Sunday, October 20, 2013

Industrial Evolution in Austin, Texas: From Environmental Hazards to a High-Tech Explosion (Abstract)

Grady Sampley


As the Capital of Texas, Austin has always been a major epicenter and leader for  Texas economic and cultural progression. Generally, Texas has been known for their large-scale  manufacturing industry wherein the petrochemical sector takes the lead. This highly industrial  economy and culture carries along with it a variety of environmentally hazardous byproducts.  Austin has also historically absorbed this kind of large-scale manufacturing industry as will be  shown in this project via GIS applications using the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI); however, as it  has advanced into modern times, Austin has moved towards a more innovative, creative, eco-friendly, and high-tech culture and economy. This budding cultural and economic change has resulted from the influx of young and educated populations who are mainly attracted to Austin’s unique and recently fostered progressive reputation which, in turn, prompted the explosion of its high-technology industrial sector generally due to the abundance of suitable potential employees. To show this explosion of high-tech industry within the Austin area my project uses the “Directory of Austin-Area High-Tech Firms” produced by The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in unison with GIS mapping applications. Through the utilization of both TRI and this directory, my project will illustrate the evolution of Austin’s Industrial landscape from a large-scale manufacturing industry – along with its environmentally hazardous byproducts – towards a much more clean, creative, and innovative high-tech industry. With these illustrations, my project analyzes the positive and negative implications of this industrial evolution on Austin’s socio-economic landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment