May 22, 2018 - 04:00 pm CDT

Take a moment to read the headline of this New York Times article then participate in the poll below.

New York Times article headline reads "Booming Austin Fears It Will Lose Its Charms"

 

click "see previous responses" to view what other people are guessing

 

 


 

If you guessed a date less than 30 years ago, you wouldn't be the only one. The New York Times article entitled "Booming Austin Fears It Will Lose Its Charms" was published on October 8, 1983. This article is eerily relevant today and telling of Austinites' long-standing love and protectiveness of our city. It also points out how our conversations about growth are starting to sound like a broken record.

Highlights from this blast from the past include:

 

- fears that Austin will become another Houston meaning unbridled urban development, clogged freeways, sprawl, pollution, and garish commercial strips

- Austin being widely regarded as the most livable of Texas cities

- a desire for a long-range road map to see beyond the weekly battles over zoning and development that consume the City Council

- discussion of how the city’s previous attempt to limit growth backfired by occurring nevertheless and in ways that Austin couldn’t control

- references to being a town with a conscience and Austin’s granola army

- calls to embrace growth, manage it, and benefit from it

- reminders that low density equates to high cost

- former Councilmember John Treviño’s warning against building an elitist community and excluding certain communities’ ability to live in the city

 

 

If like us, you find yourself experiencing a bit of déjà vu, you would agree that many of the article’s major points still resonate in today’s Austin. Austinites today certainly are concerned about increasing unaffordability and commute times. We are worried about damaging our natural resources and losing the character of our historic neighborhoods. Longtime residents mourn the loss Austin’s weirdness. Nevertheless, Austin has managed to hang on to enough of its charms over the past three decades to nearly triple our population1. Austin is frequently cited as one of the best places to live, not only in Texas, but in the country. We are praised for our strong job market, outdoor recreation, startup scene, retiree-friendliness, you name it! As long-time Austinites tend to focus on their perception of what we lose as we gain newcomers, our newest neighbors flock to this city full of hope and excitement for the opportunities Austin holds for them. They see a city booming with creativity, innovation, prosperity, live music, small businesses, and alluring natural beauty.

 

 

We face many of the same questions that were posed in 1983, but we have the ability to step out of the time loop we appear to be in. For one, we now have a “long-range road map” for Austin. The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, adopted unanimously by Austin City Council in 2012 and created with input from thousands of Austinites, established a community vision for the city for the next 30 years and lays out a framework to help us realize it. Imagine Austin outlines a way to embrace and manage growth so that we can grow gracefully and retain the things that we love about our city. It points us towards becoming a city of complete communities, where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all.

image: cover of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan

 

Over the next few months, we will be sharing a series of related blogs touching on the subject of Austin’s growth and planning. These hopefully will serve to spark conversations and encourage deeper thought around Austin’s past, present, and future. For now, we would like to leave you with some discussion questions for you, your friends, family, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, community members, and others:

 

- What are Austin’s charms?

- Which issues in the article are still prevalent in Austin today? Why?

- What challenges are new in Austin today that didn’t affect us in 1983?

- What makes a city “livable” to you?

- What could we gain as a city when we grow? What could we lose as we grow?

- Is it possible to limit growth in Austin? Should we try to limit growth in Austin? What are some potential consequences we may face?

- What are things you wouldn’t trade about Austin for anything? What are some tradeoffs that you consider in order to experience a better Austin?

 

 

Sep 26, 2017 - 01:20 pm CDT

 

On June 15, 2017, Imagine Austin - the city's comprehensive plan through 2040 - turned five years old. The plan, adopted unanimously by City Council in 2012 and created with input from thousands of Austinites, established a community vision of a city of complete communities where all Austinites have access to the amenities, transportation, services, and opportunities that fulfill their material, social, and economic needs. These communities support all ages, identities, and cultures while preserving our unique community spirit. These places are livable, safe, affordable, and accessible; and they promote healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and inclusion.

The Imagine Austin Year 5 Progress Report provides a valuable opportunity for reflection on the City of Austin's progress towards our community vision. The report contains the stories of progress, challenges, and lessons learned from each of the 8 Priority Programs, which coordinate the implementation of the plan's policies, actions, and overall vision through diverse, interdisciplinary teams. The Progress Report also contains the first look at the indicators attributed to Imagine Austin, which help us to measure progress towards the outcomes desired by the community. The web-based Imagine Austin Dashboard contains the results, analysis, and important context for these indicators.

Year 5 marks an important milestone for Imagine Austin, and though the Progress Report highlights many of our hard-earned successes, it also paints a picture of the long road ahead of us. Imagine Austin laid out a vision for our community, one where Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity; where diversity and creativity are celebrated; where community needs and values are recognized; and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all. In order for us to achieve that vision, we must continue to work together as a community to take collective action to bring us closer to that future. We know that Austin's greatest asset is its people: passionate about our city, committed to its improvement, and determined to see our vision become a reality.

Cheers to five years, Imagine Austin!

 

 

Read the Imagine Austin Year 5 Progress Report

Explore the Imagine Austin Indicator Dashboard

View and download the indicator data here.

Watch the presentation to Planning Commission

View and download the presentation slides

 

Having trouble accessing the Progress Report document?

 

May 26, 2017 - 11:57 am CDT

 

You might have read in the news recently that new development is headed for Austin's south shore, directly across from downtown. In fact, economic forecasts indicate that over fifty acres and at least $1.2 billion in private reinvestments are likely to redevelop within the next 15 years. But given existing regulations and the current lack of infrastructure in the area, this redevelopment will likely do very little to improve connectivity or expand open space.

To address the challenges and opportunities ahead, the City of Austin launched a small-area planning initiative in 2012 and commenced work through the City's Urban Design Division. The South Central Waterfront (SCW) Initiative set out to create an aspirational, yet economically-viable vision whereby private redevelopment and public improvements work in tandem to create a lively, attractive, and connected place.

Capping a four year effort, the Urban Design Division completed the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan (hereafter, the SCW Plan) to provide a visionary yet financially feasible roadmap for development. In June of 2016, the Austin City Council adopted the SCW Plan as an amendment to Imagine Austin, the city's comprehensive plan. Below are a few highlights of the planning process and resulting community vision.

