state of Texas that runs roughly from the southwest part of the state near Del Rio to the north-central region near Dallas along Interst ...
, on the
Colorado River The Colorado River ( es, Río Colorado) is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. states ...
, with three artificial lakes within the city limits:
Lady Bird Lake Lady Bird Lake (formerly, and still colloquially referred to as Town Lake) is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, United States. The City of Austin created the reservoir in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new city power plan ...
(formerly known as Town Lake),
Lake Austin Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is a water reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. The reservoir was formed in 1939 by the construction of Tom Miller Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Lake Austin is one of the seven Highla ...
(both created by dams along the Colorado River), and Lake Walter E. Long that is partly used for cooling water for the Decker Power Plant.
Mansfield Dam Mansfield Dam (formerly Marshall Ford Dam) is a dam located across a canyon at Marshall Ford on the Colorado River, northwest of Austin, Texas. The groundbreaking ceremony occurred on February 19, 1937, with United States Secretary of the Interior ...
and the foot of
Lake Travis 250px, thumbnail, Aerial shot of Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. Serving principally as a flood-control reservoir, Lake Travis' historical minimum to maximum water height change ...
are located within the city's limits. Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis are each on the Colorado River. The elevation of Austin varies from to approximately above sea level. Due to the fact it straddles the
Balcones Fault The Balcones Fault or Balcones Fault Zone is an area of largely normal faulting Edwards Aquifer in the U.S. state of Texas that runs roughly from the southwest part of the state near Del Rio to the north-central region near Dallas along Interst ...
, much of the eastern part of the city is flat, with heavy clay and loam soils, whereas the western part and western suburbs consist of rolling hills on the edge of the
Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the America ...

Texas Hill Country
. Because the hills to the west are primarily limestone rock with a thin covering of topsoil, portions of the city are frequently subjected to flash floods from the runoff caused by thunderstorms. To help control this runoff and to generate hydroelectric power, the
Lower Colorado River Authority The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is a nonprofit public utility created in November 1934 by the Texas Legislature. LCRA's mission is to enhance the lives of the Texans it serves through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA ...
operates a series of dams that form the Texas Highland Lakes. The lakes also provide venues for boating, swimming, and other forms of recreation within several parks on the lake shores. Austin is located at the intersection of four major ecological regions, and is consequently a temperate-to-hot green oasis with a highly variable climate having some characteristics of the desert, the tropics, and a wetter climate. The area is very diverse ecologically and biologically, and is home to a variety of animals and plants. Notably, the area is home to many types of wildflowers that blossom throughout the year but especially in the spring. This includes the popular bluebonnet (plant), bluebonnets, some planted by Lady Bird Johnson, "Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of former President Lyndon B. Johnson. The soils of Austin range from shallow, gravelly clay loams over limestone in the western outskirts to deep, fine sandy loams, silty clay loams, silty clays or clays in the city's eastern part. Some of the clays have pronounced shrink-swell properties and are difficult to work under most moisture conditions. Many of Austin's soils, especially the clay-rich types, are slightly to moderately alkaline and have free calcium carbonate.


Cityscape

Austin's skyline historically was modest, dominated by the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas Main Building (University of Texas at Austin), Main Building. However, since the 2000s, many new high-rise towers have been constructed. Austin is currently undergoing a skyscraper boom, which includes recent construction on new office, hotel and residential buildings. Downtown's buildings are somewhat spread out, partly due to a set of zoning restrictions that preserve the view of the
Texas State Capitol The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of the American state of Texas. Located in downtown Austin, Texas, the structure houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. Designed ...
from various locations around Austin, known as the Texas Capitol View Corridors, Capitol View Corridors. At night, parts of Austin are lit by "artificial moonlight" from moonlight towers built to illuminate the central part of the city. The moonlight towers were built in the late 19th century and are now recognized as historic landmarks. Only 15 of the 31 original innovative towers remain standing in Austin, but none remain in any of the other cities where they were installed. The towers are featured in the 1993 film ''Dazed and Confused (film), Dazed and Confused''.


Downtown

The central business district of Austin is home to the tallest condo towers in the state, with The Independent (Austin, Texas), The Independent (58 stories and tall) and The Austonian (topping out at 56 floors and tall). The Independent became the tallest all-residential building in the U.S. west of Chicago when topped out in 2018. In 2005, then-Mayor Will Wynn set out a goal of having 25,000 people living downtown by 2015. Although downtown's growth did not meet this goal, downtown's residential population did surge from an estimated 5,000 in 2005 to 12,000 in 2015. The skyline has drastically changed in recent years, and the residential real estate market has remained relatively strong. , there were 31 high-rise projects either under construction, approved or planned to be completed in Austin's downtown core between 2017 and 2020. Sixteen of those were set to rise above tall, including four above 600', and eight above 500'. An additional 15 towers were slated to stand between 300' and 399' tall.


Climate

Austin is located within the middle of a unique, narrow transitional zone between the dry deserts of the American Southwest and the lush, green, more humid regions of the American Southeast. Its climate, topography, and vegetation share characteristics of both. Officially, Austin has a humid subtropical climate under the Köppen climate classification. This climate is typified by very long and hot summers, short and mild winters, and pleasantly warm spring and fall seasons in-between. Austin averages of annual rainfall and it is distributed mostly evenly throughout the year, though spring and fall are the wettest seasons. Sunshine is common during all seasons, with 2,650 hours, or 60.3% of the possible total, of bright sunshine per year. Austin falls in USDA hardiness zones 8b (15 °F to 20 °F) and 9a (20 °F to 25 °F). Summers in Austin are very hot, with average July and August highs frequently reaching the high-90s (34–36 °C) or above. Highs reach on 116 days per year, of which 18 days reach . The average daytime high is or warmer between March 6 and November 20, rising to or warmer between April 14 and October 24, and reaching or warmer between May 30 and September 18. The highest ever recorded temperature was occurring on September 5, 2000, and August 28, 2011. An uncommon characteristic of Austin's climate is its highly variable humidity, which fluctuates frequently depending on the shifting patterns of air flow and wind direction. It is common for a lengthy series of warm, dry, low-humidity days to be occasionally interrupted by very warm and humid days, and vice versa. Humidity rises with winds from the east or southeast, when the air drifts inland from the Gulf of Mexico, but decreases significantly with winds from the west or southwest, bringing air flowing from Chihuahuan Desert areas of West Texas or northern Mexico. Winters in Austin are mild with cool nights, although occasional short-lived bursts of cold weather known as "Texas Norther, Blue Northers" can occur. January is the coolest month with an average daytime high of . The overnight low drops to or below freezing 19 times per year, and sinks below during 88 evenings per year, including most nights between mid-December and mid-February. Lows in the upper 30s also occur commonly during the winter. Conversely, winter months are also capable of occasionally producing warm days. On average, eight days in January reach or exceed and one day reaches . The lowest ever recorded temperature in the city was on January 31, 1949. Roughly every two years Austin experiences an ice storm that freezes roads over and cripples travel in the city for 24 to 48 hours. When Austin received of ice on January 24, 2014, there were 278 vehicular collisions. Similarly, snowfall is rare in Austin. A snow event of on February 4, 2011, caused more than 300 car crashes. The most recent major snow event occurred the week of February 14, 2021, when as many as 7.5 inches were recorded in parts of Travis County. Typical of
Central Texas Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin and roughly bordered by San Saba to Bryan and San Marcos to Hillsboro. Central Texas overlaps with and includes part of the Texas Hill Country and corresponds to a physiogra ...
, severe weather in Austin is a threat that can strike during any season. However, it is most common during the spring. According to most classifications, Austin lies within the extreme southern periphery of Tornado Alley, although many sources place Austin outside of Tornado Alley altogether. Consequently, tornadoes strike Austin less frequently than areas farther to the north. However, severe weather and/or supercell, supercell thunderstorms can occur multiple times per year, bringing damaging winds, lightning, heavy rain, and occasional flash flooding to the city. The deadliest storm to ever strike city limits was the 1922 Austin twin tornadoes, twin tornadoes storm of May 4, 1922, while the deadliest tornado outbreak to ever strike the metro area was the 1997 Central Texas tornado outbreak, Central Texas tornado outbreak of May 27, 1997.


2011 drought

From October 2010 through September 2011, both major reporting stations in Austin, Camp Mabry and Bergstrom Int'l, had the least rainfall of a water year on record, receiving less than a third of normal precipitation. This was a result of La Niña conditions in the eastern Pacific Ocean where water was significantly cooler than normal. David Brown, a regional official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explained that "these kinds of droughts will have effects that are even more extreme in the future, given a warming and drying regional climate."


2018 flooding and water crisis

In Fall 2018, Austin and surrounding areas received heavy rainfall and flash flooding following Hurricane Sergio (2018), Hurricane Sergio. The
Lower Colorado River Authority The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is a nonprofit public utility created in November 1934 by the Texas Legislature. LCRA's mission is to enhance the lives of the Texans it serves through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA ...
opened four floodgates of the
Mansfield Dam Mansfield Dam (formerly Marshall Ford Dam) is a dam located across a canyon at Marshall Ford on the Colorado River, northwest of Austin, Texas. The groundbreaking ceremony occurred on February 19, 1937, with United States Secretary of the Interior ...
after Lake Travis was recorded at 146% full at 704.3 feet. From the 22nd to the 29th of October 2018 the City of Austin issued a mandatory citywide boil-water advisory after the Highland Lakes, home to the city's main water supply, became overwhelmed by unprecedented amounts of silt, dirt, and debris that washed in from the Llano River. Austin Water, the city's water utility, has the capacity to process up to 300 million gallons of water per day, but the elevated level of turbidity reduced output to only 105 million gallons per day since Austin residents consumed an average of 120 million gallons of water per day, so the infrastructure was not able to keep up with demand.


Demographics

According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Austin was 68.3% White American, White (48.7% non-Hispanic whites), 35.1% Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic or Latino (29.1% Mexican Americans, Mexican, 0.5% Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rican, 0.4% Cuban Americans, Cuban, 5.1% Other), 8.1%
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term ''African American'' generally denotes descendants ...
, 6.3% Asian American, Asian (1.9% Indian Americans, Indian, 1.5% Chinese Americans, Chinese, 1.0% Vietnamese Americans, Vietnamese, 0.7% Korean Americans, Korean, 0.3% Filipino Americans, Filipino, 0.2% Japanese Americans, Japanese, 0.8% Other), 0.9% Native Americans in the United States, American Indian, 0.1% Pacific Islander American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and 3.4% Multiracial American, two or more races. At the 2000 United States Census, there were people, households, and families residing in the city (roughly comparable in size to San Francisco, Leeds, Leeds, UK; and Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). The population density was . There were housing units at an average density of . There were households, out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.7% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.14. In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 37.1% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.8 males. The median income for a household in the city was , and the median income for a family was $. Males had a median income of $ vs. $ for females. The per capita income for the city was $. About 9.1% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over. The median house price was $ in 2009, and it has increased every year since 2004. The median value of a house in which the owner occupies it was $227,800 in 2014, which is higher than the average American home value of $175,700. A 2014 University of Texas study stated that Austin was the only U.S. city with a fast growth rate between 2000 and 2010 with a net loss in African Americans. , Austin's African American and non-Hispanic white percentage share of the total population is declining despite the actual number of both ethnic groups increasing. Austin's non-Hispanic white population first dropped below 50% in 2005. The rapid growth of the Latino or Hispanic and Asian populations have outpaced all other ethnic groups in the city. According to a survey completed in 2014 by Gallup (company), Gallup, it is estimated that 5.3% of residents in the Greater Austin, Austin metropolitan area identify as LGBT, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The Austin metropolitan area had the third-highest rate in the nation.


Religion

According to Sperling's BestPlaces, 52.4% of Austin's population are religious. The majority of Austinites identified themselves as Christianity, Christians, about 25.2% of whom claimed affiliation with the Catholic Church, owing in part to Spanish missions in the Americas, Spanish colonialism in the region. The city's Catholic population is served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, headquartered at the Cathedral of Saint Mary (Austin, Texas), Cathedral of Saint Mary. Nationwide, 23% of Americans identified as Catholic in 2016. Other significant Christian groups in Austin include Baptists (8.7%), followed by Methodism, Methodists (4.3%), Latter Day Saint movement, Latter-Day Saints (1.5%), Anglicanism, Episcopalians or Anglicans (1.0%), Lutheranism, Lutherans (0.8%), Presbyterianism, Presbyterians (0.6%), Pentecostalism, Pentecostals (0.3%), and other Christians such as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Disciples of Christ and Eastern Orthodox Church (7.1%). The second largest religion Austinites identify with is Islam (1.7%); roughly 0.8% of Americans nationwide claimed affiliation with the Islamic faith. The dominant branch of Islam is Sunni Islam. Established in 1977, the largest mosque in Austin is the Islamic Center of Greater Austin. The community is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America. The same study says that Eastern religions, eastern faiths including Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism made up 0.9% of the city's religious population. Several Hindu temples exist in the Austin Metropolitan area with the most notable one being Radha Madhav Dham. Judaism forms less than 0.1% of the religious demographic in Austin, although Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox, Reform Judaism, Reform, and Conservative Judaism, Conservative congregations exist. In addition to those religious groups, Austin is also home to an active secular humanist community, hosting nationwide television shows and charity work.


Homelessness

As of 2019, there were 2,255 individuals experiencing homelessness in Travis County. Of those, 1,169 were sheltered and 1,086 were unsheltered. In September 2019, the Austin City Council approved $62.7 million for programs aimed at homelessness, which includes housing displacement prevention, crisis mitigation, and affordable housing; the city council also earmarked $500,000 for crisis services and encampment cleanups. In June 2019, following a federal court ruling on homelessness sleeping in public, the Austin City Council lifted a 25-year-old ban on camping, sitting, or lying down in public unless doing so causes an obstruction. The resolution also included the approval of a new housing-focused shelter in South Austin. In early October 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Mayor Steve Adler threatening to deploy state resources to combat the camping ban repeal. On October 17, 2019, the City Council revised the camping ordinance, which imposed increased restrictions on sidewalk camping. In November 2019, the State of Texas opened a temporary homeless encampment on a former vehicle storage yard owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.


Economy

The Greater Austin metropolitan statistical area had a gross domestic product (GDP) of $86 billion in 2010. Austin is considered to be a major center for high tech. Thousands of graduates each year from the engineering and computer science programs at the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
provide a steady source of employees that help to fuel Austin's technology and defense industry sectors. The region's rapid growth has led ''Forbes'' to rank the Austin metropolitan area number one among all big cities for jobs for 2012 in their annual survey and WSJ Marketwatch to rank the area number one for growing businesses. By 2013, Austin was ranked No. 14 on ''Forbes list of the Best Places for Business and Careers (directly below Dallas, No. 13 on the list). As a result of the high concentration of high-tech companies in the region, Austin was strongly affected by the Dot-com bubble, dot-com boom in the late 1990s and subsequent bust. Austin's largest employers include the Austin Independent School District, the City of Austin,
Dell Dell is an American multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services, and is owned by its parent company of Dell Technologies. Founded in 1984 by Michael Dell, t ...
, the Federal government of the United States, U.S. Federal Government, NXP Semiconductors,
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Comput ...
, St. David's Healthcare Partnership, Seton Family of Hospitals, the Texas, State of Texas, the Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Other high-tech companies with operations in Austin include
3M The 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, US health care, and consumer goods. The company produces over 60,000 products under several brands, including adhesives, abr ...
,
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, ''Ma ...
, Amazon (company), Amazon, Advanced Micro Devices, AMD, Apartment Ratings, Applied Materials, Arm Holdings, Bigcommerce, BioWare, Blizzard Entertainment, Buffalo Technology, Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Dropbox (service), Dropbox, eBay, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Facebook,
Google Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered ...
, Hewlett-Packard, Hoover's, HomeAway, HostGator, Intel Corporation, National Instruments, Nintendo, Nvidia,
Oracle An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions, most notably including precognition of the future, inspired by deities. As such, it is a form of divination. Description The word ''orac ...
, PayPal, Polycom, Qualcomm, Inc., Qualcomm, Rackspace, RetailMeNot, Inc., RetailMeNot, Rooster Teeth, Samsung, Samsung Group, Silicon Laboratories, Spansion, United Devices, VMware, and Xerox. In 2010, Facebook accepted a grant to build a downtown office that could bring as many as 200 jobs to the city. The proliferation of technology companies has led to the region's nickname, "Silicon Hills", and spurred development that greatly expanded the city. Austin is also emerging as a hub for Pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies; the city is home to about 85 of them. In 2004, the city was ranked by the Milken Institute as the #12 biotech and life science center in the United States and in 2018, CBRE Group ranked Austin as #3 emerging life sciences cluster Companies such as Hospira, Pharmaceutical Product Development, and ArthroCare, ArthroCare Corporation are located there.
Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A USDA Certified Organic grocer in the Un ...
, an international grocery store chain specializing in fresh and packaged food products, was founded and is headquartered in Austin. Other companies based in Austin include NXP Semiconductors, GoodPop, Temple-Inland, Sweet Leaf Tea Company, Keller Williams Realty, National Western Life, GSD&M, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Golfsmith, Forestar Group, EZCorp, Outdoor Voices, Tito's Vodka, Indeed, Speak Social, and YETI (company), YETI. In 2018, Austin metro-area companies saw a total of $1.33 billion invested. Austin's VC numbers were so strong in 2018 that they accounted for more than 60 percent of Texas' total investments.


