Metropolitan regions are home to 9 in 10 Texans, and they are the state's economic engines. They need a slate of policies that improves the quality of life for all their residents—and at the same time drives their competitiveness.
The state's low-tax, low-regulation environment may be good for business, but Texas is under-investing in places and people in the state's metropolitan areas, which is unsustainable as the state continues to grow rapidly. Texas's economic future depends on addressing the challenges facing its metro areas.
The LBJ Urban Lab at The University of Texas at Austin, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University and the George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative convened the state's top urban policy researchers for a summit addressing the most important issues in Texas cities: economic development, land use, housing, infrastructure and transportation.
Session 1: Why a Texas Metro Blueprint?
Henry Cisneros, Co-Chief Investment Officer and Co-Founder, American Triple I Partners
Margaret Spellings, President and CEO, Texas 2036
Bill Fulton, Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University (moderator)
Session 2: Closing the Urban Digital Divide
Amanda Edwards, President and CEO, The Community Based Solutions Firm
Kirk Watson, Founding Dean, Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston
Cullum Clark, Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative (moderator)
Session 3: Building a More Affordable Texas
Dr. Myriam Igoufe, Vice President of Development and Research, Housing Solutions for North Texas
Jack Matthews, President, Matthews Southwest Leilah Powell, Executive Director, LISC San Antonio
Kyle Shelton, Deputy Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University (moderator)
Session 4: Advancing Economic Prosperity
Laura Huffman, President and CEO, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
Dee Margo, Former Mayor, City of El Paso
Miguel Solis, Executive Director, Coalition for a New Dallas
Steven Pedigo, LBJ Urban Lab Director and Professor of Practice, LBJ School of Public Affairs (moderator)