 

 

Collaboration + Engagement

Having no outside resources, the Urban Design Division initiated and sustained a planning effort through grants and partnerships, including:

  • (2012) An award from the American Institute of Architects' Sustainable Design Assessment Team program;
  • (2013) The first of man collaborations with The University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, Texas Futures Lab;
  • (2013) A grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development, Sustainable Communities program;
  • (2014) A grant from the National Association of Realtors to support community engagement;
  • (2015-2016) An award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Greening of America's Capitals program. The EPC partnered with the city for further charrettes and selected and hired CMG Landscape Architects, based in San Francisco, to develop conceptual designs for the public realm plan, using green infrastructure as the organizing feature.
  • (2015-2016) City consultant services of a Texas-based landscape architecture firm, Asakura Robinson, the financial consultant, ECONorthwest, and urban design consultant, McCann Adams Studio, to finalize the plan.

Over the course of these efforts, over sixteen-hundred stakeholders were engaged through workshops, public lectures, walking tours, and charrettes. The series of partnerships and engagement styles resulted in a grassroots buy-in from the community.

 

Creativity + Innovation

The SCW Plan is based on three interrelated approaches, called Frameworks:

Physical: This framework retrofits the district with an interconnected network of streets, blocks, parks and plazas, and open spaces. The physical framework considers: circulation and connectivity, open space, sustainability and green infrastructure, urban design, and distrcit-wide water management to conserve resources and promote water quality.

 

Financial: The financial framework is a comprehensive strategy of capital investments, development incentives, financial tools,a nd public-private partnerships. This strategy provides $100 million to realize the public realm plan and $65 million gap financings to ensure that 20% of the new housing units are affordable.

City Leadership: This framework includes: strategic public investments, institution of recommended regulations, programs, and financial tools, and pursuit of public-private partnerships to build, mange, and maintain the expanded public realm and affordable housing.

 

 

Effectiveness + Results

The SCW Plan provides a place-specific, highly designed example of how many current city policies, Imagine Austin principles, and best practices for sustainability will look like as applied to a redevelopment of a whole district, as opposed to a single site. At final buildout, the SCW Plan results in a gain of 20 acres of new and improved, connected public realm, and 530 units of affordable housing. Other target goals are also identified in terms of reduction of impervious cover, expansion of tree canopy, and quantity of bike and trail connectivity. Likewise, the SCW Plan will implement a battery of finance tools, affordable housing programs, and a district management regime that can be replicated and applied to other rapidly changing areas in our community.

 

Awards + Recognition

The SCW Plan has received recognition by several local and national organizations. Awards include:

  • 2017 Award for Excellence in Sustainability | American Planning Association's Sustainable Communities Division
  • 2017 Honor Award for Planning & Analysis | American Society of Landscape Architects, Texas Chapter
  • 2016 Plan of the Year | American Planning Association, Texas Central Chapter

 

Bringing the Vision to Life

Now that the SCW Plan has been adopted, the real work begins. The SCW Plan proposed a battery of Next Steps that will need to be taken to make the Vision a reality. The City is busy continuing the work and building upon the partnerships that the planning process forged, and lots of exciting things are in the pipeline to implement the SCW Plan recommendations.

Stay tuned and join in as we begin the implementation of the SCW Plan. The best way to stay informed as the plan moves forward is to SUSCRIBE for updates.

 

Subscribe to the SCW mailing list

 

May 12, 2016 - 11:24 am CDT

On Saturday May 7th, 2016, Imagine Austin and Austin American Institute of Architects designvoice committee partnered to present Walk the Talk - A tour and panel discussion on 'missing middle' housing in the Clarksville and Old West Austin neighborhoods. The goal was to present an educational and informative program that fostered open dialouge and visual cues on the benefits and opportunities of encouraging a variety of housing types, commonly referred to as 'missing middle' housing, in Austin. These housing types include duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes and accessory dwelling units.

We're sharing the presentations, and tour map, here in hopes of continuing to foster that open dialouge and to continue the conversation. This was the third of three events on missing middle. The presentations are in .pdf format, and require Adobe Acrobat to open.

Tour Map

Presentations

Jim Robertson - City of Austin/CodeNEXT project manager

Jessi Koch - City of Austin/Neighborhood Housing & Community Development

Mary Reed - Clarksville Community Development Corporation

John Henneberger - Texas Low Income Housing Information Service - John did not utilize a presentation for his portion of the talk, but the text of his speech is available via the link.

Oct 26, 2015 - 03:59 pm CDT

On Saturday October 17th, 2015, Imagine Austin and Austin American Institute of Architects designvoice committee partnered to present Walk the Talk - A tour and panel discussion on 'missing middle' housing in Austin. The goal was to present an educational and informative program that fostered open dialouge and visual cues on the benefits and opportunities of encouraging a variety of housing types, commonly referred to as 'missing middle' housing, in Austin. These housing types include duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes and accessory dwelling units.

We're sharing the presentations and the recorded video here in hopes of continuing to foster that open dialouge and to continue the conversation. This was the first of three events on missing middle, so please keep an eye out for Imagine Austin News for more information. The presentations are in .pdf format, and require Adobe Acrobat to open.

Tour Map

Jake Wegmann, Assistant Professor | Community and Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin -"American Home"

Terry Mitchell, President | Momark Development - "Why is there an Affordable Housing Crisis? And What Can We Do About It?"

Kelly Weiss, CEO & Co-Founder | Community Wheelhouse - "The Missing Middle"

Lisa Byrd, Executive Director | African American Cultural Heritage District - "Six Sqaure - Austin’s Black Cultural District"

Tom Hatch, Principal | h + o architects - "Missing Middle Housing"

 

 

Aug 24, 2015 - 11:37 am CDT

Can an alley be more than just an alley? 

This is the question that has been posed to stakeholders surrounding the Rainey Alley over the last few months.  For some, alleys are no more than back-of-house lanes to bring supplies in and remove trash.  To others they are unique assets of our shared public realm and should be activated with pedestrian centric activities.  To date, the Downtown Commission’s Alley Working Group and Austin’s Public Works Department have received 241 answers to this question; however, four local design teams donated their services to answer our question in graphic form. During our Rainey Alley Ideas Charette these teams offered Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and Civil Engineering expertise to help citizens see how an alley can be more than just an alley.