Culture and contemporary life

"Keep Austin Weird" has been a local motto for years, featured on bumper stickers and T-shirts. This motto has not only been used in promoting Austin's eccentricity and diversity, but is also meant to bolster support of local independent businesses. According to the 2010 book ''Weird City'' the phrase was begun by a local Austin Community College librarian, Red Wassenich, and his wife, Karen Pavelka, who were concerned about Austin's "rapid descent into commercialism and overdevelopment." The slogan has been interpreted many ways since its inception, but remains an important symbol for many Austinites who wish to voice concerns over rapid growth and irresponsible development. Austin has a long history of vocal citizen resistance to development projects perceived to degrade the environment, or to threaten the natural and cultural landscapes. According to the Nielsen Company, adults in Austin read and contribute to blogs more than those in any other U.S. metropolitan area. Austin residents have the highest Internet usage in all of Texas. In 2013, Austin was the most active city on Reddit, having the largest number of views per capita. Austin was selected as the No. 2 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by ''Money (magazine), Money'' magazine in 2006, and No. 3 in 2009, and also the "Sustainability, Greenest City in America" by MSN. South Congress is a shopping district stretching down South Congress Avenue from Downtown. This area is home to coffee shops, eccentric stores, restaurants, food trucks, trailers, and festivals. It prides itself on "Keeping Austin Weird," especially with development in the surrounding area(s). Many Austinites attribute its enduring popularity to the magnificent and unobstructed Texas Capitol View Corridors, view of the Texas State Capitol. The Rainey Street Historic District is a neighborhood in Downtown Austin consisting mostly of bungalow style homes built in the early 20th century. Since the early 2010s, the former working class residential street has turned into a popular nightlife district. Much of the historic homes have been renovated into bars and restaurants, many of which feature large porches and outdoor yards for patrons. The Rainey Street district is also home to the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. Austin has been part of the Creative Cities Network, UNESCO Creative Cities Network under Media arts, Media Arts the category.


Old Austin

"Old Austin" is an adage often used by the native citizens in Austin, Texas when being nostalgic to refer to the olden days of the capital city of
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
. Although Austin is also known internationally as the Music of Austin, Texas, live music capital of the world and its catch phrase/slogan Keep Austin Weird can be heard echoed in places as far as Buffalo, New York and Santa Monica, California - the term ''Old Austin'' refers to a time when the city was smaller and more Bohemianism, bohemian with a considerably lower cost of living and better known for its lack of traffic, Hipster (contemporary subculture), hipsters, and urban sprawl. It is often employed by longtime residents expressing displeasure at the rapidly changing culture, or when referencing nostalgia of Austin culture. The growth and popularity of Austin can be seen by the expansive development taking place in its downtown landscape. Forbes ranked Austin as the second fastest-growing city in 2015. This growth can have a negative impact on longtime small businesses that cannot keep up with the expenses associated with gentrification and the rising cost of real estate. A former Austin Musician, Dale Watson (singer), Dale Watson, described his move away from Austin, "I just really feel the city has sold itself. Just because you're going to get $45 million for a company to come to town – if it's not in the best interest of the town, I don't think they should do it. This city was never about money. It was about quality of life."


Annual cultural events

The O. Henry House Museum hosts the annual O. Henry Pun-Off, a pun contest where the successful contestants exhibit wit akin to that of the author William Sydney Porter. Other annual events include Eeyore's Birthday Party, Spamarama, Austin gay pride, Pride Festival & Parade in August, the Austin Reggae Festival in April, Kite Festival, Texas Craft Brewers Festival in September, Art City Austin in April, East Austin Studio Tour in November, and Carnaval Brasileiro in Austin, Texas, Carnaval Brasileiro in February. Sixth Street features annual festivals such as the Pecan Street Festival and Halloween night. The three-day Austin City Limits Music Festival has been held in
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
every year since 2002. Every year around the end of March and the beginning of April, Austin is home to "Texas Relay Weekend." Austin's Zilker Park Tree is a Christmas display made of lights strung from the top of a Moonlight tower in Zilker Park. The Zilker Tree is lit in December along with the "Trail of Lights," an Austin Christmas tradition. The Trail of Lights was canceled four times, first starting in 2001 and 2002 due to the September 11 Attacks, and again in 2010 and 2011 due to budget shortfalls, but the trail was turned back on for the 2012 holiday season.


Cuisine and breweries

Austin is perhaps best known for its Texas barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine. Franklin Barbecue is perhaps Austin's most famous barbecue restaurant; the restaurant has sold out of brisket every day since its establishment. Breakfast tacos and Chili con queso, queso are popular food items in the city; Austin is sometimes called the "home of the breakfast taco." Kolaches are a common pastry in Austin bakeries due to the large Czech Americans, Czech and German Americans, German immigrant population in Texas. The Oasis Restaurant is the largest outdoor restaurant in Texas, which promotes itself as the "Sunset Capital of Texas" with its terraced views looking West over
Lake Travis 250px, thumbnail, Aerial shot of Lake Travis. Lake Travis is a reservoir on the Colorado River in central Texas in the United States. Serving principally as a flood-control reservoir, Lake Travis' historical minimum to maximum water height change ...
. P. Terry's, an Austin-based fast food burger chain, has a loyal following among Austinites. Some other Austin-based chain restaurants include Amy's Ice Creams, Bush's Chicken, Chuy's, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks, and Schlotzky's. Austin is also home to a large number of food trucks, with 1,256 food trucks operating in 2016. The city of Austin has the second-largest number of food trucks per capita in the United States. Austin's first food hall, "Fareground," features a number of Austin-based food vendors and a bar in the ground level and courtyard of One Congress Plaza. Austin has a large craft beer scene, with over 50 microbreweries in the metro area. Drinks publication VinePair named Austin as the "top beer destination in the world" in 2019. Notable Austin-area breweries include Jester King Brewery, Live Oak Brewing Company, and Real Ale Brewing Company.


Music

As Austin's official slogan is ''The Live Music Capital of the World'', the city has a vibrant live Music of Austin, music scene with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city. Austin's music revolves around the many nightclubs on 6th Street and an annual film/music/interactive festival known as
South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest#REDIRECT South by Southwest {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
(SXSW). The concentration of restaurants, bars, and music venues in the city's downtown core is a major contributor to Austin's live music scene, as the ZIP Code encompassing the downtown entertainment district hosts the most bar or alcohol-serving establishments in the U.S. The longest-running concert music program on American television, ''
Austin City Limits ''Austin City Limits'' is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, by PBS member television station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known ...
'', is recorded at ACL Live at The Moody Theater, located in the bottom floor of the W Hotels in Austin. ''Austin City Limits'' and C3 Presents produce the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual music and art festival held at
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
in Austin. Other music events include the Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos In Tejas and Old Settler's Music Festival. Austin Lyric Opera performs multiple operas each year (including the 2007 opening of Philip Glass's ''Waiting for the Barbarians (opera), Waiting for the Barbarians'', written by University of Texas at Austin alumnus J. M. Coetzee). The Austin Symphony Orchestra performs a range of classical, pop and family performances and is led by Music Director and Conductor Peter Bay. The Austin Baroque Orchestra and La Follia Austin Baroque ensembles both give historically-informed performances of Baroque music.


