About Discussions

Discussions allow you to contribute to an online dialogue around a specific initiative. SpeakUpAustin staff create and monitor discussions. Each discussion has one or more subtopics where you can add your thoughts or respond to other users’ comments.

Why is branding important? To create a consistent identity — in words and pictures — over the life of the project. To simplify the task of communicating and creating outreach and engagement tools. To capture key ideas and impressions that inspire people about this effort.

Here’s DRAFT concepts that were presented Monday night:

  • Making it new. Success means not just creating a plan or a code. It means a revitalized, vibrant, active, prosperous corridor.
  • Building on what we have. The things we love and that work well on the corridor will be protected and enhanced, not replaced.
  • You own it! The vision guiding the new Airport Boulevard belongs to the community that created it.

Share on this forum your ideas for:

Project name (in a few words, describing the community process, not the end result)

Ex: Let’s Move ATX Project tagline (further explains the process in 8 words or less) Ex: Tackling childhood obesity in Austin

Key messages: Why is this project important? When you talk to your neighbors, friends and family about this project, what do you say? Ex: More than 12 million children in Texas are obese and the number is growing. Ex: Together, the community can get children moving and eating better by partnering with schools.

Your insight will be valuable in preparing branding materials, including the website. Post comments before Tuesday, June 28 at noon. Thanks!

Discussion: Bicycling in Austin

The City of Austin has devoted extensive energy to bicycling over the years.  You can read the report of the City's Street Smarts Task Force here, and the subsequent Bicycle Plan here, Here's an updated bicycle map of Austin.  We also have a list of projects that are planned, completed, and in progress, along with information on how to obtain a bike rack for public use. We also have lots of additional resources for bicyclists and these resources from the Austin Police Department on how bicyclists and other road users can safely coexist.

The City of Austin’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) program is inviting citizens to take a look at AIPP artist Nader Tehrani's schematic design ideas for the Seaholm Substation's Wall.

The Seaholm Substation AIPP Wall is an exciting project which will:

enliven the Seaholm District; engage people passing by; keep the public safe; relate to its surroundings; and keep the substation secure.

Find out more about the Seaholm District here: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/seaholm/default.htm

Here's a look at the artist's commentary attached to the imagery:

Here's how you can get involved in this special project!

  1. Review the project's safety and security constraints required by Austin Energy (listed below), then
  2. Look through the artist's images of their schematic design work, and then
  3. Tell us what you think!

Discussion: Plastic Bags

Feel free to share other general comments here.

*This discussion will close January 31, 2012 *


The purpose of this listening forum is to gather input  on a set of Good Neighbor Guidelines for all housing developments supported with local and federal funding through the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office. The guidelines are intended to address issues of mutual interest to neighbors, tenants, developers and other community stakeholders. These issues may include but are not limited to notification regarding the proposed project, community safety measures, and physical property elements.

Please click HERE for the draft Good Neighbor Guidelines, December 2011.

We'd like to know what you think would help the public and developers achieve their goals of developing affordable housing while ensuring that community interests are heard. Below are a series of questions we'd like to answer, and if you wouldn't mind, please share with us the perspective you're bringing to the discussion (e.g., you are a neighbor of affordable housing, you live in affordable housing, you work for an organization that builds affordable housing, etc.).

Thanks for your participation!

*Several community meetings and focus groups took place during the fall of 2011. To view notes from the October 3-10, 2011 Listening Sessions, click here

To view notes from the October 17, 2011 PSH Workshop at First United Methodist Church, click here.

To view notes regarding geographic dispersion from the November 17, 2011 Listening Session at One Texas Center, click here.

Project Connect is the vision for Central Texas’ high-capacity transit system. Linking activity centers within the fastest growing region in the country, Project Connect aims to connect people, places and opportunities in an easy, efficient way. Our vision unites efforts to develop the best solutions for getting around Central Texas and addressing our growth challenges. As we move towards decisions about modes and alignments, we want your input on some key elements of the vision.

Check out www.ProjectConnect.com for the full vision map!

The 2012 Charter Revision Committee members will meet throughout the end of 2011. Their goal is to recommend charter revisions to the Austin City Council by early 2012.

The Committee purpose is to make recommendations to the City Council regarding proposed City Charter amendment language in three resolutions: you can read them here, here, and here.  They are to make recommendations regarding proposed district maps presented to Council and any maps presented to the Committee in compliance with the districting criteria and guidelines in these resolutions.  See this resolution for additional information regarding the Committee.

For more background information on districting and city demographics, you can visit these links.  You can click here for the next Committee meeting and the Committee agendas and minutes.

The Committee welcomes your comments, ideas, and suggestions!  You can leave your general comments or questions here; see below to leave comments on specific issues before the Committee.

Since April the animal intakes at the City shelter are not leveling off and the Animal Services Office can not keep up with the high number of intakes versus those animals that are being adopted or rescued by the City’s partner animal rescue groups. Compared to last year at this time the animal shelter has taken in140 more animals and have 139 less adoptions, a net increase of 279 more pets.Please share your ideas or suggestions on how the City can address this issue, short-term, and possibly long-term.

The Urban Forestry Board is prescribed by City code to 'develop and revise' a Comprehensive Urban Forest Management Plan 'with assistance from the urban forester'. The intent of this plan is to lend guidance to the management of trees on public property, a resource enormous in size and importance.

The Urban Forestry Board has formed a three member sub-committee to work with the urban forester and his staff. The first task was to develop a 'Vision Statement'' defined as an ideal picture of the urban forest in the future, designed to inspire. They have reached a consensus on the following vision statement:

Austin’s urban forest is a thriving and sustainable mix of tree species that comprises a contiguous and healthy ecosystem valued, protected, and cared for by the City and all of its citizens as an essential environmental, economic, and community asset.

We want to know what Austin thinks of this vision statement.

Speak up, Austin!

Welcome! The purpose of this listening forum is to gather input on policies that the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office may use to encourage all types of housing, for all kinds of people, in all parts of town when using local and federal funding.

The City hosted a Community Forum on Tuesday, April 24th, where participants heard from housing officials in Dallas, San Jose, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Washington about affordable housing siting policies nationwide.

You can read more about the event here, and you can answer questions related to the forum below this introductory section.

The City of Austin currently uses the Kirwan opportunity map  to address geographic opportunity in funded projects. You can view the entire scoring matrix for City's Rental Housing Development Assistance and Acquisition & Development funding programs here. After a scan of national practices for housing siting policies, three additional approaches have emerged as starting points for this conversation:

1- Goal-Based Siting Policies: In this approach, a jurisdiction sets a number of expected affordable units per defined (new or exisiting) geographic area. Example: Portland Metro area created a "fair share" model whose goal is to achieve an equitable distribution of housing opportunity among local jurisdictions in the region by working toward a similar distribution of household incomes within each Metro jurisdiction that reflects the regional income distribution as a whole.

2-Capacity-Based Siting Policies: In this approach, a jurisdiction creates a formula by which to exempt communities/geographic areas from an affordable housing requirement if they can demonstrate they have already reached a quota based on a formulaic capacity. Example: Seattle's affordable housing development siting policy (pg. E5-E6) defines capacity as any given census block group having a proportion of 20% or more affordable housing for extremely low-income households (<30% Median Family Income). There are exceptions to this policy, such as in defined priority areas for funding, if the project has neighborhood support , or if the area is also receiving new market-rate housing.

3-Strategic Siting Policies: This is a place-based approach, in which the jurisdiction targets investment in affordable housing in specific geographic areas. Often this investment is aligned with other systems to ensure maximum efficiency in affordable housing siting (e.g. public transit, employment centers, social services, health facilities, schools). Example: Denver's TOD fund offers funding to affordable housing development seeking to preserve affordable housing near current or proposed rail lines. We'd like to know what you think would help the public, policy makers and developers achieve their goals of developing affordable housing throughout Austin. Below are a series of questions we'd like to answer, and if you wouldn't mind, please share with us the perspective you're bringing to the discussion (e.g., you are a neighbor of affordable housing, you live in affordable housing, you work for an organization that builds affordable housing, etc.).

Thanks for your participation! *Several community meetings and focus groups took place during the fall of 2011. To view notes from the October 3-10, 2011 Listening Sessions, click here. To view notes from the November 17, 2011 PSH Workshop at First United Methodist Church, click here. To view notes regarding geographic dispersion from the December 17, 2011 Listening Session at One Texas Center, click here.  And to view notes from an April 24th event, click here.

Hello! This project will stabilize approximately 3,000 linear feet of the Shoal Creek bank. In addition, it will relocate wastewater lines from the creek bed, provide stormwater treatment for water quality, and improve vegetation and trails along the sides of the creek. Led by the Watershed Protection Department, the project is a collaborative effort with Parks and Recreation, Public Works and community stakeholders. During this phase there will be several public meetings where design information will be presented for feedback from the community.

Join us for an open house on Wednesday, December 7th, at 7p, at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, room 325. 

This project will make improvements to the Shoal Creek corridor from 15th Street to 28th Street, including areas through Pease Park, where there has been excessive creek bank erosion, trees are threatened, the soil is compacted, there are invasive plants and the water quality is poor. There are three aspects to the project:

Stream Restoration: will primarily use native materials, such as limestone boulders and vegetation, to repair the eroded streambanks.  Click here to see renderings of streambank stabilization techniques that will be used throughout the project.

Stormwater Treatment: will include green infrastructure elements such as rain gardens and vegetated filter strips to remove pollution and enhance groundwater recharge to improve water quality. You can learn more about how rain gardens function and protect our water quality by watching this video 

Riparian Zones: will be restored by removing invasive vegetation and re-establishing native streamside vegetation. Riparian zones refer to the land immediately adjacent to the creek.

The suite of improvements will be integrated with recreational uses in Pease Park. The goal is to retain park uses that do not degrade the landscape and allow for the proposed restoration projects. The design phase of the project began in July 2011 and is expected to continue through 2012.

The project is expected to begin construction in early summer 2013 and last for 12 months. Portions of Pease Park and the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail from the south end of the park north to Shoal Creek Boulevard may be closed or rerouted during construction.

Budget for the project is $5,000,000, funded by the Drainage Utility Fee and the Urban Structural Control Fund.

You can learn more by visiting this web page.

Speak up, Austin! What are your thoughts on this project?

Discussion: Water Use Management

During our severe drought, the Austin Water Utility is reviewing how it manages and conserves water to ensure an adequate supply is available even in the most severe conditions. We want your thoughts on how the City of Austin can clarify language in our Code of Ordinances and implement new requirements or policies that will best respond to these challenging conditions. Speak up, Austin! What water uses should be restricted and to what extent?

Austin Water held its first stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, December 13 to begin discussing the water use management ordinance revisions. You can see the powerpoint presentation explaining the water use regulations process from this meeting and learn about upcoming meetings here. Give us your feedback on any of the issues below!

The City has made progress on the vision of East 11th Street as a visitor-oriented destination consisting of three to five story buildings that provide entertainment, retail and office uses that attract people to this metropolitan area. The vision of East 12th Street as a mixed-use area with combined office, retail and residential uses, which serves the immediate area, has been partially achieved. Through historic preservation of culturally significant structures and several small businesses receiving façade improvement grants dramatically improve the look of the corridor.

Development Strategy

The City through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process, has contracted with Economic & Planning Systems, Inc. (EPS) to prepare an East 11th and 12th Street Development Strategy. EPS has been working with area stakeholders to prepare a plan that responds to the considerable opportunities and challenges facing development within these two corridors.

The Development Strategy will provide a framework for the development of a mixture of commercial, retail and residential component in central east Austin. The assessment of both the current market demand and projections of future demand are critical to developing short-term and long-term strategies.

Scroll down to see 11 key issues identified by stakeholders with analysis conducted by EPS.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD), with its design consultant TBG, is currently in the process of updating the Master Plan for Town Lake Park - Auditorium Shores / Butler Park as directed by City Council. To date, this process has included stakeholder and public meetings. For more information, please refer to our project website.

Speak Up Austin!

Discussion: "My Health, My Voice"

The Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department will be hosting public forums throughout Austin and Travis County during 2012. This is an opportunity to share your thoughts about public health services and activities. Feedback we receive from these meetings will help create a health improvement plan for the Austin/Travis County area.

For a brief synopsis please refer to this video

Hello and thank you for visiting the Bond Development Process Discussion Board on SpeakUpAustin.org!

The City of Austin is looking for your feedback on the Task Force and City staff bond package recommendations to the Austin City Council as they consider a potential November 2012 bond referendum.  We look forward to hearing from you.

You can review the Task Force and Staff recommendations here: www.austintexas.gov/bonddevelopment

We welcome your comments here.

You can also direct any questions or additional comments via email to bonddevelopment@austintexas.gov, or via voicemail or text message to 512-539-0060. These comments will be provided to City Council in backup materials for the City Council public hearing on August 2nd at 4pm, City Hall.

Speak up, Austin!

Discussion: Republic Square Park

The City of Austin is hosting a community conversation about the future of Republic Square Park . We want your thoughts on the future of the Park. The project phases include the following: * Master Plan Update - The team will engage stakeholders and the public to assess and update the existing Republic Square Vision Plan * Phase II Design and Construction - Subsequent to the completion of the Master Plan, the team will prepare construction documents and technical specifications and oversee construction of the Phase 2 improvements * Public-Private Partnership Report - Team will create a strategy for sustainable public-private partnerships for the park’s on-going enhancement, operations, and maintenance.We will engage the community through a series of public meetings, email users, phone comment line, SpeakUpAustin and an online survey, with particular attention to obtaining input from representative segments of the community - the stakeholders. We invite you to share your ideas for potential park uses (passive and active), public events and opportunities for generating revenue. This feedback will help us identify the ongoing maintenance and operation needs, which will guide development of the operating model and associated budgets.

Please answer the questions below and indicate how frequently you visit the park and your favorite activities there.

What do you want our waterfront to look like in twenty years?

Click here for more information and then Speak Up, Austin!


The City of Austin maintains a goal to promote healthy outdoor air for all its residents and City policy makers want your input on how to best prepare for the growing air quality challenges in our region. Currently, we are looking for your ideas on how to develop a more comprehensive air quality program by improving our outreach/education, enforcement, technical assistance, planning/analysis, reporting and data collection.

Help us provide the City Council with recommendations for a more robust air quality program.

Please share your suggestions here.

Missed the July 18th meeting at city hall?

Here is a link to the video from Channel 6: http://austintx.swagit.com/play/07182012-510

In addition, here is a link to a presentation given by CAPCOG:

For more information on the state of Air Quality in the Central Texas Region visit:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/air_main.html

The mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to provide, protect and preserve a park system that promotes quality recreational, cultural and outdoor experiences for the Austin community. In order to provide a blueprint or roadmap for sustainable park development and to identify unique park programming opportunities, PARD’s goal is to have a master plan for all Austin parks.

PARD is seeking community input for the Holly Shores / Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach Master Plan Process. The future master plan process will provide a vision for the 90 acre park and will focus on sustainability, mobility, neighborhood connectivity as well as programming opportunities.

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department will lead a community workshop to solicit input on the future vision for the Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach Master Plan.

For more information on this project please visit: http://www.austintexas.gov/hollyshoresmasterplan

Valoramos siempre las opiniones e ideas expresadas por el público sobre la manera de en que enfrentamos los actuales retos por obtener el lugar de ser la ciudad mejor administrada de nuestra nación. Toma un momento para brindarnos tus ideas y opiniones en los foros aquí presentados o, comienza tu propia discusión. Austin: Esta es la mejor oportunidad para expresarte.

Publica tus grandes ideas. * Vota por lo que gustes. * Únete a la discusión.

El Plan maestro para Holly Shores/Edward Rendon, Sr. Park en Festival Beach.

La misión del Departamento de Parques y Recreos (PARD, por sus siglas en inglés) es brindar, proteger y preservar un sistema de parques que promueva las experiencias de nuestros residentes en términos de calidad del recreo, la cultura y el ambiente. Con el propósito de proporcionar un mapa que conduzca al sustentable desarrollo de parques e identificar oportunidades únicas para programar los parques, la meta de PARD es tener un plan maestro para todos los parques en Austin.

PARD busca la participación del público en el proceso del plan maestro para Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park en Festival Beach. El futuro Plan maestro proveerá una visión para el parque de 90 acres y enfocará la sostenabilidad, mobilidad, conexión con el vecindario al igual que oportunidades de programación.

El Departamento de Parques y Recreos presentará un taller comunitario para solicitar las opiniones sobre la futura visión del Plan maestro de Holly Shores/Edward Rendon Sr. Park en Festival Beach.

Para información adicional sobre este proyecto por favor visite:  http://www.austintexas.gov/hollyshoresmasterplan.


What would you identify as the top transportation safety issues for our region?

Austin's Urban Forestry Board is currently engaging the community to develop Austin’s first comprehensive Urban Forest Plan. This plan will help shape and protect the future of Austin’s urban forest. The Board needs your help in determining the priorities and needs of Austin’s Urban Forest, so SpeakUp! now and share your thoughts on these topics!

For more information, please visit Austin Urban Forest Plan’s website, austinurbanforestry.org or the website for the Urban Forestry Board, austintexas.gov/ufb.

Discussion: Lake Austin


The Lake Austin Task Force was appointed by the Austin City Council and is asking the public to weigh in on environmental, water quality, lake use, development, and other issues affecting Lake Austin. Watch the video of a public hearing on Monday, October 22nd.

The task force would also like to hear from you here. Please post responses to any of the questions below. Speak Up Austin!

For more information on the Lake Austin Task Force, visit http://www.austintexas.gov/content/lake-austin-task-force


The Austin Youth Council has prioritized two issues for the 2012-2013 school year; we'd like to know how you would address these issues. Specifically,

  1. What initiatives could the Austin Youth Council undertake at little to no cost to raise community awareness of these issues?
  2. What partners could the Austin Youth Council work with on measures to address these issues?
  3. What would success look like in addressing these issues?
  4. What leaders in the community (or beyond) could help the Austin Youth Council champion solutions for these issues? 1 What message does the Austin Youth Council want to convey to the public about these issues?

The senior (65+) and pre-senior (55-64) populations are two of the fastest growing in Central Texas. The Mayor's Task Force on Aging is collecting feedback from community members on how we can improve the quality of life for seniors in our area. Please feel free to contribute any issues you see, your ideas for overcoming these issues, or comments in general. There are a few questions to help guide you if you're interested. Additionally, if you are 55 years of age or older, please feel free to participate in our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AustinTaskForce

Speak up, Austin!

The purpose of this discussion is to solicit input on how best to involve the public in the sale of city owned property. As you can see from this City Council resolution, the Austin City Council wants input from the public on "an enhanced review process for potential real estate sales of City-owned land that includes outreach with the community and consideration of all relevant city plans and policies, from small area plans to the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan."

Here is additional background for you on how the City of Austin and other cities manage these transactions. 

So, we'd like to know from you how you think the public should be involved in real estate transactions involving City-owned property:

  • When should the public be involved?
  • Which transactions should involve the public?
  • What kind of involvement should the public have?

Speak up, Austin!

Art in Public Places: A new Consolidated Rental Car Facility at the Austin‐Bergstrom International Airport will include a public art component. Acclaimed artist Vito Acconci has been commissioned to create a transformative new work. Acconci is working closely with Aviation staff and Demattei Wong Architects to design a pedestrian pathway that will lead travelers from the terminal to the new facility.

In order to infuse this new area of the airport with public art that represents Austin as a destination, we need to hear from you, Austin.

Help us shape this exciting project! Speak up on these topics.

The Austin City Council has proposed two approaches for creating a program that would call for regular health and safety inspections of apartment complexes. We want to hear your ideas on the proposed apartment inspections and registration.


The City of Austin is conducting an assessment of its aquatics program and facilities and wants your feedback. We're trying to find out what you think about how to best meet the needs of Austin's population--and how to prioritize those various needs.

You can read more about the assessment process at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/aquatics-assessment. Speak up, Austin!


See this memo updating the City Council on the input process.

The Austin City Council has asked City staff to develop a range of options for use of the parcel of land at the corner of Rainey and Holly Streets that would address the needs of the adjacent Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. 

The placement of the Center was significant because of its proximity to the former Juarez-Lincoln University site as well as being located in the center of a traditionally Mexican American neighborhood.

The Center is faced with continued challenges to fully realize the vision of a completed, built-out cultural center even as the Rainey neighborhood in which it is located changes through commercial development.

How do you think the property should be used?

Speak up, Austin!

As you review the redesign options for East Sixth Street, we're interested in knowing what qualities of the redesign are most and least important to you: parking, sidewalks, cafe zones, trees, and bike lanes. Speak up, Austin!  What is most and least important to you in the redesign?

Austin’s food sector has a $4.1 billion economic impact annually and supports more than 43,000 jobs in the metro area according to a recent report presented to the Austin City Council on March 28th. Based on a similar report conducted by the City in 2012, those numbers almost match the amount of money and jobs that all the creative sectors support combined. The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition.

The first-of-its-kind economic impact analysis on Austin’s food sector looked at 20 different classes of business establishments from agriculture, food processing/manufacturing, food distribution, and retail food/eating and drinking places, to determine their impact annually on the economy. The report focuses on activities that bring new money to Austin or allows residents to be able to buy more products locally.

Some key findings highlight Austin’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit present in the food scene – from locally-made products, to farms, trailers and restaurants.The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition. You can read all the findings and recommendations from the Austin City Council Report at: http://austintexas.gov/department/economic-growth.

Weigh in on the important factors when discussing Austin's food sector by speaking up now!


We need your perspective to get a complete picture of Austin’s needs.


We learned from Imagine Austin that household affordability is a growing challenge in Austin. In reviewing demographics and data about our city, we know that Austin has a tremendous gap between the number of people who are lower-wage earners and available housing they can reasonably afford.

We heard last year from Austin residents how important it is to continue serving low-income residents and our most vulnerable populations, such as children, seniors, and residents with special needs and mobility challenges.

We see that affordability affects more than just individuals. It impacts whole communities when housing is not within reach of those who play a critical role in the community—such as our hard-working teachers, firefighters, police officers, sales clerks, hospital workers, and receptionists.

We have fewer resources to work with as federal funding levels are projected to be reduced for affordable housing and community development in fiscal year 2013-14 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


We continue the discussion as we prepare our annual Action Plan (read our 5-year plan summary here) that outlines community needs, resources, priorities and proposed activities for housing, community development, economic development and public services.

The focus of this SpeakUp Austin! forum is to understand your priorities for how we invest limited funding. Based on public input and research conducted during previous Action Plans, the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development office has added financial empowerment programs, such as homebuyer education, matched-savings programs and down-payment assistance.

We invite you learn about the impact being made by the City’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Office.


We want to know what you think. Once you post, make sure to share your ideas on Facebook and invite your friends to join the discussion! You may also want to attend an upcoming public hearing.

To prepare for the continued and unprecedented growth in the size, scope and frequency of special events, the Austin Center for Events is continuing to seek public feedback as it prepares an improved ordinance for Austin City Council’s review this summer.

The City of Austin wants to know what challenges you're facing when it comes to Special Events Permits and processes, and how we can improve the process. We encourage you to not only attend the community outreach meetings, but also make sure your voice is heard and speak up now!

For more information about the Special Events Community Outreach Meetings, please CLICK HERE.

To review a draft special events permit application, please CLICK HERE.

The City of Austin is currently engaging the community to develop Austin’s first comprehensive Special Events Ordinance. This ordinance will help shape future Special Events management. We encourage you to take advantage of this SpeakUp! discussion to ensure your input and questions are collected in a central, transparent location as the City moves forward in partnership with you.

On February 25, 2010, the Austin City Council adopted the East Riverside Corridor (ERC) Master Plan as an amendment to the Austin Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan. The ERC Master Plan presents a long-term vision for the area to redevelop the existing low density, auto-oriented commercial uses into an urban mixed-use neighborhood that is more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

An important element of the plan is to enhance development design quality and create great places where people can live, work, shop, interact and recreate within a walking distance of one another. The Draft East Riverside Corridor Regulating Plan (the proposed draft regulations) is available for review at the Ruiz Branch Library, 1600 Grove Blvd., and online.

The draft regulations lay out the rules that will guide new development and redevelopment to help realize the Vision of making East Riverside a more vibrant, functional and beautiful environment. Tailor-made for East Riverside Corridor, the regulations provide clear, illustrated instructions on how individual construction projects will add up over time to create quality sidewalk areas and better connections to the neighborhoods, as well as a harmonious and coherent relationship among new buildings that reinforces the primacy of pedestrians while lending a stronger sense of place to the corridor, even as Austin grows. They address the physical relationship between development and adjacent properties, streets, neighborhoods, and the natural environment in order to implement the vision of an urban mixed-use neighborhood that supports current and future transit options.

As you look through the regulations, you will notice that they don't include details on a development bonus program due to ongoing staff research about the economics of such a program. Staff will brief City Council at a future Council work session prior to making development bonus program recommendations. Once defined, the draft program details will be circulated for community feedback. Sign up for the ERC interest list if you’d like to receive ERC-related notifications, including updates about the development bonus program regulations.

Speak up, Austin!

The City of Austin is working with mobile food vendors and mobile food courts to ensure that their employees and tenants are provided with access to on-site recycling and composting services. We need your help to ensure recycling and composting requirements do not result in unintended consequences for the vendors, property owners, or patrons. Please lend your voice and engage in the discussion.

To learn more about Mobile Food Recycling and Composting and the Universal Recycling Ordinance, please visit: www.austintexas.gov/uro.


The Onion Creek Metropolitan Park is a 555-acre regional park located in southeast Travis County, just south of Onion Creek. The land – flat, wooded and pond-filled – is undeveloped and used by area residents. The Onion Creek Greenbelt is north of the creek. Onion Creek travels approximately 79 miles.

The entire Austin community is asked to help identify a vision for the types of activities and improvements for the Onion Creek Metro Park and Greenbelt Corridor.

What is your vision for Onion Creek Metro Park? You can help by giving us your input on the following topics:


Based on more than two years of study and community input regarding the future of the South Central Waterfront, some common themes have emerged. Look over the draft vision statement and 16 guiding principles (also a draft) below. Are these on target? What’s missing?

It's easy to participate. Click "View Topic" and share your comments!

Learn more at http://speakupaustin.org/projects/south-central-waterfront-initiative-1

Hi, there--

You may have noticed that SpeakUpAustin users have posted several ideas here of ways the City might better care for the environment and create a more sustainable Austin. We're wanting to extend that conversation a bit here with a discussion about how you think the City should best be investing time, money, and other resources on environmental measures.  While some new measures might have funding within existing departmental budgets for some new initiatives, part of what we want to determine is what measures have highest community priority and to what extent you would be willing to pay more for those initiatives.

So, use this space for helping answer those questions--

  1. What priorities should we have going forward in our measures to care for the environment?
  2. What are various future initiatives "worth" if new funding were needed, and
  3. How do the ideas you've seen on our forum or others resonate with you?

We look forward to your comments!

The City of Austin, Capital Metro, Lone Star Rail and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning organization came together to create Project Connect, a high-capacity transit system vision for Central Texas. Project Connect incorporates multiple modes of transportation including express lanes, bus rapid transit (BRT), urban rail, regional rail and commuter rail, in addition to existing local bus service to create a system that will help get Central Texas moving again. There are many projects that are part of the Project Connect Vision, all of which have unique timelines and goals to benefit all areas of our region, but one of the most active projects right now is called the Central Corridor High Capacity Transit Study.

The urban rail project that staff presented as a recommendation to the Central Corridor Advisory Group (CCAG) includes construction of a new, signature bridge over Lady Bird Lake that would accommodate urban rail and could also feature bicycle and pedestrian pathways. Another proposed feature of the recommendation is a short tunnel near Hancock Center that would carry the urban rail under the Capital Metro Red Line tracks on the east end of Hancock Center near I-35. The tunnel is subject to further studies.

The urban rail system, which is expected to operate in mostly dedicated right-of-way (separated tracks from regular traffic flow), would run on a 10-15 minute service frequency with 16 stations along the entire 9.5 mile alignment. The urban rail line through downtown is estimated to carry an average of 16,000-20,000 people a day carrying more during special events and weekends. The recommended project will continue to be designed and reviewed through the National Environmental Policy Act environmental study process.

The recommendation has yet to be adopted and your comments will be incorporated into the larger discussion as the governing bodies, the advisory group, City Council and Capital Metro Board, plan to take action. Speak up now in the Project Connect: Central Corridor discussions (found at the bottom of this page) about these alternatives, their trade-offs and what it could mean for a rapidly growing Austin. Let’s get moving!

Visit projectconnect.com for more information about the overall vision, and visit projectconnect.com/connect/central-corridor for more information about the Central Corridor Study.


This initial conceptual design plan embodies the spirit of imaginative play and celebrates Ausitn's love of its natural outdoor environments.  The design is based on several key objectives, including extension of play, activities for all ages and being inclusive to all, as well as the primary concerns and desires voiced in the first public engagement meeting and the public survey, which included:

  • Shade is essential
  • Experiential play is a must
  • Provide swings
  • Provide berm slides
  • Use materials reflecting Austin's natural environment
  • Create a cultural park
  • Balance natural and synthetic materials
  • Create a visually striking park

We are continuing to refine the garden design, based on comments from the second public engagement meeting, as well as the survey, as this project's design phase continues.  Please review the Conceptual Plan, and tell us your thoughts!

For more information: http://www.austintexas.gov/alliancechildrensgarden


The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of designing a restroom to serve users of the Barton Creek Trail and other amenities near to the trailhead, located on the north side of Barton Creek, near the west end of Barton Springs Pool. The Parks and Recreation Department is looking to add a facility to serve park and trail users  that will fit in with the character of the unique Barton Springs environment. To aid in this process, the Department is seeking input from the public as to what materials, colors and shape will best complement the Zilker Park setting.

The conceptual drawing has features to reflect the Austin area, but PARD would like your ideas and comments.


Images link


We want your input! The CodeNEXT Team partnered with the Innovation Office to create a productive and effective process for working groups led by the Code Advisory Group.

The groups held a handful of meetings open to the public on the following topics. See the adventure visualized or follow along.

  • code-related obstacles to affordability
  • infill, compatibility and missing middle
  • obstacles to small businesses

Learn what was discussed at orientation and each meeting below, and share your thoughts.

UPDATE 11-7-14: The draft agreement and executive summary have been added as backup for your review. Additionally, the draft community engagement plan (should the agreement be approved) is also attached for review.

Staff from the City of Austin’s Park and Recreation Department are working on an agreement with the private company Decker Lake Golf, LLC (DLG) to develop a municipal public golf course at the Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Under the agreement, DLG would pay for, develop, and operate two golf courses, as well as construction of a club house with meeting space and other park amenities. The proposal also includes a community short-course learning center focused on youth programming and includes new trails for connectivity. 

If the City Council approves the agreement, the Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park project would align with the Imagine Austin Vision by stimulating economic development in the eastern section of Travis County through job creation, commercial investment, and tourism. The project would offer public access to a golf venue suitable for hosting major golf events. Given the proximity of the proposed course to State Highway 130 and the airport, the development would offers a unique opportunity to host some of the largest golf events in the country.

You can learn more about the project on Monday, November 17 from 4:30 – 7:30 PM at the Morris Williams Golf Course located at 3851 Manor Road (78723). You will be able to see and comment on the DLG proposal, as well as ask questions and share ideas.

For those unable to attend the event, please share your input about this project from now until November 17. For more information, visit Walter E. Long Golf Course website. Speak up, Austin!


The Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake connects a former gap in the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail from the Statesman Building to Lakeshore Park.