Baldrige Architects provided their answer by casting a vision that embraces the existing chaotic assemblage of trash dumpsters, power poles, property fences and out of control vegetation.  Baldrige’s concept tames the alley with bold trash dumpster enclosures, a unique trellis of lights, and paving that helps separate pedestrians from the occasional automobile accessing the alley.

Studio dwg’s Team2 provided a concept that “stitched” together the Rainey Alley with twinkle lights, a patchwork of paving and sliding enclosures to hide the existing trash dumpsters when not in use.

True to their name, the Green Alley Team3 created a concept plan that envisioned “greening up” the alley with a water collecting spine of permeable pavers, green walls, and the key insertion of a few trees to help shade the alley.

Finally, TBG provided a concept plan proposes living walls to hide unsightly back of house items, underground cisterns to help irrigate the green walls, and street art to liven up the space.

Judging from our these responses and the majority of the other feedback received the answer to our question, “Can an alley be more than just an alley,” is a resounding , “Yes!”  These concepts and other responses from citizens will be used to help inform the use of the funding received to repave the alley. 

 


  1. The Rainey Alley Project is a case study project to help illustrate how an alley can be designed in a way that supports the “back of house” needs of business while serving as an attractive and usable public space.  A developer has contributed funding to pave the Rainey Alley (the unpaved alley east of Rainey Street) later this year, opening up this unique and exciting opportunity to explore how this alley can be redesigned as an activated public space that preserves core alley services. Moreover, the designs developed in the Rainey Alley Project will help launch a discussion and offer inspiration for how other urban alleys in Austin could be redesigned. 

    The project is being led by the Downtown Commission’s Alley Working Group in partnership with Public Works. Similar to streets, bridges, parks and plazas, alleys are part of our shared public realm and should be stewarded as valuable public spaces. 

  1. DWG’s team: dwg, Malone-wheeler, GSC Architects, Co-Lab

  1. Green Alley Team: McKinney Landscape Architect, Element Five Architecture, Delineate Studio, David Venhuizen Civil Engineering

Tagged:
Aug 24, 2015 - 11:19 am CDT

2015 has been an especially tragic year for Austin traffic deaths— in just over seven months more people have been killed than during all of last year.  For each person who dies, 3 or 4 more people are seriously injured. It’s a tragedy that touches many Austinites and leads us to a question of how many deaths and serious injuries are acceptable?

Safe transportation networks are the foundation for the complete communities envisioned by Austinites in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. Imagine Austin envisions an Austin that is more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. It calls for a well-connected and safe transportation network that provides an array of options for the needs and capabilities of the diversity of Austinites as well as supporting complete communities across the city.

Vision Zero is a holistic approach which aims to achieve zero deaths & zero serious injuries while traveling by elevating safety as the top priority for the transportation system and requires a collaborative, multipronged approach addressing land use and transportation infrastructure, enforcement, and education and culture change. 

Vision Zero has been successful in other cities and states because it treats traffic deaths and injuries not “accidents” but as a preventable, public health issue that can be solved. Some successes include:

  • New York, in 2014, saw the fewest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1910 since adopting Vision Zero.
  • The State of Utah, which has land use patterns similar to Austin, has seen a 48% reduction in traffic fatalities since adopting a state-wide Vision Zero policy. In 2011, Provo achieved zero traffic fatalities. 1
  • 38 state Departments of Transportation have Toward Zero Death initia­tives (or similar), including Texas.

Austin’s Vision Zero Task Force came together around the idea that any traffic death is too many. Looking at the top causes of collisions—intoxication, distraction, speed, failure to stop or yield—all are preventable, therefore no death is acceptable.

The Vision Zero Task Force convened in January of this year to bolster safety efforts already underway and to work toward holistic solutions for eliminating traffic deaths and injuries. The 60 members of the task force include the Austin Police Department, Austin Transportation Dept., other city depts., state and federal agencies, and community groups, all of which bring different perspectives and expertise on transportation safety. The Vision Zero Task Force is currently creating an action plan to identify short-term strategies for preventing injuries and saving lives. The Vision Zero Action Plan will go to City Council for adoption later this year, but agencies on the Task Force are already collaborating in new ways and changing how we approach traffic safety now.

Additionally, the Vision Zero Task Force has released an initial set of maps that identify the hotspots where deaths and injuries from collisions occur, based on 5-year data from TXDOT. Working with UT’s Center for Transportation Research, the Task Force is digging into the details of where, how, and why fatal and injury collisions occur, using longer-term data to identify patterns in otherwise seemingly random occurrences and create solutions that members of the Task Force can use immediately.

Too many Austinites know too well what it’s like to experience the loss of someone in a traffic collision or trauma of a serious crash. Most of us also know what it’s like to have a close call—maybe as the result of a mistake. As the Vision Zero Task Force moves forward with an analysis of collisions and the Vision Zero action plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries, the City and its partners on the Task Force are looking at the collaborative solutions to help ensure those mistakes aren’t fatal.


1. Provo, Utah has a similar development pattern and population to Austin, and has experienced growth at the same proportional rates.

Aug 24, 2015 - 10:38 am CDT

Just three years after adoption, the City of Austin and its partners have already moved the needle in our community in implementing the comprehensive plan across all eight priority program areas.  How much has the needle moved?  For starters, four of the policies created with a 30 year vision have already been completed! But there is much more being done - the 2015 Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan Annual Report highlights the work the City and our partners have done to navigate the way forward.

This year’s Imagine Austin Annual Report provides key facts and accomplishments of the Imagine Austin Priority Program teams over the course of a year, from fall 2014 to fall 2015. The annual report highlights the important initiatives that are helping make Imagine Austin a reality in our community.

Last year priority program teams, working in the areas of mobility, creative economy, health, the land development code, the environment, affordability and workforce and education made tremendous progress on their goals.  Just since the fall of 2014, 34,459 pounds of healthy organic food were grown in community gardens on City land; more than 66,000 feet of ADA compliant sidewalks were constructed; 39 miles of new and improved bike lanes built, including 10 miles of buffered or protected lanes in 2014; 49 acres of Water Quality Protection lands were acquired in the Barton Springs Zone; and 181 acres of parkland were acquired, utilizing 60% bond funding and 40% parkland dedication funding.

