The solution we propose is to reduce congestion and commuting by creating an East Austin technology hub networked to multiple area employers. We propose to survey and analyze the areas’ knowledge-based workforce and their related commuting patterns. The resulting benefits impact assessment will also recommend the next steps to demonstrate how distributed technologies and a technology hub will give East Austin residents access to more employers, without long commutes.
The Sustainable CoWork Design Initiative (SCDI) offers an alternative urban design approach to reduce driving times and congestion while increasing the efficiency of the labor and housing markets within the Austin - Round Rock MSA (and beyond). The proposed solution involves Optimal Design and Implementation of Sustainable CoWorking Centers (SCCs). This solution uniquely leverages distributed technologies and infrastructure to achieve specific objectives. In particular:
● Sustainable CoWorking Centers (SCCs) are large, multi-tenant, satellite office spaces configured with next-generation IT infrastructures for connectivity of communications, and will be designed to office similar groups of employees (w.r.t. job description and home location) from multiple public and private sector employers.
● The location of each SCC will be optimally chosen based on traffic congestion routes and high-density labor clusters, to efficiently reduce driving and congestion-related costs within the Austin-Round Rock MSA, while providing incentives to firms to participate. Our preliminary calculations estimate the City of Austin could save as much as $300 Million annually in congestion costs with a 10% opt-in to the program. This will benefit the entire MSA, starting with East Austin.
● Target industries and relevant job segments will be identified by administering a local survey of employers and employees. The development and integration of SCCs will help employers reduce costs (lower real estate and reduced pressure on wages) by being able to offer more desirable office locations closer to employees’ homes. SCC's allow employers to attract, hire and retain talent in more local communities while improving the work-life balance for their employees. This distributed design approach will help many workers who have been left out of better job opportunities due to the time and expense of long commutes.
We will use the funding we receive to produce an impact analysis of the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits of locating a Sustainable CoWork Center (SCC) in East Austin that is networked to several major Austin-area employers. Creating centers of sufficient densities increases the economies of scale to integrate advanced immersive technologies, i.e. virtual and holographic telepresence. The secure network architecture assures the security of protected cloud services and enhances responsiveness and continuity of business operations under emergency circumstances. In East Austin, these economies of scale will create other distributed services integration opportunities, for example, workforce development, on-going education, and remote clinic services, to name a few. Developing networked work centers is a scalable method to reduce congestion at specific crucial choke points in the transportation network. Through this project, we aim to create an awareness that, as the area grows, there is a way to strategically reduce congestion in critical areas in Austin, reduce auto emissions, improve work-life balance and expand job opportunities to people in local communities while creating a resilient working environment that can respond to possible emergency circumstances.
Junfeng Jiao, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, Urban Information Lab
Devrim Ikizler, Ph.D., Founder & President, Intelligent Analytics & Modeling
Michael Shear – Director & Roya-Lei Stanley - Director Broadband Planning Initiatives - 501(c)(3)
For further information, please contact the Urban Information Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org