Currently, bridges that span the lake do not allow fishing due to safety concerns at the dams. Since the Boardwalk is a unique structure that serves different purposes, the City is moving forward to allow fishing in certain areas.

Please join the discussion below and share your thoughts on fishing use for the Boardwalk. 


Share your hopes, needs, struggles, and ideas. How might individuals, communities and local government mobilize to ensure a brighter future for all?

  • Help discuss equitable economic development and its impact on you.
  • Participate in small-group problem-solving discussions.
  • Speak up online and/or at our event on Sept. 12

Learn more: SpiritofEastATX.eventbrite.com


The Austin Parks & Recreation Department seeks your opinion as we solicit proposals for the operation of the Zilker Café at Barton Springs.

To guide the conversation, please consider what you would like achieve, preserve, eliminate, or avoid in the future operation of the Café. 


The City, Capital Metro, and Austin Independent School District are excited to partner with MobilityATX in June to bring conversations about transportation solutions to all areas of town. By joining with MobilityATX for this conversation topic, we’re able to increase the number of decision makers that will be listening to the voices of the community. The specific focus for our conversations will be about individual behavior and personal responsibility about our travel behaviors.  

You can contribute to the conversation here, via MobilityATX.com, or by attending a face-to-face conversation in your part of Austin.  You can find conversation locations at the Conversation Corps website.  

Speak up, Austin!


Austin Pride proposes to paint rainbow-colored crosswalks at two downtown Austin intersections: 4th Street/Bettie Naylor and Colorado and 4th Street/Bettie Naylor and Lavaca.

The crosswalks would be installed by City crews, while all installation and maintenance costs would be paid for by the Austin Gay and Lesbian Pride Foundation through private funds, grants, sponsorships, and donations. The crosswalks are intended to be a permanent addition to the street, and the foundation would pay for any future repainting as needed.

Proposed colors of the rainbow crosswalk are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Final designs must comply with City of Austin and Texas Department of Transportation standards for crosswalks. Austin Pride has submitted their proposal under the City of Austin’s Artwork Donation and Loan Policy.

The Austin City Council has instructed the Austin Arts Commission to solicit public input on this donation proposal, which has been reviewed by the Austin Transportation Department.

The Arts Commission will review the proposal and make a recommendation at their regular meeting on Nov. 17, 2014.

Discussion: Violet Crown Trail


The purpose of this forum is to hear your feedback on the recommended Violet Crown Trail (VCT) route.

The project team has selected a recommended route for the portion of the trail from Home Depot Blvd. to the Arbor Trails development. Click here to view a map of the recommended route for this section of the trail. This route takes into consideration previous feedback as well as topographic, water resource, drainage, floodplain, transportation, environmental, wildlife and cultural resources. We are asking you to share additional feedback and comments on the recommended route, as described within the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER).  This report details alternate routes, cost estimates and public input. Click here to view the PER.

We will use this feedback when finalizing the Report and during trail design. Our goal is to provide quality projects that the neighborhood will find useful in their daily lives.

You can also provide feedback at the next VCT public meeting on January 13, 2015 at the Hampton Branch Library. Click here for more information.

 Speak up, Austin!


A renovation of the children’s play area at Battle Bend Neighborhood Park is being proposed in order to address the outdated playscape while exploring opportunities for other site enhancements for family play, picnicking, walking, nature contact and other beneficial park uses. The project will also address the need for improved ADA access and pedestrian connectivity within the park.

The Ethics Review Commission seeks public input about City regulations limiting contributions and expenditures in mayoral and City Council campaigns.

The campaign finance limits apply to candidates who sign a campaign contract with the City. Candidates who sign the contract agree to participate in forums arranged by the Ethics Review Commission and also become eligible for possible disbursements from the Austin Fair Campaign Finance Fund.

Mayoral candidates currently may not get more than $24,000 in contributions from political committees during a general election with an additional $16,000 allowed for a runoff.  For Council races, the limits are $15,000 with an additional $10,000.

The current limit for expenditures during the general election campaign is $120,000 in a mayoral race with an additional $80,000 in a runoff election or $75,000 for a Council race with an additional $50,000 in a runoff.

Additionally, a candidate for Mayor or City Council may spend personal funds on his or her own campaign up to five percent of the expenditure limits.

The ERC will also take input on other provisions of the City Code Chapter 2-2 as well as limits in Article III Section 8 which outlines City Charter campaign limits. View Article III of the Charter on the attachment or here.

The complete provisions are outlined in the City Code Title 2, Chapter 2-2. The code can be found, here.

About ERC:

The Ethics Revision Commission is a seven-member board appointed by the Austin City Council. Its responsibilities include ruling on alleged violations of the City's rules regarding ethics and financial disclosure, conflicts of interest, lobbyists, campaign finance, contribution limits and expenditures.

The duties and responsibilities are established by Chapter 2-2 (Campaign Finance) and Chapter 2-7 (Ethics and Financial Disclosure) of the City Code.

The Ethics Review Commission wants to hear your thoughts on some proposed changes to the rules governing lobbyists at City Hall.  Their proposals cover a range of subjects, including:

  • Criteria for who should quality as a lobbyist
  • What a lobbyist should disclose when registering
  • How the City should oversee lobbyists

The proposed changes are included here.  Speak up, Austin!


Austin 3-1-1 is requesting public feedback on its mobile app; the feedback will help the City identify possible future enhancements.

Since being launched in July of 2014, the Austin 3-1-1 mobile app has been downloaded over 13,000 times. Users can choose from 23 service request types.  More information is available on the Austin 3-1-1 website here. The app is available for download on the App Store or Google Play.

A survey is also being conducted. Please access it through the survey tab on SpeakUpAustin.org.

Speak up, Austin!

CodeNEXT is the new City of Austin initiative to revise the Land Development Code, which determines how land can be used throughout the city – including what can be built, where it can be built, and how much can (and cannot) be built.

The process is a collaboration between Austin’s residents, business community, and civic institutions to align our land use standards and regulations with what is important to the community.

This initiative to revise the Land Development Code is a priority program out of Imagine Austin, our plan for the future adopted by City Council in 2012.

The Code Advisory Group initiated a series of working groups to dig deeper into concepts directly linked to revising and improving Austin's land development code. These working groups, honoring the inherent conflicts and spending some time exploring trade-offs and choices, will explore three core areas over the next few months:

  1. code issues related to affordability
  2. infill, compatibility and missing middle housing
  3. obstacles to small businesses

Each group will examine best practices as well as offer suggestions to the consulting team as it works toward drafting a new code. Participants will include members of the CAG and various City boards and commissions, as well as teams implementingImagine Austin

Working groups will meet from late January to March 2015. All of the meetings are open to the public, and opportunities for public comments will be provided. Materials for the CAG working groups are located on our bloomfire site.  For more on the process, click on the Working Group Adventure (process diagram).