The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan moves forward each year through a five-point implementation program: education and engagement, alignment, regulations, capital investment, and partnerships. As the city continues to implement the policies and actions contained in the comprehensive plan, education and engagement - of both the public and City staff across departments - is a top priority. A variety of media and forums are used to highlight our success stories. Communicating these stories to the public helps build confidence both in the plan’s vision, and also in the City’s dedication to achieving that vision.

Fulfilling the big-picture vision of the comprehensive plan requires the City of Austin to take a more collaborative, cross-departmental approach to major initiatives. With this in mind, City staff has developed ways to better integrate department work programs, decision-making, and long-range budgets to align our work internally.

Numerous City regulations affect the comprehensive plan’s implementation, including the City’s land-use regulations. Priority Program 8, CodeNEXT, was created to address development regulations and process that hinder compact and connected communities as envisioned in Imagine Austin.

As City departments continue with budgeting and capital planning for the upcoming fiscal year, new requests for both operating and capital funding are being reviewed against Imagine Austin’s vision, policies and priority programs.

And finally, Imagine Austin is a big plan with big ideas that extend beyond what the City of Austin can realistically accomplish alone. Partnerships are critical to helping us realize the community-wide vision of Imagine Austin.

To read the entire 2015 Imagine Austin Annual Report online, visit http://issuu.com/imagineaustin/docs/annual_reportdraft, or download a .pdf version from our available documents at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/imagine-austin-download-center.

Jul 23, 2015 - 01:29 pm CDT

Have you noticed something in your neighborhood that you wish was a little better or vacant land that could be used for a new amenity? The Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) can help transform those wishes into reality. The NPP’s mission is “Empowering Neighborhoods, Building Community.” This award-winning program achieves this by providing opportunities for community and neighborhood organizations to affect public improvements by sharing in the costs of those improvements with the City. Cost sharing is achieved through cash contributions, in-kind contributions, or volunteering (sweat equity). 

A neighborhood or community group must initiate projects which demonstrate that 60 percent of the impacted stakeholders approve of the project, and all projects must be on City property or in the right-of-way. The types of projects typically accepted run the gamut from bicycle and pedestrian improvements to community gardens, pocket parks to art mosaics – it’s amazing what can be achieved by working together!

The most popular NPP sub-program is the Neighborhood Cost Share Program (NCSP), which assists neighborhood groups in developing, resourcing, and executing small to medium-sized improvement projects. Two NPP staff members provide assistance through the entire process, from application to project completion. City crews and contracts may also be used for project implementation.  Applications are evaluated on the program’s five core values of community participation, cost sharing, quality of life enhancement, incorporation of City initiatives, and geographic equity.  In 2014, the Neighborhood Partnering Program also started the Adopt-A-Median sub-program. With its slogan “Because in Austin, Even the Medians Aren’t Middle of the Road”, this sub-program provides an approval mechanism for community groups interested in adopting, beautifying and maintaining median or other right-of way areas.

NPP is currently addressing challenges related to geographic diversity by working to make the program accessible to low-income and underserved areas of Austin. To address this challenge, NPP has established several valuable partnerships, including:

  • AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): NPP has partnered with AmeriCorps VISTA, a federal national service program designed to fight poverty on a systemic level. Through outreach and boots on the ground efforts, VISTA staff work closely with underserved neighborhoods to introduce them to NPP.
  • University of Texas-Austin Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement (LCCE): Over the past two years, NPP has partnered with the University of Texas ‘s LCCE. The partnership provides community residents and leaders with the resources of UT. Students in diverse fields of study work with residents on projects from brochure and web design to outreach to community resource mapping.
  • Engaging Non-Profit Partners: NPP found great success in building win-win partnerships with a variety of non-profit organizations. For park improvements, NPP coordinates closely with the Austin Parks Foundation while for our two community gardens opening this spring, NPP worked closely with the Sustainable Food Center.  Similarly, NPP has worked closely with groups to provide application materials and workshops in English and Spanish, as well as connect Spanish-speaking residents to other City resources. 

Through NPP, the City of Austin has modeled an effective way to engage its citizens to transform underutilized spaces into community-driven, meaningful projects. Yet most importantly, the program has built positive relationships between City employees and community members who work together on a shared vision for better community. Applications for the next round of projects are due Oct. 1, 2015. Visit facebook.com/neighborhoodpartnering for more information.

Jul 23, 2015 - 01:15 pm CDT

With the number of people who move here every day, it’s pretty clear that a lot of people want to live in Austin. We have a fantastic city and there are many great things about living here- the sunny weather, frequent festivals, an outdoor lifestyle, unique local businesses, a vibrant music scene, and friendly people, just to name a few. While each of us thinks different things make Austin great, almost all of these attributes come from living in a place we love. One of the goals of our land development code re-write, known as CodeNEXT, is to help keep many of the things we love and improve the things we don’t.

Much of what we love and respect about Austin is captured in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. Imagine Austin’s goals include creating a livable place where all people can access daily needs through a short walking, biking, transit, or driving trip; where diversity and creativity are celebrated; and where sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity are valued.  CodeNEXT is one of the most critical ways we can realize our community vision, as it is one of the primary tools that will shape everything from the kinds of places we live, work, and hangout to influencing the design of our streets and public spaces.

During 2013 and 2014, the CodeNEXT team gathered input on neighborhood character, identifying the kinds of places people value and enjoy, as well as learning more about what’s not working well and needs to be improved. Other results of this listening phase include a Community Character Manual, which takes a look at the patterns, form, and character of Austin neighborhoods, a Code Diagnosis that summarizes the major issues in our Land Development Code, and a Listening to the Community Report, which highlights feedback from the community.

Equipped with this information, the CodeNEXT team has begun Phase II of the project. During this phase, staff from multiple departments will work with a consultant team from Opticos Design to create an administrative draft of the code. One of the major goals of the administrative draft will be to create a code with people-focused design standards that enhance the Austin we love. These people-focused design standards will impact how we experience Austin, and include things such as the location of a building relative to parking and the sidewalk, outdoor patios, street trees, building diversity, accommodating nature and stormwater, and creating gathering spaces.

