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Thread: Envision Central Texas - organization working to develop a regional plan for Austin

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Envision Central Texas - organization working to develop a regional plan for Austin

    http://www.envisioncentraltexas.org/

    This is a very interesting site to browse around. It is nice to see all the cities in the Austin-area becoming involved in a regional plan, realizing that we need to do something *now* before we end up becoming another Houston or Dallas. I like the article where they mayor supports denser urban development. It's also good to see that the residents polled have voted for an increase in density and preservation of open space, Scenario D on this survey.

  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    This has been an interesting undertaking. For those of you not familiar with this group, these are the same folks that did Envision Utah. They are big into regionalism and community participation in the planning process. They came and spoke to our PSO at Texas State and have made a couple of presentations at Texas APA Conferences.

    I believe they are hosting something on May 20th with Peter Calthorpe as the keynote. I don't know how many Cyburbians are running around near Austin, but we could think about meeting up before then if you're going.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    This has been an interesting undertaking. For those of you not familiar with this group, these are the same folks that did Envision Utah. They are big into regionalism and community participation in the planning process. They came and spoke to our PSO at Texas State and have made a couple of presentations at Texas APA Conferences.

    I believe they are hosting something on May 20th with Peter Calthorpe as the keynote. I don't know how many Cyburbians are running around near Austin, but we could think about meeting up before then if you're going.
    I'm in, just let me know

  4. #4

    ECT is a joke

    There's zero chance they'll be able to affect new development in this area, and their impact even on center-city Austin is marginal - the state holds all the cards, hates Austin, hates environmental laws, and isn't afraid to do something about it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    hates Austin
    Man, is that the TRUTH!

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by doinky
    There's zero chance they'll be able to affect new development in this area, and their impact even on center-city Austin is marginal - the state holds all the cards, hates Austin, hates environmental laws, and isn't afraid to do something about it.
    I'm pretty sure they know that. I think their goal was pretty much to put a bug in people's ears. As far as I can tell, their major contribution is just getting more people active and talking to each other. The one huge thing that came out of ECT was a standardized GIS system for the Austin MSA, so now everyone can talk to each other in the same language.

    As far as making a difference in development practice in Texas, yeah, their probably up s**t creek in a chicken wire canoe with a popsicle stick for a paddle.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    I got the feeling that the whole deal has been a great exercise in public education and involvement, at the least, and at the best, a bona-fide regional plan that will revolutionize the way municipalities think about planning. Of course, I think that a few of the municipalities will really latch on to some of the plans that were made. ECT Community Plans
    Bastrop's Concept Plan I thought was particularly nice. Paid for individually, that type of work could have cost over $50k, but pooled together, the region got a great deal from

    I attended the public meeting in Lockhart, where there was a nicely-mixed bag of participants. A farmer at my table mentioned how great it would be to "build a dam for a new lake north of town, but not one of those that traps all the water. It would be built so that all of the water runs out, so there's no loss of water from the lake." Well, I smiled and tried to pay attention to other ideas, but as the evening wore on, he started getting some different ideas. The hick was excited about urban development because higher urban densities will stave off suburban sprawl's consumption of farmland, which was a good thing. He got it! Any plan/concept/public relations strategy that can get rural Texans thinking about how urban design can benefit them is probably not a bad idea.

    Overall, I rate the project a huge success, and hope it maintains steam (and cashflow) to keep helping municipalities communicate.

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