Film

Austin hosts several film festivals, including the South by Southwest Film Conference, SXSW (South by Southwest) Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival, which hosts international films. A movie theater chain by the name of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema was founded in Austin in 1997; the South Lamar location of which is home to the annual week-long Fantastic Fest film festival. In 2004 the city was first in ''MovieMaker Magazine's'' annual top ten cities to live and make movies. Austin has been the location for a number of motion pictures, partly due to the influence of The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film. Films produced in Austin include ''The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'' (1974), ''Songwriter'' (1984), ''Man of the House (2005 crime comedy film), Man of the House'', ''Secondhand Lions'', ''Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2'', ''Nadine (1987 film), Nadine'', ''Waking Life'', ''Spy Kids (film), Spy Kids'', ''The Faculty'', Dazed and Confused (film), ''Dazed and Confused'', ''The Guards Themselves'', ''Wild Texas Wind'', ''Office Space'', ''The Life of David Gale'', ''Miss Congeniality (film), Miss Congeniality'', ''Doubting Thomas'', ''Slacker (film), Slacker'', ''Idiocracy'', ''The New Guy'', ''Hope Floats'', ''The Alamo (2004 film), The Alamo'', ''Blank Check (film), Blank Check'', ''The Wendall Baker Story'', ''School of Rock'', ''A Slipping-Down Life'', ''A Scanner Darkly (film), A Scanner Darkly'', ''Saturday Morning Massacre'', and most recently, the Coen brothers' ''True Grit (2010 film), True Grit'', ''Grindhouse (film), Grindhouse'', ''Machete (2010 film), Machete'', ''How to Eat Fried Worms (film), How to Eat Fried Worms'', ''Bandslam'' and ''Lazer Team''. In order to draw future film projects to the area, the Austin Film Society has converted several airplane hangars from the former Mueller Airport into filmmaking center Austin Studios. Projects that have used facilities at Austin Studios include music videos by The Flaming Lips and feature films such as ''25th Hour'' and ''Sin City (film), Sin City''. Austin also hosted the MTV series, ''The Real World: Austin'' in 2005. Fear the Walking Dead (season 4), Season 4 of the AMC (TV channel), AMC show ''Fear the Walking Dead'' was filmed in various locations around Austin in 2018. The film review websites Spill.com and Ain't It Cool News are based in Austin. Rooster Teeth Productions, creator of popular web series such as ''Red vs. Blue'' and ''RWBY'', is also located in Austin.


Theater

Austin has a strong theater culture, with dozens of itinerant and resident companies producing a variety of work. The Church of the Friendly Ghost is a volunteer-run arts organization supporting creative expression and counter-culture community. The city also has live performance theater venues such as the Zachary Scott Theatre Center, Vortex Repertory Company, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Rude Mechanicals' the Off Center, Austin Playhouse, Scottish Rite Children's Theater, Hyde Park Theatre, the Blue Theater, The Hideout Theatre, and Esther's Follies. The Victory Grill was a renowned venue on the Chitlin' Circuit. Public art and performances in the parks and on bridges are popular. Austin hosts the Fuse Box Festival each April featuring theater artists. The Paramount Theatre (Austin, Texas), Paramount Theatre, opened in downtown Austin in 1915, contributes to Austin's theater and film culture, showing classic films throughout the summer and hosting regional premieres for films such as ''Miss Congeniality (film), Miss Congeniality''. The
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
Summer Musical is a long-running outdoor musical. The Long Center for the Performing Arts is a 2,300-seat theater built partly with materials reused from the old Lester E. Palmer Auditorium. Ballet Austin is the fourth largest ballet academy in the country. Each year Ballet Austin's 20-member professional company performs ballets from a wide variety of choreographers, including their international award-winning artistic director, Stephen Mills. The city is also home to the Ballet East Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble, and the Tapestry Dance Company which performs a variety of dance genres. The Austin improvisational theatre scene has several theaters: ColdTowne Theater, The Hideout Theater, The Fallout Theater, and The Institution Theater. Austin also hosts the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which draws comedic artists in all disciplines to Austin.


Libraries

The Austin Public Library is a public library system operated by the City of Austin and consists of the Central Library on Cesar Chavez Street (Austin), César Chávez Street, the Austin History Center, 20 branches and the Recycled Reads bookstore and upcycling facility. The APL library system also has mobile libraries – bookmobile buses and a human-powered trike and trailer called "unbound: sin fronteras." The Central Library, which is an anchor to the redevelopment of the former Seaholm Power Plant site and the Shoal Creek, Austin, Texas, Shoal Creek Walk, opened on October 28, 2017. The six-story Central Library contains a living rooftop garden, reading porches, an indoor reading room, bicycle parking station, large indoor and outdoor event spaces, a gift shop, an art gallery, café, and a "technology petting zoo" where visitors can play with next-generation gadgets like 3D printing, 3D printers. In 2018, Time (magazine), Time magazine named the Austin Central Library on its list of "World's Greatest Places."


Museums and other points of interest

Museums in Austin include the Texas Memorial Museum, the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Thinkery, the Blanton Museum of Art (reopened in 2006), the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum across the street (which opened in 2000), The Contemporary Austin, the Elisabet Ney Museum and the galleries at the Harry Ransom Center. The
Texas State Capitol The Texas State Capitol is the capitol building and seat of government of the American state of Texas. Located in downtown Austin, Texas, the structure houses the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and of the Governor of Texas. Designed ...
itself is also a major tourist attraction. The Driskill Hotel, built in 1886, once owned by George W. Littlefield, and located at 6th and Brazos streets, was finished just before the construction of the Capitol building. 6th Street (Austin), Sixth Street is a musical hub for the city. The Enchanted Forest, a multi-acre outdoor music, art, and performance art space in South Austin hosts events such as fire-dancing and circus-like-acts. Austin is also home to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, which houses documents and artifacts related to the Johnson administration, including LBJ's limousine and a re-creation of the Oval Office. Locally produced art is featured at the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. The Mexic-Arte Museum is a Mexican and Mexican-American art museum founded in 1983. Austin is also home to the O. Henry House Museum, which served as the residence of O. Henry from 1893 to 1895. Farmers' markets are popular attractions, providing a variety of locally grown and often organic foods. Austin also has many odd statues and landmarks, such as the ''Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial'', the Willie Nelson statue, ''Willie Nelson'' statue, the Mangia dinosaur, the Loca Maria lady at Taco Xpress, the Hyde Park Gym's giant flexed arm, and Daniel Johnston's ''Hi, How are You?'' Jeremiah the Innocent frog mural. The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge houses the world's largest urban population of Mexican free-tailed bats. Starting in March, up to 1.5 million bats take up residence inside the bridge's expansion and contraction zones as well as in long horizontal grooves running the length of the bridge's underside, an environment ideally suited for raising their young. Every evening around sunset, the bats emerge in search of insects, an exit visible on weather radar. Watching the bat emergence is an event that is popular with locals and tourists, with more than 100,000 viewers per year. The bats migrate to Mexico each winter. The Austin Zoo, located in unincorporated area, unincorporated western
Travis County Travis County is located in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2019 was 1,273,954. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The ...
, is a Rescue coordination centre, rescue zoo that provides sanctuary to displaced animals from a variety of situations, including those involving neglect. The HOPE Outdoor Gallery is a public, three-story outdoor street art project located on Baylor Street in the Clarksville, Austin, Texas, Clarksville neighborhood. The gallery, which consists of the foundations of a failed multifamily development, is a constantly-evolving canvas of graffiti and murals. Also known as "Castle Hill" or simply "Graffiti Park," the site on Baylor Street was closed to the public in early January 2019 but remained intact, behind a fence and with an armed guard, in mid-March 2019. The gallery will build a new art park at Carson Creek Ranch in Southeast Austin.