Join the conversation online--speak up, Austin!


Austin 3-1-1 is requesting public feedback on its online Service Request Portal. The online Service Request Portal allows residents to submit 46 different request types directly to City of Austin Departments.

Feedback will help to identify possible future enhancements.

A survey is also being conducted. Please access it through the survey tab on SpeakUpAustin.org. 

Speak up, Austin!


The new Austin City Council is seeking feedback on an extensive restructuring of its decision-making process. The proposed plan aims to improve customer service and engagement for residents participating in City government decisions.  

In the past, long public hearings have caused Council meetings to carry on very late at night, and sometimes into the early morning hours. The inconvenient hours make it difficult for residents to attend and voice their opinions on major City decisions.

The restructuring would emphasize the use of Council committees to hold these public hearings before items reach the full City Council.  

The proposed changes include:

  • An altered approach to adding items to Council meeting agendas
  • A list of possible Council standing committees which could review proposed local laws and resolutions before they’re considered by City Council.
  • Better planning and management of the Council agenda to avoid late-night meetings
  • Easier and more complete access to Council committee and commission records.
  • A longer-term investigation into best practices for public engagement.

Join the discussion! Learn more about the proposed changes:

Here are Spanish versions of these documents:

Click "View Discussion" and "View Topic" to offer your comments.  Share your thoughts; speak up, Austin!


The City of Austin's Parkland Events Task Force has been reviewing the use of City parks for events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Trail of Lights, and so on, and they have discovered some parkland that are not typically used for events but could accommodate events in the future.  We'd like your feedback on these locations as to how suitable they might be for events, and what considerations the City should have in potentially permitting events there (what type of event, how long, etc.). 

Speak up, Austin!


On April 10, 2014, Austin City Council passed Resolution 20140410-024, establishing a new long-term goal of reaching net zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, or earlier if feasible.  Office of Sustainability Climate Program staff have organized planning efforts to develop energy, transportation, waste, and industrial sector-based action plans to meet this goal.  This discussion board will serve as an opportunity for the community to provide ideas and potential actions to consider for the plan.  For more information about the project (and to see presentations and meeting notes), please visit the project website.

The purpose of this forum is to invite resident feedback on the YBC Trail: running from the Y at Oak Hill in Southwest Austin to Barton Creek. Please keep in mind that the City has not yet secured funding for construction of this project. The Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) should be complete by December 2015. At that time, the project team will consider resident feedback to determine next steps.   


The City of Austin is in preliminary engineering phase of this project.  Thus far the team, along with recommendations from the Oak Hills Trails Association, has selected destinations along the route that could benefit from all-ages-and-abilities urban trail.  Click here to view a map of the selected destinations. We will use this feedback when developing the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) and during trail design. Our goal is to provide quality projects that the neighborhood will find useful in their daily lives.


In addition to your online feedback, we encourage residents to attend the YBC listening session on July 28, 2015 at the Austin Oaks Church. Click here for more information. This is the first of multiple meetings between the City of Austin and YBC Trail stakeholders. Stay tuned for more dates.


We are asking for your feedback on what the project team should consider when devising the proposed route.  The ideal route will takes into consideration your feedback as well as topography, water resources, drainage patterns, floodplains, transportation connectivity, sensitive environmental features, wildlife habitat, trees, and cultural resources.


Speak up, Austin!



The City's Parkland Events Task Force is charged with developing recommendations for how best to manage events at Austin's parks and balance events with general public use of the parks.  We want your thoughts--what are the greatest benefits derived from events at Austin's parks, and what are the greatest challenges? What changes should the City make?  Speak up, Austin!

All throughout the month of November, we'll also be hosting conversations across Austin on this topic.  To find a convenient one for you, visit Conversation Corps.  

As our city continues to see rapid population growth, various factors influence our ability to access all areas of town. From transit to parking, our region faces many challenges. This month, the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) and Capital Metro are seeking input to help inform decisions that will address some of these transportation obstacles.
As Capital Metro updates its Service Plan to better meet the needs of the community and ATD addresses parking capacity through rate increases, both agencies recognize the interrelatedness of these issues and the value in discussing them together. With this in mind, we want to hear your thoughts on both transit services and parking as they relate to your ability to get to the areas of town that you want to go.
If you would like to take part in an in-person conversation in your area on this topic, please visit Conversation Corps for a list of times and venues.  
Speak up, Austin!  

The purpose of this forum is to receive community feedback on the Shoal Creek Trail from Fifth to 15th streets. It's a potentially 0.8-mile-long urban trail with stream improvements. We're studying the possibility of a 12-foot wide path and how the path would link to the on-street bicycle and sidewalk network; include amenities and unique features; create a safe, context-sensitive, environmentally sustainable destination, and preserve and improve wildlife habitat.


Watch the August 17th public meeting 

View the presentation from the public meeting


View trail renderings. 


Speak up, Austin!


In March of 2016 the Austin Parks & Recreation Department was awarded a $25,000 Planning Grant by the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative (funded by the National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network), designed to help city leaders develop strategies for getting more young people outdoors and connected to nature with a particular focus on children and youth in low-income and underserved communities. 

This grant is currently funding a six-month strategic planning process. During this process the Parks Department has brought together different city departments, non-profit organizations, hospitals, health professionals and community members to understand the largest gaps and barriers that exist in Austin for connecting children to nature, and creating solutions to fill those gaps to ensure that every child in Austin has abundant and equitable access to nature.

Once the Strategic Plan is complete it will act as a 3-5 year guide for the Parks Department on how to work with other city departments, schools, non-profit program providers, and health care networks to ensure that the children who need it the most have access to the outdoors and nature in their neighborhoods. The plan will also set goals and benchmarks for the Parks Department on where and how to improve parks for children and families.

For the purposes of this project our definition of “outdoors” and “nature” is very broad. “Connecting to nature” can mean playing in your yard or a park, kicking a soccer ball around on a field, hiking the greenbelt, and everything in between. 

As part of our planning process we are reaching out to the community to understand how you view the importance of spending time outdoors, what keeps you from spending time outside in nature, and what the City can do to help you spend more time in our urban parks and open spaces.

