Austin is the third most influential city in the country, according to a new survey of U.S. mayors.
Boston University has released the results of the "21st Century Mayors Leadership Survey," a questionnaire that grilled 68 mayors from across the U.S. about policy development. When asked about key influences, mayors said they look to their staff and other cities for inspiration. Austin is cited among those influential cities, nabbing the No. 3 spot behind New York and Boston, which tied for No. 1.
"Republican mayors’ top two most cited cities are Austin and Portland," said the study.
Though there is no data on exactly which Austin policies inspire other cities, influential topics include "no kill animal shelter," "urban university campus development" and "annual music festival[s] like South by Southwest."
The study also examined if political party influenced where mayors found inspiration. While Democratic mayors name-checked traditionally left-leaning cities like New York and Boston, Republican mayors crossed party lines much more often. "Interestingly, Republican mayors’ top two most cited cities are Austin and Portland [Oregon], suggesting that Republican mayors do not simply look to other right-leaning cities," said the study.
Rounding out the top five most influential cities in the U.S. are Denver at No. 4; and Portland, Oregon at No. 5. Dallas, which came in at No. 17, was the only other city in Texas to make the list.