Sports

Many Austinites support the athletic programs of the University of Texas at Austin known as the Texas Longhorns. During the 2005–06 academic term, Texas Longhorns football, Longhorns football team was named the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship, NCAA Division I FBS National Football Champion, and Texas Longhorns baseball, Longhorns baseball team won the College World Series. The Texas Longhorns play home games in the state's second-largest sports stadium, Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, seating over 101,000 fans. Baseball games are played at UFCU Disch–Falk Field. Austin is the most populous city in the United States without a Major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada, major-league professional sports team, which will change in 2021 with Austin FC entry to MLS. Minor-league professional sports came to Austin in 1996, when the Austin Ice Bats began playing at the Travis County Expo Center; they were later replaced by the American Hockey League, AHL Texas Stars. Austin has hosted a number of other professional teams, including the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League, the Austin Aztex of the United Soccer League, the Austin Outlaws in Women's Football Alliance, WFA football, and the Austin Aces in World TeamTennis, WTT tennis. Natural features like the bicycle-friendly
Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considered the border between the America ...

Texas Hill Country
and generally mild #Climate, climate make Austin the home of several endurance and multi-sport races and communities. The Capitol 10,000 is the largest race in Texas, and approximately fifth largest in the United States. The Austin Marathon has been run in the city every year since 1992. Additionally, the city is home to the largest 5 mile race in Texas, named the Turkey Trot as it is run annually on thanksgiving. Started in 1991 by Thundercloud Subs, a local sandwich chain (who still sponsors the event), the event has grown to host over 20,000 runners. All proceeds are donated to Caritas of Austin, a local charity. The Austin-founded American Swimming Association hosts several swim races around town. Austin is also the hometown of several cycling groups and the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Combining these three disciplines is a growing crop of triathlons, including the Capital of Texas Triathlon held every Memorial Day on and around Lady Bird Lake, Auditorium Shores, and Downtown Austin. Austin is home to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), a grade 1 Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, FIA specification motor racing facility which hosts the Formula One United States Grand Prix. The State of Texas has pledged $25 million in public funds annually for 10 years to pay the sanctioning fees for the race. Built at an estimated cost of $250 to $300 million, the circuit opened in 2012 and is located just east of the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. In August 2017, a new soccer-specific stadium was announced to be built between the Austin360 Amphitheater and the Grand Plaza at COTA. A professional soccer team known as Austin Bold FC will start playing in the United Soccer League in 2019. The summer of 2014 marked the inaugural season for World TeamTennis team Austin Aces, formerly Orange County Breakers of the southern California region. The Austin Aces played their matches at the Cedar Park Center northwest of Austin, and featured former professionals Andy Roddick and Marion Bartoli, as well as current WTA tour player Vera Zvonareva. The team left after the 2015 season. In 2017, Anthony Precourt, Precourt Sports Ventures announced a plan to move the Columbus Crew SC soccer franchise from Columbus, Ohio to Austin. Precourt negotiated an agreement with the City of Austin to build a $200 million privately funded stadium on public land at 10414 McKalla Place, following initial interest in Butler Shores Metropolitan Park and Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park. As part of an arrangement with the league, operational rights of Columbus Crew SC were sold in late 2018, and Austin FC was announced as Major League Soccer's 27th franchise on January 15, 2019, with the expansion team starting play in 2021.


Parks and recreation

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department received the Excellence in Aquatics award in 1999 and the Gold Medal Awards in 2004 from the National Recreation and Park Association. To strengthen the region's parks system, which spans more than , The Austin Parks Foundation (APF) was established in 1992 to develop and improve parks in and around Austin. APF works to fill the city's park funding gap by leveraging volunteers, philanthropists, park advocates, and strategic collaborations to develop, maintain and enhance Austin's parks, trails and green spaces.


Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake Lady Bird Lake (formerly, and still colloquially referred to as Town Lake) is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas, United States. The City of Austin created the reservoir in 1960 as a cooling pond for a new city power plan ...
(formerly Town Lake) is a river-like reservoir on the Colorado River. The lake is a popular recreational area for Paddleboarding, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, dragon boats, and rowing (sport), rowing shells. Austin's warm climate and the river's calm waters, nearly length and straight courses are especially popular with sport rowing, crew teams and clubs. Other recreational attractions along the shores of the lake include swimming in Deep Eddy Pool, the oldest swimming pool in Texas, and Red Bud Isle, a small island formed by the 1900 Austin Dam failure (Texas), collapse of the McDonald Dam that serves as a recreation area with a dog park and access to the lake for canoeing and fishing. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail forms a complete circuit around the lake. A local nonprofit, The Trail Foundation, is the Trail's private steward and has built amenities and infrastructure including trailheads, lakefront gathering areas, restrooms, exercise equipment, as well as doing Trailwide ecological restoration work on an ongoing basis. The Butler Trail loop was completed in 2014 with the public-private partnership 1-mile Boardwalk project. Along the shores of Lady Bird Lake is the 350 acre (142 ha)
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
, which contains large open lawns, sports fields, cross country courses, historical markers, concession stands, and picnic areas. Zilker Park is also home to numerous attractions, including the Zilker Botanical Garden, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Zilker Hillside Theater, the Austin Nature & Science Center, and the Zilker Zephyr, a gauge Ridable miniature railway, miniature railway carries passengers on a tour around the park. Auditorium Shores, an urban park along the lake, is home to the Palmer Auditorium, the Long Center for the Performing Arts, and an Dog park, off-leash dog park on the water. Both Zilker Park and Auditorium Shores have a direct view of the Downtown skyline.


Barton Creek Greenbelt

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is a public green belt managed by the City of Austin's Park and Recreation Department. The Greenbelt, which begins at
Zilker Park Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the lan ...
and stretches South/Southwest to the Woods of Westlake subdivision (land), subdivision, is characterized by large limestone cliffs, dense foliage, and shallow bodies of water. Popular activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. Some well known naturally forming swimming holes along Austin's greenbelt include Twin Falls, Sculpture Falls, Gus Fruh Pool, and Campbell's Hole. During years of heavy rainfall, the water level of the creek rises high enough to allow human swimming, swimming, High diving, cliff diving, kayaking, and tubing (recreation), tubing.


Swimming holes

Austin is home to more than 50 public pools and swimming holes. These include Deep Eddy Pool, Texas' oldest man-made swimming pool, and Barton Springs Pool, the nation's largest natural swimming pool in an urban area. Barton Springs Pool is spring-fed while Deep Eddy is well-fed. Both range in temperature from about during the winter to about during the summer. Hippie Hollow Park, a county park situated along Lake Travis, is the only officially sanctioned nude beach, clothing-optional public park in Texas. Hamilton Pool Preserve is a natural pool that was created when the dome of an underground river collapsed due to massive erosion thousands of years ago. The pool, located about 23 miles (37 km) west of Austin, is a popular summer swimming spot for visitors and residents. Hamilton Pool Preserve consists of 232 acres (0.94 km2) of protected natural habitat featuring a jade green pool into which a 50-foot (15 m) waterfall flows.


Other parks and recreation

Camping is legal on all public property except in front of City Hall since 2019. However, "Other areas where camping remains banned include any city park space, under Austin Parks and Recreation rules. That includes downtown green spaces as well as trails and greenbelts such as along Barton Creek." McKinney Falls State Park is a state park administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, located at the confluence of Onion Creek (Texas), Onion Creek and Williamson Creek. The park includes several designated hiking trails and campground, campsites with water and electric. The namesake features of the park are the scenic upper and lower falls along Onion Creek. The Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a municipal park along the shores of
Lake Austin Lake Austin, formerly Lake McDonald, is a water reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. The reservoir was formed in 1939 by the construction of Tom Miller Dam by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Lake Austin is one of the seven Highla ...
, originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a botanical garden and arboretum that features more than 800 species of native Texas plants in both garden and natural settings; the Wildflower Center is located southwest of Downtown in Circle C Ranch. Roy G. Guerrero Park is located along the Colorado River in East Riverside-Oltorf, Austin, Texas, East Riverside and contains miles of wooded trails, a sandy beach along the river, and a disc golf course. Covert Park, located on the top of Mount Bonnell, is a popular tourist destination overlooking Lake Austin and the Colorado River. The mount provides a vista for viewing the city of Austin, Lake Austin, and the surrounding hills. It was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1969, bearing Marker number 6473, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. The Austin Country Club is a private golf club located along the shores of the Colorado River, right next to the Pennybacker Bridge. Founded in 1899, the club moved to its third and present site in 1984, which features a challenging layout designed by noted course architect Pete Dye.


