“Placemaking is the art and science of creating great places where people want to spend time.”
– America Walks
Streets are for people. Creative placemaking and streetscape enhancements complement traffic engineering to improve the walkability of Austin streets. A growing menu of homegrown “Street Austin Weird” enhancements offer a fun, low-cost way to transform the public realm (the public right of way) into “people places” that celebrate the unique character of Austin, its people and its neighborhoods.
Cities around the nation and the world are investing in placemaking and streetscape enhancements. To remain an attractive and globally competitive city, Austin is embracing this community and economic development strategy – which also contributes to transportation safety.
What Are Streets For? For ideas about how streets serve people, not just cars, watch this entertaining video.
Placemaking Initiatives: Austin Transportation Department
Tactical Urbanism Projects: Street Safety and Placemaking
This is a rapid, low-cost, community-driven approach to testing ideas for street transformation. ATD is exploring this approach with the help of Street Plans Collaborative.
Creative Crosswalks and Corners
To learn about how ATD is piloting these artful treatments, click here.
Sidewalk Cafes and Street Patios
Sidewalk cafes (including street patios in former parking spaces, a.k.a. “parklets”) add vibrancy, amenities and people to Austin streets. ATD provides the permit to create a temporary café or street patio.
Colorful banners add a vibrant element and sense of identity in walkable districts. To learn more, visit the City of Austin’s Street Banner Program.
Traffic signal boxes at intersections are becoming canvases for public art. See the story of the “Signals” series, created and installed along South First Street in 2016 through TEMPO, in this Art In Public Places Program video.