By emphasizing good design that creates places for people, the new land development code can deliver a variety of benefits to Austin, including:

  • Increasing the variety of allowable housing types, contributing to greater diversity in housing, which can help affordability
  • Reducing transportation costs and pollution by encouraging design that reduces the number and length of driving trips
  • Promoting physical activity and health by permitting design that encourages walkable, bikeable development
  • Incorporating nature into the city through responsible development patterns and accommodations for trees, green space, and stormwater

This fall, the CodeNEXT team will hold a workshop to test the new code on a variety of focus areas to see how well the new regulations accomplish these (and other) goals, implement Imagine Austin, and to identify opportunities to improve the draft regulations to achieve intended outcomes. While the number and scope of focus areas is limited, by carefully selecting ‘template’ areas that are representative of common development patterns in Austin, the CodeNEXT team will evaluate the impacts of a new land development code. These areas will be chosen by staff and the Opticos team, based on input from the Code Advisory Group and others, after evaluating potential areas against a list of criteria that emphasize issues of priority, controversy, and complexity in Austin.

As the CodeNEXT process moves closer to the workshop and eventually a public draft, it is important for all Austinites to stay informed of and engaged with the project’s progress. Future ways to get involved include attending a CodeWalk, meeting the staff team at a Coffee with CodeNEXT event, or attending a CodeNEXT public meeting.  For the most up-to-date information on events and project updates, or to sign up to receive updates, visit the CodeNEXT webpage; event announcements are also made through the Imagine Austin Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Tagged:
Sep 26, 2017 - 01:20 pm CDT

 

On June 15, 2017, Imagine Austin - the city's comprehensive plan through 2040 - turned five years old. The plan, adopted unanimously by City Council in 2012 and created with input from thousands of Austinites, established a community vision of a city of complete communities where all Austinites have access to the amenities, transportation, services, and opportunities that fulfill their material, social, and economic needs. These communities support all ages, identities, and cultures while preserving our unique community spirit. These places are livable, safe, affordable, and accessible; and they promote healthy lifestyles, community engagement, and inclusion.

The Imagine Austin Year 5 Progress Report provides a valuable opportunity for reflection on the City of Austin's progress towards our community vision. The report contains the stories of progress, challenges, and lessons learned from each of the 8 Priority Programs, which coordinate the implementation of the plan's policies, actions, and overall vision through diverse, interdisciplinary teams. The Progress Report also contains the first look at the indicators attributed to Imagine Austin, which help us to measure progress towards the outcomes desired by the community. The web-based Imagine Austin Dashboard contains the results, analysis, and important context for these indicators.

Year 5 marks an important milestone for Imagine Austin, and though the Progress Report highlights many of our hard-earned successes, it also paints a picture of the long road ahead of us. Imagine Austin laid out a vision for our community, one where Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity; where diversity and creativity are celebrated; where community needs and values are recognized; and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all. In order for us to achieve that vision, we must continue to work together as a community to take collective action to bring us closer to that future. We know that Austin's greatest asset is its people: passionate about our city, committed to its improvement, and determined to see our vision become a reality.

Cheers to five years, Imagine Austin!

 

 

Read the Imagine Austin Year 5 Progress Report

Explore the Imagine Austin Indicator Dashboard

View and download the indicator data here.

Watch the presentation to Planning Commission

View and download the presentation slides

 

Having trouble accessing the Progress Report document?

 

Imagine Austin blog
May 26, 2017 - 11:57 am CDT

 

You might have read in the news recently that new development is headed for Austin's south shore, directly across from downtown. In fact, economic forecasts indicate that over fifty acres and at least $1.2 billion in private reinvestments are likely to redevelop within the next 15 years. But given existing regulations and the current lack of infrastructure in the area, this redevelopment will likely do very little to improve connectivity or expand open space.

To address the challenges and opportunities ahead, the City of Austin launched a small-area planning initiative in 2012 and commenced work through the City's Urban Design Division. The South Central Waterfront (SCW) Initiative set out to create an aspirational, yet economically-viable vision whereby private redevelopment and public improvements work in tandem to create a lively, attractive, and connected place.

Capping a four year effort, the Urban Design Division completed the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan (hereafter, the SCW Plan) to provide a visionary yet financially feasible roadmap for development. In June of 2016, the Austin City Council adopted the SCW Plan as an amendment to Imagine Austin, the city's comprehensive plan. Below are a few highlights of the planning process and resulting community vision.

 

 

Collaboration + Engagement

Having no outside resources, the Urban Design Division initiated and sustained a planning effort through grants and partnerships, including:

  • (2012) An award from the American Institute of Architects' Sustainable Design Assessment Team program;
  • (2013) The first of man collaborations with The University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, Texas Futures Lab;
  • (2013) A grant from the federal Housing and Urban Development, Sustainable Communities program;
  • (2014) A grant from the National Association of Realtors to support community engagement;
  • (2015-2016) An award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Greening of America's Capitals program. The EPC partnered with the city for further charrettes and selected and hired CMG Landscape Architects, based in San Francisco, to develop conceptual designs for the public realm plan, using green infrastructure as the organizing feature.
  • (2015-2016) City consultant services of a Texas-based landscape architecture firm, Asakura Robinson, the financial consultant, ECONorthwest, and urban design consultant, McCann Adams Studio, to finalize the plan.

Over the course of these efforts, over sixteen-hundred stakeholders were engaged through workshops, public lectures, walking tours, and charrettes. The series of partnerships and engagement styles resulted in a grassroots buy-in from the community.

 

Creativity + Innovation

The SCW Plan is based on three interrelated approaches, called Frameworks:

Physical: This framework retrofits the district with an interconnected network of streets, blocks, parks and plazas, and open spaces. The physical framework considers: circulation and connectivity, open space, sustainability and green infrastructure, urban design, and distrcit-wide water management to conserve resources and promote water quality.

 

Financial: The financial framework is a comprehensive strategy of capital investments, development incentives, financial tools,a nd public-private partnerships. This strategy provides $100 million to realize the public realm plan and $65 million gap financings to ensure that 20% of the new housing units are affordable.

City Leadership: This framework includes: strategic public investments, institution of recommended regulations, programs, and financial tools, and pursuit of public-private partnerships to build, mange, and maintain the expanded public realm and affordable housing.