Government


Crime

The city had 39 homicides in 2016, the most since 1997. FBI statistics show that overall violent and property crimes dropped in Austin in 2015, but increased in suburban areas of the city. One such southeastern suburb, Del Valle, Texas, Del Valle, reported eight homicides within two months in 2016. According to 2016 Austin Police Department, APD crime statistics, the 78723 census tract had the most violent crime, with 6 murders, 25 rapes, and 81 robberies. One of the first American School shooting, school mass-shooting incidents took place in Austin on August 1, 1966, when a gunman shot 43 people, killing 13 from the top of the University of Texas tower (see University of Texas tower shooting). This event led to the formation of the SWAT team. In 2010, Andrew Joseph Stack III deliberately crashed his Piper Cherokee PA-28 into Echelon 1, a building in which the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, housing 190 employees was a lessee of. The resulting explosion killed 1 and injured 13 IRS employees, completely destroyed the building and cost the IRS a total of $38.6 million. ''(see 2010 Austin suicide attack)'' A Austin serial bombings, series of bombings occurred in Austin in March 2018. In 2020, Austin was the victim of a cyberattack by the Russian group Berserk Bear, possibly related to the 2020 United States federal government data breach.


City government

Austin is administered by an 11-member city council (10 council members elected by geographic district plus a mayor elected at large). The council is accompanied by a hired city manager under the manager-council system of municipal governance. Council and mayoral elections are non-partisan, with a runoff in case there is no majority winner. A referendum approved by voters on November 6, 2012 changed the council composition from six council members plus a mayor elected at large to the current "10+1" district system. November 2014 marked the first election under the new system. The Federal government of the United States, Federal government had forced San Antonio and Dallas to abandon at-large systems before 1987; however, the court could not show a racist pattern in Austin and upheld the city's at-large system during a 1984 lawsuit. In five elections between 1973 and 1994 Austin voters rejected single-member districts. Austin formerly operated its city hall at 128 West 8th Street. Antoine Predock and Cotera Kolar Negrete & Reed Architects designed a new city hall building, which was intended to reflect what ''The Dallas Morning News'' referred to as a "crazy-quilt vitality, that embraces everything from country music to environmental protests and high-tech swagger." The new city hall, built from recycled materials, has solar panels in its garage. The city hall, at 301 West Second Street, opened in November 2004. Steve Adler (lawyer), Steve Adler assumed the office of mayor on January 6, 2015. Law enforcement in Austin is provided by the Austin Police Department, except for state government buildings, which are patrolled by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The University of Texas Police operate from the
University of Texas The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas
. Fire protection within the city limits is provided by the Austin Fire Department, while the surrounding county is divided into twelve geographical areas known as emergency services districts, which are covered by separate regional fire departments. Emergency medical services are provided for the whole county by Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services. Mayor Steve Adler (politician), Steve Adler (Democratic Party (U.S.), D)


Other levels of government

Austin is the county seat of
Travis County Travis County is located in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2019 was 1,273,954. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The ...
and hosts the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse downtown, as well as other county government offices. The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Austin District Office in Austin. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Austin I and Austin II district parole offices in Austin. The United States Postal Service operates several post offices in Austin.


Politics

Austin is known as an enclave of Modern liberalism in the United States, liberal politics in an otherwise conservative state—so much so, that the city is sometimes sarcastically called the "People's Republic of Austin" by residents of other parts of Texas, and conservatives in the Texas Legislature. Former Governor Rick Perry referred to it as a "blueberry in the tomato soup," meaning it is a democratic city in a republican state. Since redistricting following the 2010 United States Census, Austin has been divided between six congressional districts at the federal level: Texas's 35th congressional district, Texas's 35th, Texas's 25th congressional district, Texas's 25th, Texas's 10th congressional district, Texas's 10th, Texas's 21st congressional district, Texas's 21st, Texas's 17th congressional district, Texas's 17th, and Texas's 31st congressional district, Texas's 31st. Texas's 35th congressional district is represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett. The other five districts are represented by Republicans, of whom only one, Michael McCaul of the 10th district, lives in
Travis County Travis County is located in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2019 was 1,273,954. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas. The ...
. As a result of the major party realignment that began in the 1970s, central Austin became a stronghold of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, while the suburbs tend to vote Republican Party (United States), Republican. Overall, the city is a blend of downtown liberalism and suburban conservatism but leans to the political left as a whole. The city last went to a Republican candidate in 2000 when former Texas Governor George W. Bush successfully ran for president. In 2004, the Democrats rebounded strongly as John Kerry enjoyed a 14.0% margin over Bush, who once again won Texas. City residents have been supportive of alternative candidates; for example, Ralph Nader presidential campaign, 2000, Ralph Nader won 10.4% of the vote in Austin in 2000. In 2003, the city adopted a resolution against the USA PATRIOT Act that reaffirmed constitutionally guaranteed rights. As of 2018, all six of Austin's state legislative districts are held by Democrats. Travis County was also the only county in Texas to reject Texas Constitutional Amendment Proposition 2 that effectively outlawed gay marriage and status equal or similar to it and did so by a wide margin (40% for, 60% against). Two of the candidates for president in the 2004 race called Austin home. Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party candidate, and David Cobb (activist), David Cobb of the Green Party of the United States, Green Party both had lived in Austin. During the run up to the election in November, a presidential debate was held at the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
student union involving the two candidates. While the Commission on Presidential Debates only invites Democrats and Republicans to participate in televised debates, the debate at UT was open to all presidential candidates. Austin also hosted one of the last presidential debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during their heated race for the Democratic nomination in 2008. In the 2016 presidential election, Travis County, which contains the majority of Austin, voted for Hillary Clinton (D) by a 38.9-point margin (66.3% to 27.4%).


Gerrymandering

A controversial turning point in the political history of the Austin area was the 2003 Texas redistricting. Before then, Austin had been entirely or almost entirely within the borders of a single congressional district–what was then the 10th District–for over a century. Opponents characterized the resulting district layout as excessively partisan gerrymandering, and the plan was challenged in court by Democratic and minority activists. The Supreme Court of the United States has never struck down a redistricting plan for being excessively partisan. The plan was subsequently upheld by a three-judge federal panel in late 2003, and on June 28, 2006, the matter was largely settled when the Supreme Court, in a 7–2 decision, upheld the entire congressional redistricting plan with the exception of a Hispanic-majority district in southwest Texas. This affected Austin's districting, as U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's district (U.S. Congressional District 25) was found to be insufficiently compact to compensate for the reduced minority influence in the southwest district; it was redrawn so that it took in most of southeastern Travis County and several counties to its south and east.


Environmental movement

The distinguishing political movement of Austin politics has been that of the environmental movement, which spawned the parallel neighborhood movement, then the more recent conservationist movement (as typified by the Hill Country Conservancy), and eventually the current ongoing debate about "sense of place" and preserving the Austin quality of life. Much of the environmental movement has matured into a debate on issues related to saving and creating an Austin "sense of place." In 2012, Austin became just one of a few cities in
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
to ban the sale and use of plastic bags. However, the ban ended in 2018 due to a court ruling that regarded all bag bans in the state to contravene the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act.


Education

Over 43% of Austin residents age 25 and over hold a bachelor's degree, while 16% hold a graduate degree. In 2009, greater Austin ranked eighth among metropolitan areas in the United States for bachelor's degree attainment with nearly 39% of area residents over 25 holding a bachelor's degree.


