Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2013


Great Plains Research 23.1 (Spring 2013).


Copyright © 2013 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Austin, Texas, by most accounts, is one of the most attractive cities in America. It is said by many people and magazines to be one of the best cities in which to live. Outside of Silicon Valley, it possesses some of the best high-tech companies and the most generous investors in high technology. Young people from across the country attend the University of Texas at Austin- and few of them ever seem to leave. It has become the Urbantopia of our age, the model for the new "creative economy."

But is it? How much of what we know about Austin is simply its branding, not its substance? This book by Joseph Straubhaar and his colleagues from the University of Texas suggests that all is not perfect in Urbantopia.