 

 

Effectiveness + Results

The SCW Plan provides a place-specific, highly designed example of how many current city policies, Imagine Austin principles, and best practices for sustainability will look like as applied to a redevelopment of a whole district, as opposed to a single site. At final buildout, the SCW Plan results in a gain of 20 acres of new and improved, connected public realm, and 530 units of affordable housing. Other target goals are also identified in terms of reduction of impervious cover, expansion of tree canopy, and quantity of bike and trail connectivity. Likewise, the SCW Plan will implement a battery of finance tools, affordable housing programs, and a district management regime that can be replicated and applied to other rapidly changing areas in our community.

 

Awards + Recognition

The SCW Plan has received recognition by several local and national organizations. Awards include:

  • 2017 Award for Excellence in Sustainability | American Planning Association's Sustainable Communities Division
  • 2017 Honor Award for Planning & Analysis | American Society of Landscape Architects, Texas Chapter
  • 2016 Plan of the Year | American Planning Association, Texas Central Chapter

 

Bringing the Vision to Life

Now that the SCW Plan has been adopted, the real work begins. The SCW Plan proposed a battery of Next Steps that will need to be taken to make the Vision a reality. The City is busy continuing the work and building upon the partnerships that the planning process forged, and lots of exciting things are in the pipeline to implement the SCW Plan recommendations.

Stay tuned and join in as we begin the implementation of the SCW Plan. The best way to stay informed as the plan moves forward is to SUSCRIBE for updates.

 

Subscribe to the SCW mailing list

 

Imagine Austin blog
May 12, 2016 - 11:24 am CDT

On Saturday May 7th, 2016, Imagine Austin and Austin American Institute of Architects designvoice committee partnered to present Walk the Talk - A tour and panel discussion on 'missing middle' housing in the Clarksville and Old West Austin neighborhoods. The goal was to present an educational and informative program that fostered open dialouge and visual cues on the benefits and opportunities of encouraging a variety of housing types, commonly referred to as 'missing middle' housing, in Austin. These housing types include duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes and accessory dwelling units.

We're sharing the presentations, and tour map, here in hopes of continuing to foster that open dialouge and to continue the conversation. This was the third of three events on missing middle. The presentations are in .pdf format, and require Adobe Acrobat to open.

Tour Map

Presentations

Jim Robertson - City of Austin/CodeNEXT project manager

Jessi Koch - City of Austin/Neighborhood Housing & Community Development

Mary Reed - Clarksville Community Development Corporation

John Henneberger - Texas Low Income Housing Information Service - John did not utilize a presentation for his portion of the talk, but the text of his speech is available via the link.

Imagine Austin blog
Oct 26, 2015 - 03:59 pm CDT

On Saturday October 17th, 2015, Imagine Austin and Austin American Institute of Architects designvoice committee partnered to present Walk the Talk - A tour and panel discussion on 'missing middle' housing in Austin. The goal was to present an educational and informative program that fostered open dialouge and visual cues on the benefits and opportunities of encouraging a variety of housing types, commonly referred to as 'missing middle' housing, in Austin. These housing types include duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes and accessory dwelling units.

We're sharing the presentations and the recorded video here in hopes of continuing to foster that open dialouge and to continue the conversation. This was the first of three events on missing middle, so please keep an eye out for Imagine Austin News for more information. The presentations are in .pdf format, and require Adobe Acrobat to open.

Tour Map

Jake Wegmann, Assistant Professor | Community and Regional Planning, University of Texas at Austin -"American Home"

Terry Mitchell, President | Momark Development - "Why is there an Affordable Housing Crisis? And What Can We Do About It?"

Kelly Weiss, CEO & Co-Founder | Community Wheelhouse - "The Missing Middle"

Lisa Byrd, Executive Director | African American Cultural Heritage District - "Six Sqaure - Austin’s Black Cultural District"

Tom Hatch, Principal | h + o architects - "Missing Middle Housing"

 

 

Imagine Austin blog
Aug 24, 2015 - 11:37 am CDT

Can an alley be more than just an alley? 

This is the question that has been posed to stakeholders surrounding the Rainey Alley over the last few months.  For some, alleys are no more than back-of-house lanes to bring supplies in and remove trash.  To others they are unique assets of our shared public realm and should be activated with pedestrian centric activities.  To date, the Downtown Commission’s Alley Working Group and Austin’s Public Works Department have received 241 answers to this question; however, four local design teams donated their services to answer our question in graphic form. During our Rainey Alley Ideas Charette these teams offered Landscape Architecture, Architecture, and Civil Engineering expertise to help citizens see how an alley can be more than just an alley.

Baldrige Architects provided their answer by casting a vision that embraces the existing chaotic assemblage of trash dumpsters, power poles, property fences and out of control vegetation.  Baldrige’s concept tames the alley with bold trash dumpster enclosures, a unique trellis of lights, and paving that helps separate pedestrians from the occasional automobile accessing the alley.

Studio dwg’s Team2 provided a concept that “stitched” together the Rainey Alley with twinkle lights, a patchwork of paving and sliding enclosures to hide the existing trash dumpsters when not in use.

True to their name, the Green Alley Team3 created a concept plan that envisioned “greening up” the alley with a water collecting spine of permeable pavers, green walls, and the key insertion of a few trees to help shade the alley.

Finally, TBG provided a concept plan proposes living walls to hide unsightly back of house items, underground cisterns to help irrigate the green walls, and street art to liven up the space.

Judging from our these responses and the majority of the other feedback received the answer to our question, “Can an alley be more than just an alley,” is a resounding , “Yes!”  These concepts and other responses from citizens will be used to help inform the use of the funding received to repave the alley. 

 


  1. The Rainey Alley Project is a case study project to help illustrate how an alley can be designed in a way that supports the “back of house” needs of business while serving as an attractive and usable public space.  A developer has contributed funding to pave the Rainey Alley (the unpaved alley east of Rainey Street) later this year, opening up this unique and exciting opportunity to explore how this alley can be redesigned as an activated public space that preserves core alley services. Moreover, the designs developed in the Rainey Alley Project will help launch a discussion and offer inspiration for how other urban alleys in Austin could be redesigned. 