Higher education

Austin is home to the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
, the flagship institution of the University of Texas System with over 40,000 undergraduate students and 11,000 graduate students. Other institutions of higher learning in Austin include St. Edward's University,
Huston–Tillotson University Huston–Tillotson University (HTU) is a private historically black university in Austin, Texas. Established in 1875, Huston–Tillotson University was the first institution of higher learning in Austin. The university is affiliated with the Unite ...
, Austin Community College, Concordia University Texas, Concordia University, the Seminary of the Southwest, the Acton School of Business, Texas Health and Science University, University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, Austin Graduate School of Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Virginia College's Austin Campus, The Art Institute of Austin, Southern Careers Institute of Austin, Austin Conservatory and a branch of Park University. The University of Texas System and Texas State University System are headquartered in downtown Austin.


Public primary and secondary education

The Austin area has 29 public school districts, 17 charter schools and 69 private schools. Most of the city is served by the Austin Independent School District. This district includes notable schools such as the magnet Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin, Texas (LASA), which, by test scores, has consistently been within the top thirty high schools in the nation, as well as The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. Some parts of Austin are served by other districts, including Round Rock Independent School District, Round Rock, Pflugerville Independent School District, Pflugerville, Leander Independent School District, Leander, Manor Independent School District, Manor, Del Valle Independent School District, Del Valle, Lake Travis Independent School District, Lake Travis, Hays Consolidated Independent School District, Hays, and Eanes Independent School District, Eanes Independent school district, ISD. Four of the metro's major public school systems, representing 54% of area enrollment, are included in ''Expansion Management'' magazine's latest annual education quality ratings of nearly 2,800 school districts nationwide. Two districts—Eanes and Round Rock—are rated "gold medal," the highest of the magazine's cost-performance categories.


Private and alternative education

Austin has a large network of private and alternative education institutions for children in preschool-12th grade exists. Austin is also home to child developmental institutions.


Media

Austin's main daily newspaper is the ''Austin American-Statesman''. ''The Austin Chronicle'' is Austin's alternative weekly, while ''The Daily Texan'' is the student newspaper of the
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT Austin, UT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted int ...

University of Texas at Austin
. Austin's business newspaper is the weekly ''Austin Business Journal''. ''The Austin Monitor'' is an online outlet that specializes in insider reporting on City Hall, Travis County Commissioners Court, Austin Independent School District, AISD, and other related local civics beats. The ''Monitor'' is backed by the nonprofit Capital of Texas Media Foundation. Austin also has numerous smaller special interest or sub-regional newspapers such as the ''Oak Hill Gazette'', ''Westlake Picayune'', ''Hill Country News'', ''Round Rock Leader'', ''NOKOA'', and ''The Villager'' among others. ''Texas Monthly'', a major regional magazine, is also headquartered in Austin. The ''Texas Observer'', a muckraking biweekly political magazine, has been based in Austin for over five decades. The weekly ''Community Impact Newspaper'' published by John Garrett, former publisher of the ''Austin Business Journal'' has five regional editions and is delivered to every house and business within certain ZIP codes and all of the news is specific to those ZIP codes. Another statewide publication based in Austin is ''The Texas Tribune'', an on-line publication focused on Texas politics. The ''Tribune'' is "user-supported" through donations, a business model similar to public radio. The editor is Evan Smith (journalist), Evan Smith, former editor of ''Texas Monthly''. Smith co-founded the ''Texas Tribune'', a nonprofit, non-partisan public media organization, with Austin venture capitalist John Thornton and veteran journalist Ross Ramsey. Commercial radio stations include KASE-FM (Country music, country), KVET (AM), KVET (sports), KVET-FM (country), KKMJ-FM (adult contemporary), KLBJ (AM), KLBJ (talk), KLBJ-FM (classic rock), KTSN (AM), KTSN (progressive country), KFMK (contemporary Christian), KOKE-FM (progressive country) and KPEZ (rhythmic contemporary). KUT-FM is the leading Public broadcasting, public radio station in Texas and produces the majority of its content locally. KOOP (FM) is a volunteer-run radio station with more than 60 locally produced programs. KVRX is the student-run college radio station of the University of Texas at Austin with a focus on local and non-mainstream music and community programming. Other listener-supported stations include KAZI (urban contemporary), and KMFA (Classical music, classical). Network television stations (affiliations in parentheses) include KTBC (TV), KTBC (Fox Owned-and-operated station, O&O), KVUE (ABC), KXAN (NBC), KEYE-TV (CBS), KLRU (PBS), KNVA (The CW), KBVO (TV), KBVO (My Network TV), and KAKW (Univision Owned-and-operated station, O&O). KLRU produces several award-winning locally produced programs such as ''
Austin City Limits ''Austin City Limits'' is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, by PBS member television station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known ...
''. Alex Jones, journalist, radio show host and filmmaker, produces his talk show ''The Alex Jones Show'' in Austin which broadcasts nationally on more than 60 AM and FM radio stations in the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, WWCR Radio shortwave and XM Radio: Channel 166.


Transportation

In 2009, 72.7% of Austin (city) commuters drove alone, with other mode shares being: 10.4% carpool, 6% work from home, 5% use transit, 2.3% walk, and 1% bicycle. In 2016, the American Community Survey estimated modal shares for Austin (city) commuters of 73.5% for driving alone, 9.6% for carpooling, 3.6% for riding transit, 2% for walking, and 1.5% for cycling. The city of Austin has a lower than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 6.9 percent of Austin households lacked a car, and decreased slightly to 6 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Austin averaged 1.65 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8. In mid-2019, TomTom ranked Austin as having the worst traffic congestion in Texas, as well as 19th nationally and 179th globally.


Highways

Central Austin lies between two major north–south freeways: Interstate 35 in Texas, Interstate 35 to the east and the State Highway Loop 1 (Texas), Mopac Expressway (Loop 1) to the west. U.S. Highway 183 (Texas), U.S. Highway 183 runs from northwest to southeast, and State Highway 71 (Texas), State Highway 71 crosses the southern part of the city from east to west, completing a rough "box" around central and north-central Austin. Austin is the largest city in the United States to be served by only one Interstate Highway. U.S. Highway 290 (Texas), U.S. Highway 290 enters Austin from the east and merges into Interstate 35. Its highway designation continues south on I-35 and then becomes part of Highway 71, continuing to the west. Highway 290 splits from Highway 71 in southwest Austin, in an interchange known as "The Y." Highway 71 continues to Brady, Texas, and Highway 290 continues west to intersect Interstate 10 in Texas, Interstate 10 near Junction, Texas, Junction. Interstate 35 continues south through
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to Laredo, Texas, Laredo on the Texas-Mexico border. Interstate 35 is the highway link to the Dallas-Fort Worth metro-plex in northern Texas. There are two links to Houston, Texas (Highway 290 and State Highway 71/Interstate 10). Highway 183 leads northwest of Austin toward Lampasas, Texas, Lampasas. In the mid-1980s, construction was completed on State Highway Loop 360 (Texas), Loop 360, a scenic highway that curves through the hill country from near the 71/Mopac interchange in the south to near the 183/Mopac interchange in the north. The iconic Pennybacker Bridge, also known as the "360 Bridge," crosses Lake Austin to connect the northern and southern portions of Loop 360.


Tollways

State Highway 130 (Texas), State Highway 130 is a bypass route designed to relieve traffic congestion, starting from Interstate 35 just north of Georgetown and running along a parallel route to the east, where it bypasses
Round Rock Round Rock is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, in Williamson County (with a small part in Travis County), which is a part of the Greater Austin metropolitan area. Its population was 99,887 at the 2010 census. The city straddles the Balcones Es ...
, Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels, Texas, New Braunfels before ending at Interstate 10 east of Seguin, Texas, Seguin, where drivers could drive west to return to Interstate 35 in San Antonio, Texas, San Antonio. The first segment was opened in November 2006, which was located east of Austin–Bergstrom International Airport at Austin's southeast corner on State Highway 71 (Texas), State Highway 71. Highway 130 runs concurrently with Highway 45 from Pflugerville, Texas, Pflugerville on the north until it reaches US Highway 183, US 183 well south of Austin, at which point State Highway 45 (Texas), SR 45 continues west. The entire route of State Highway 130 is now complete. The final leg opened on November 1, 2012. The highway is noted for having a maximum speed limit of for the entire route. The 41-mile section of the toll road between Mustang Ridge and Seguin has a posted speed limit of , the highest posted speed limits in the United States, speed limit in the United States. State Highway 45 (Texas), State Highway 45 runs east–west from just south of Highway 183 in Cedar Park, Texas, Cedar Park to 130 inside Pflugerville, Texas, Pflugerville (just east of Round Rock). A tolled extension of State Highway Loop 1 was also created. A new southeast leg of Highway 45 has recently been completed, running from US 183 and the south end of Segment 5 of TX-130 south of Austin due west to I-35 at the FM 1327/Creedmoor exit between the south end of Austin and Buda, Texas, Buda. The 183A Toll Road opened in March 2007, providing a tolled alternative to U.S. 183 through the cities of Leander, Texas, Leander and Cedar Park, Texas, Cedar Park. Currently under construction is a change to East US 290 from US 183 to the town of Manor. Officially, the tollway will be dubbed Tollway 290 with "Manor Expressway" as nickname. Despite the overwhelming initial opposition to the toll road concept when it was first announced, all three toll roads have exceeded revenue projections.


Airports

Austin's airport is Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) (List of airports by IATA code: A#AU, IATA code AUS), located southeast of the city. The airport is on the site of the former Bergstrom Air Force Base, which was closed in 1993 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process. Previously, Robert Mueller Municipal Airport was the commercial airport of Austin. Austin Executive Airport serves the general aviation coming into the city, as well as other smaller airports outside of the city center.


Intercity bus service

Greyhound Lines operates the Austin Station at 916 East Koenig Lane, just east of Airport Boulevard and adjacent to Highland Mall. Turimex Internacional operates bus service from Austin to Nuevo Laredo and on to many destinations in Mexico. The Turimex station is located at 5012 East 7th Street, near Shady Lane. Megabus (North America), Megabus offers daily service to San Antonio, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston from a stop at 15th St and San Jacinto.


Intercity rail service

An Amtrak ''Texas Eagle'' Austin (Amtrak station), station is located in west downtown. Railway segments between Austin and San Antonio have been evaluated for a proposed regional passenger rail project called "Lone Star Rail". However, failure to come to an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad, the tracks' current owner, ended the project in 2016.


Public transportation

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("Capital Metro") provides public transportation to the city, primarily by bus. Some heavily utilized routes feature articulated buses. Capital Metro opened a regional rail, commuter rail system known as Capital MetroRail on March 22, 2010. The system operates on existing freight rail lines and serves downtown Austin, East Austin, North Central Austin, Northwest Austin, and Leander in its first phase. Future expansion could include a line to Manor and another to Round Rock. Capital Metro has also explored building a light rail system to connect the MetroRail line to key destinations in Central Austin. On August 7, 2014, the Austin City Council unanimously voted to place a $600 million light rail bond proposal on the November 4, 2014 ballot; the ballot measure was voted down. Capital Metro returned in 2020 with a major transit expansion plan called Project Connect, which was comfortably passed by voters on the November 2020 ballot. At a total project cost of $10 billion, the Project Connect system plan proposes 3 new light rail lines, 1 new commuter rail line, several new MetroRapid lines, more park-and-rides, more express bus routes, and improvements to the existing local bus system and fare technology. Capital Area Rural Transportation System connects Austin with outlying suburbs. In Summer 2018, Capital Metro began testing autonomous vehicle, autonomous electric vehicle, electric shuttles on Downtown streets. The pilot program tested two driverless bus models from EasyMile and Navya SAS, Navya on a route from the Austin Convention Center to the Austin Central Library. Capital Metro is also considering implementing full-size driverless buses, likely to be included on a 2020 transportation referendum.


Ride sharing

Austin is served by several Ridesharing company, ride-sharing companies including Uber, Lyft, and RideAustin. On May 9, 2016, Uber and Lyft voluntarily ceased operations in Austin in response to a city ordinance that required drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies to get fingerprint checks, to have their vehicles labeled, and to not pick up and drop off in certain city lanes. Uber and Lyft resumed service in the summer of 2017. The city was previously served by Fasten (company), Fasten until they ceased all operations in the city in March 2018. The City of Austin is partnered with Austin B-Cycle, a nonprofit bike-sharing service with 63 stations in and around downtown for human-powered and electric bicycles. In 2018, LimeBike, Lime began offering dockless bikes, which do not need to be docked at a designated station. In 2018, scooter-sharing system, scooter-sharing companies Lime (transportation company), Lime and Bird (company), Bird debuted Scooter-sharing system, rentable electric scooters in Austin. The city briefly banned the scooters - which began operations before the city could implement a permitting system - until the city completed development of their "dockless mobility" permitting process on May 1, 2018. Dockless electric scooters and bikes are banned from Austin city parks and the Ann and Roy Butler Trail and boardwalk. For the 2018 Austin City Limits Music Festival, the city of Austin offered a designated parking area for dockless bikes and scooters. Austin is also served by Electric Cab of North America's six-passenger electric car, electric cabs that operate on a flexible route from the Kramer station, Kramer MetroRail Station to The Domain (Austin, Texas), Domain Northside and from the Downtown station (Capital MetroRail), Downtown MetroRail station and MetroRapid stops to locations between the Austin Convention Center and near Sixth and Bowie streets by Whole Foods. The city also has access to carsharing services from Zipcar.


Cycling and walking

Austin is known as the most bike-friendly city in Texas, and was ranked the #7 city in the US by Bicycling Magazine in 2016. The city's bike advocacy organization is Bike Austin. Bike Texas, a state-level advocacy organization, also has its main office in Austin. Bicycles are a popular transportation choice among students, faculty, and staff at the University of Texas. According to a survey done at the University of Texas, 57% of commuters bike to campus. A 2013 study by Walk Score ranked Austin 35th most walkable of the 50 largest U.S. cities. More recently, Walk Score rated some Austin neighborhoods among the most walkable in Texas. Downtown Austin scored 88 points out of a possible 100, with the West Campus neighborhood scoring 87, and East Austin scoring 81.


Notable people


International relations

Austin has two types of relationships with other cities, Sister city, sister and friendship.


Sister cities

Austin's sister cities are: * City of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (1983) * Angers, France (2011) * Antalya, Turkey (2009) * Gwangmyeong, South Korea (2001) * London Borough of Hackney, Hackney, England, United Kingdom (2014) * Koblenz, Germany (1991) * Lima, Peru (1981) * Maseru, Lesotho (1978) * Ōita (city), Ōita, Japan (1990) * Orlu, Imo, Orlu, Nigeria (2000) * Pune, India (2018) * Saltillo, Mexico (1968) * Taichung, Taiwan (1986) * Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Xishuangbanna, China (1997) The cities of Belo Horizonte, Brazil and Elche, Spain were formerly sister cities, but upon a vote of the Austin City Council in 1991, their status was de-activated.


Friendship cities

Covenants between two city leaders: * Siem Reap, Cambodia (2011) * Tehuacán, Mexico (2019) * Villefranche-sur-Mer, France (2010)


See also

* Easton Park, a planned unit development in the southeast portion of Austin * List of companies based in Austin, Texas * List of people from Austin, Texas * National Register of Historic Places listings in Travis County, Texas * Williamson Creek Greenbelt


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * *
AustinTexas.gov
- official city website
Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau

Austin Chamber of Commerce

Historic photographs from the Austin History Center
hosted by th
Portal to Texas History
* *


Further reading

* Long, Joshua (2010). ''Weird City, Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas''. University of Texas Press. * * Swearingen Jr., William Scott ''Environmental City: People, Place, and the Meaning of Modern Austin'' (University of Texas Press; 2010) 273 pages; traces the history of environmentalism in the Texas capital, which has been part of a larger effort to preserve Austin's quality of life and sense of place.


External links


Austin American-Statesman

Austin Chronicle

Austin Community Impact

Austin Concert News

Fox 7 Austin

KVUE Austin
{{Authority control Austin, Texas, Cities in Texas Cities in Hays County, Texas Cities in Travis County, Texas Cities in Williamson County, Texas University towns in the United States County seats in Texas Cities in Greater Austin Planned cities in the United States Populated places established in 1835 1839 establishments in the Republic of Texas Academic enclaves Capitals of former nations