    The project is being led by the Downtown Commission’s Alley Working Group in partnership with Public Works. Similar to streets, bridges, parks and plazas, alleys are part of our shared public realm and should be stewarded as valuable public spaces. 

  1. DWG’s team: dwg, Malone-wheeler, GSC Architects, Co-Lab

  1. Green Alley Team: McKinney Landscape Architect, Element Five Architecture, Delineate Studio, David Venhuizen Civil Engineering

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Imagine Austin blog
Aug 24, 2015 - 11:19 am CDT

2015 has been an especially tragic year for Austin traffic deaths— in just over seven months more people have been killed than during all of last year.  For each person who dies, 3 or 4 more people are seriously injured. It’s a tragedy that touches many Austinites and leads us to a question of how many deaths and serious injuries are acceptable?

Safe transportation networks are the foundation for the complete communities envisioned by Austinites in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. Imagine Austin envisions an Austin that is more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly. It calls for a well-connected and safe transportation network that provides an array of options for the needs and capabilities of the diversity of Austinites as well as supporting complete communities across the city.

Vision Zero is a holistic approach which aims to achieve zero deaths & zero serious injuries while traveling by elevating safety as the top priority for the transportation system and requires a collaborative, multipronged approach addressing land use and transportation infrastructure, enforcement, and education and culture change. 

Vision Zero has been successful in other cities and states because it treats traffic deaths and injuries not “accidents” but as a preventable, public health issue that can be solved. Some successes include:

  • New York, in 2014, saw the fewest number of pedestrian fatalities since 1910 since adopting Vision Zero.
  • The State of Utah, which has land use patterns similar to Austin, has seen a 48% reduction in traffic fatalities since adopting a state-wide Vision Zero policy. In 2011, Provo achieved zero traffic fatalities. 1
  • 38 state Departments of Transportation have Toward Zero Death initia­tives (or similar), including Texas.

Austin’s Vision Zero Task Force came together around the idea that any traffic death is too many. Looking at the top causes of collisions—intoxication, distraction, speed, failure to stop or yield—all are preventable, therefore no death is acceptable.

The Vision Zero Task Force convened in January of this year to bolster safety efforts already underway and to work toward holistic solutions for eliminating traffic deaths and injuries. The 60 members of the task force include the Austin Police Department, Austin Transportation Dept., other city depts., state and federal agencies, and community groups, all of which bring different perspectives and expertise on transportation safety. The Vision Zero Task Force is currently creating an action plan to identify short-term strategies for preventing injuries and saving lives. The Vision Zero Action Plan will go to City Council for adoption later this year, but agencies on the Task Force are already collaborating in new ways and changing how we approach traffic safety now.

Additionally, the Vision Zero Task Force has released an initial set of maps that identify the hotspots where deaths and injuries from collisions occur, based on 5-year data from TXDOT. Working with UT’s Center for Transportation Research, the Task Force is digging into the details of where, how, and why fatal and injury collisions occur, using longer-term data to identify patterns in otherwise seemingly random occurrences and create solutions that members of the Task Force can use immediately.

Too many Austinites know too well what it’s like to experience the loss of someone in a traffic collision or trauma of a serious crash. Most of us also know what it’s like to have a close call—maybe as the result of a mistake. As the Vision Zero Task Force moves forward with an analysis of collisions and the Vision Zero action plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries, the City and its partners on the Task Force are looking at the collaborative solutions to help ensure those mistakes aren’t fatal.


1. Provo, Utah has a similar development pattern and population to Austin, and has experienced growth at the same proportional rates.

Imagine Austin blog
Aug 24, 2015 - 10:38 am CDT

Just three years after adoption, the City of Austin and its partners have already moved the needle in our community in implementing the comprehensive plan across all eight priority program areas.  How much has the needle moved?  For starters, four of the policies created with a 30 year vision have already been completed! But there is much more being done - the 2015 Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan Annual Report highlights the work the City and our partners have done to navigate the way forward.

This year’s Imagine Austin Annual Report provides key facts and accomplishments of the Imagine Austin Priority Program teams over the course of a year, from fall 2014 to fall 2015. The annual report highlights the important initiatives that are helping make Imagine Austin a reality in our community.

Last year priority program teams, working in the areas of mobility, creative economy, health, the land development code, the environment, affordability and workforce and education made tremendous progress on their goals.  Just since the fall of 2014, 34,459 pounds of healthy organic food were grown in community gardens on City land; more than 66,000 feet of ADA compliant sidewalks were constructed; 39 miles of new and improved bike lanes built, including 10 miles of buffered or protected lanes in 2014; 49 acres of Water Quality Protection lands were acquired in the Barton Springs Zone; and 181 acres of parkland were acquired, utilizing 60% bond funding and 40% parkland dedication funding.

The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan moves forward each year through a five-point implementation program: education and engagement, alignment, regulations, capital investment, and partnerships. As the city continues to implement the policies and actions contained in the comprehensive plan, education and engagement - of both the public and City staff across departments - is a top priority. A variety of media and forums are used to highlight our success stories. Communicating these stories to the public helps build confidence both in the plan’s vision, and also in the City’s dedication to achieving that vision.

Fulfilling the big-picture vision of the comprehensive plan requires the City of Austin to take a more collaborative, cross-departmental approach to major initiatives. With this in mind, City staff has developed ways to better integrate department work programs, decision-making, and long-range budgets to align our work internally.

Numerous City regulations affect the comprehensive plan’s implementation, including the City’s land-use regulations. Priority Program 8, CodeNEXT, was created to address development regulations and process that hinder compact and connected communities as envisioned in Imagine Austin.

As City departments continue with budgeting and capital planning for the upcoming fiscal year, new requests for both operating and capital funding are being reviewed against Imagine Austin’s vision, policies and priority programs.

And finally, Imagine Austin is a big plan with big ideas that extend beyond what the City of Austin can realistically accomplish alone. Partnerships are critical to helping us realize the community-wide vision of Imagine Austin.

To read the entire 2015 Imagine Austin Annual Report online, visit http://issuu.com/imagineaustin/docs/annual_reportdraft, or download a .pdf version from our available documents at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/imagine-austin-download-center.

Imagine Austin blog
Jul 23, 2015 - 01:29 pm CDT

Have you noticed something in your neighborhood that you wish was a little better or vacant land that could be used for a new amenity? The Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) can help transform those wishes into reality. The NPP’s mission is “Empowering Neighborhoods, Building Community.” This award-winning program achieves this by providing opportunities for community and neighborhood organizations to affect public improvements by sharing in the costs of those improvements with the City. Cost sharing is achieved through cash contributions, in-kind contributions, or volunteering (sweat equity). 

A neighborhood or community group must initiate projects which demonstrate that 60 percent of the impacted stakeholders approve of the project, and all projects must be on City property or in the right-of-way. The types of projects typically accepted run the gamut from bicycle and pedestrian improvements to community gardens, pocket parks to art mosaics – it’s amazing what can be achieved by working together!

The most popular NPP sub-program is the Neighborhood Cost Share Program (NCSP), which assists neighborhood groups in developing, resourcing, and executing small to medium-sized improvement projects. Two NPP staff members provide assistance through the entire process, from application to project completion. City crews and contracts may also be used for project implementation.  Applications are evaluated on the program’s five core values of community participation, cost sharing, quality of life enhancement, incorporation of City initiatives, and geographic equity.  In 2014, the Neighborhood Partnering Program also started the Adopt-A-Median sub-program. With its slogan “Because in Austin, Even the Medians Aren’t Middle of the Road”, this sub-program provides an approval mechanism for community groups interested in adopting, beautifying and maintaining median or other right-of way areas.

NPP is currently addressing challenges related to geographic diversity by working to make the program accessible to low-income and underserved areas of Austin. To address this challenge, NPP has established several valuable partnerships, including:

  • AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): NPP has partnered with AmeriCorps VISTA, a federal national service program designed to fight poverty on a systemic level. Through outreach and boots on the ground efforts, VISTA staff work closely with underserved neighborhoods to introduce them to NPP.
  • University of Texas-Austin Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement (LCCE): Over the past two years, NPP has partnered with the University of Texas ‘s LCCE. The partnership provides community residents and leaders with the resources of UT. Students in diverse fields of study work with residents on projects from brochure and web design to outreach to community resource mapping.
  • Engaging Non-Profit Partners: NPP found great success in building win-win partnerships with a variety of non-profit organizations. For park improvements, NPP coordinates closely with the Austin Parks Foundation while for our two community gardens opening this spring, NPP worked closely with the Sustainable Food Center.  Similarly, NPP has worked closely with groups to provide application materials and workshops in English and Spanish, as well as connect Spanish-speaking residents to other City resources. 

Through NPP, the City of Austin has modeled an effective way to engage its citizens to transform underutilized spaces into community-driven, meaningful projects. Yet most importantly, the program has built positive relationships between City employees and community members who work together on a shared vision for better community. Applications for the next round of projects are due Oct. 1, 2015. Visit facebook.com/neighborhoodpartnering for more information.

Imagine Austin blog
Jul 23, 2015 - 01:15 pm CDT

With the number of people who move here every day, it’s pretty clear that a lot of people want to live in Austin. We have a fantastic city and there are many great things about living here- the sunny weather, frequent festivals, an outdoor lifestyle, unique local businesses, a vibrant music scene, and friendly people, just to name a few. While each of us thinks different things make Austin great, almost all of these attributes come from living in a place we love. One of the goals of our land development code re-write, known as CodeNEXT, is to help keep many of the things we love and improve the things we don’t.

Much of what we love and respect about Austin is captured in the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. Imagine Austin’s goals include creating a livable place where all people can access daily needs through a short walking, biking, transit, or driving trip; where diversity and creativity are celebrated; and where sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity are valued.  CodeNEXT is one of the most critical ways we can realize our community vision, as it is one of the primary tools that will shape everything from the kinds of places we live, work, and hangout to influencing the design of our streets and public spaces.

During 2013 and 2014, the CodeNEXT team gathered input on neighborhood character, identifying the kinds of places people value and enjoy, as well as learning more about what’s not working well and needs to be improved. Other results of this listening phase include a Community Character Manual, which takes a look at the patterns, form, and character of Austin neighborhoods, a Code Diagnosis that summarizes the major issues in our Land Development Code, and a Listening to the Community Report, which highlights feedback from the community.

Equipped with this information, the CodeNEXT team has begun Phase II of the project. During this phase, staff from multiple departments will work with a consultant team from Opticos Design to create an administrative draft of the code. One of the major goals of the administrative draft will be to create a code with people-focused design standards that enhance the Austin we love. These people-focused design standards will impact how we experience Austin, and include things such as the location of a building relative to parking and the sidewalk, outdoor patios, street trees, building diversity, accommodating nature and stormwater, and creating gathering spaces.

By emphasizing good design that creates places for people, the new land development code can deliver a variety of benefits to Austin, including:

  • Increasing the variety of allowable housing types, contributing to greater diversity in housing, which can help affordability
  • Reducing transportation costs and pollution by encouraging design that reduces the number and length of driving trips
  • Promoting physical activity and health by permitting design that encourages walkable, bikeable development
  • Incorporating nature into the city through responsible development patterns and accommodations for trees, green space, and stormwater

This fall, the CodeNEXT team will hold a workshop to test the new code on a variety of focus areas to see how well the new regulations accomplish these (and other) goals, implement Imagine Austin, and to identify opportunities to improve the draft regulations to achieve intended outcomes. While the number and scope of focus areas is limited, by carefully selecting ‘template’ areas that are representative of common development patterns in Austin, the CodeNEXT team will evaluate the impacts of a new land development code. These areas will be chosen by staff and the Opticos team, based on input from the Code Advisory Group and others, after evaluating potential areas against a list of criteria that emphasize issues of priority, controversy, and complexity in Austin.

As the CodeNEXT process moves closer to the workshop and eventually a public draft, it is important for all Austinites to stay informed of and engaged with the project’s progress. Future ways to get involved include attending a CodeWalk, meeting the staff team at a Coffee with CodeNEXT event, or attending a CodeNEXT public meeting.  For the most up-to-date information on events and project updates, or to sign up to receive updates, visit the CodeNEXT webpage; event announcements are also made through the Imagine Austin Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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Imagine Austin blog