Learn more about the project here: www.austintexas.gov/cccn


The Austin City Council wants to know more about what transportation improvements you would want the Council to prioritize.  We all know traffic congestion and other mobility issues, such as gaps in the transportation infrastructure network, are a problem. However, we have so much need and only a finite amount of resources. The City Council would like to better understand what improvements the community wants to see to the mobility network in order to inform potential future funding options and areas of focus.

The input gathered during this initiative will be used to identify community priorities as well as the types of projects and potential investments the City of Austin could pursue. This information will be reported back to the Mobility Committee of the City Council on June 8, at which point the City Council may consider potential funding options for those needs.  

Mobility Talks is just one chapter in our transportation story.  We will also include information collected from earlier public input processes such as the Sidewalk Master Plan, the Austin Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan, Project Connect, MobilityATX, the Bicycle Master Plan, and the neighborhood plans, the specific area plans, and the transportation plans attached to the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan and public involvement data for other local, state and federal transportation planning.

The input collected now will feed into the upcoming Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP) update. The ASMP update will involve extensive communication engagement and will guide transportation development and investment for the next 10+ years. 

For more information on this process, visit this page.  You can also join an in-person conversation on this topic in your neighborhood; check the Conversation Corps website for more information. Finally, you can take this survey.

Speak up, Austin!


The Austin City Council is exploring a new policy that could require employers across the city to postpone questions about an applicant's criminal background until that applicant is identified as a top candidate--among other possible changes to the review of job applications from formerly incarcerated individuals.  You can read more about such policies around the country here.

We want your input on how such a policy could work here.  Speak up, Austin!





Austin has enough affordable housing...for 1 out of 4 very low-income households.

With housing prices continuing to rise, we need a strategic housing plan to meet the needs of people who call Austin home. So, that is what we are doing with the Austin Housing Plan.


The goal of the plan is to increase housing choices available to all Austinites. The Austin Housing Plan will include numerical goals, timelines, and strategies to maintain and create affordable housing for a range of incomes throughout the city, as envisioned in Imagine Austin.


The plan will help align resources, ensure a unified strategic direction, and help facilitate community partnerships to achieve this shared vision. The plan will explore funding mechanisms, potential regulations, and other creative approaches the City of Austin should utilize to achieve housing goals.


What do you think of the draft plan? Read it here. Speak up, Austin!

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department manages five historic municipal cemeteries, Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery, Plummers Cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, and Oakwood Annex Cemetery.  We are entrusted by the families and decendants to care for these sacred places, and the cemeteries are indelible and essential parts of the neighborhoods in which they reside.  The department is embarking on a public process to update the Cemetery Rules and develop a plan for enforcement.

Cemetery Master Plan

City of Austin Cemeteries Page

Cemetery Rules Report


Austin Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan 2017-2021

Prior to commenting on the discussion topics please read the complete DRAFT Strategic Plan here: Strategic Plan

The complete Vision, Mission, and Values are detailed in the plan.  This discussion will focus on Action strategies and Tasks related to the Goals and Strategic Initiatives outlined in the plan.  Please read the full document for more information regarding each Goal and a guide to reading the Strategic Plan.

Background Information

Strategic planning produces fundamental decisions and actions by guiding an organization from where it is, to where it wants to be, and providing a roadmap on how to get there.  Over the last year, the Parks and Recreation Department has engaged in a strategic planning process focusing on honing and articulating our vision, mission, values and goals. 

Parks and Recreation Department Strategic Plan, 2017-2022 contains action strategies and tasks to ensure each PARD division works in specific and measureable ways to fulfill the agency mission. This Strategic Plan will:

• Ensure that PARD leadership, staff, and Austin residents know where the Department is headed and how they are going to get there;

• Make Informed short- and long-range decisions that support the organization’s mission; and

• Develop collaborative and innovative strategies to move the organization forward, focused on its purpose and goals.

With this Strategic Plan, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is taking definitive steps towards realizing a vision where it can continue to be an innovative leader in parks and recreation services.


The City of Austin's Parkland Events Task Force has developed a list of draft recommendations for how to balance the use of Austin's parkland for special events with the use of Austin's parkland for activities like sports, picnics, and other forms of recreation.  Now, they want your feedback before they deliver their recommendations to the City Council.  Do their recommendations help respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with using Austin's parkland for events?  Do any of the recommendations have unintended consequences and, if so, what are they?  Has the Task Force missed something important that they need to address?

Speak up, Austin!


Click here for the newest CodeNEXT prescription paper (Fiscal Health).

 Click here for the first CodeNEXT prescription paper.  

Click here for the second CodeNEXT prescription paper.  

Click here for the third CodeNEXT prescription paper (Mobility).

As part of the Imagine Austin project to modernize Austin’s outdated land development code, the City of Austin’s CodeNEXT team is publishing four “prescriptions” for issues that impact everyone in Austin – affordability, mobility, fiscal health, and how we manage our growth while keeping Austin’s character. 

CodeNEXT is not a magic bullet for Austin’s problems but it is powerful in determining the form, feel and function of our city by determining what can be built in Austin, along with where and how much. In advance of public review of the entire code in 2017, the CodeNEXT team is previewing how the new code will address these critical topics.

The 4-part series of Code Prescriptions kicks off with managing growth while keeping Austin’s character. What’s the next Austin? We invite you to tell us what you think.  

Speak up, Austin!


Austin Resource Recovery is the city department that picks up trash, recycling and organics from single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes. The department also has contracts for a variety of other services such as the processing of the materials collected and dumpster services for city facilities. Austin Water (another city department) contracts out services relating to the management of biosolids. Recently, there have been a variety of questions from council when presented with recent contracts relating to these services.

On March 23, the City Council approved Resolution 20170323-055 that created a Council Working Group to examine waste management and biosolds policy issues and contracts, especially as they relate to organics and recycling.  The working group has begun meeting and is scheduled to provide recommendations to the full council by June 1.  City Council and city staff have identified the policy issues below and are seeking input as the working group completes their recommendations.

You can find more information on the working group here. 

Discussion: Expedited Permitting


The Development Services Department (DSD) is proposing a new, voluntary program that accelerates the building plan review and permit process. The Expedited Permitting program involves a single review session with a consolidated team of plan reviewers representing all the required disciplines. Through Expedited Permitting, customers will experience a quality review with a reduced wait time plus certainty of when plans will be reviewed.

DSD is drafting program guidelines for the proposed Expedited Permitting Program. The guidelines will outline the requirements and process for participating in the program. Your feedback is requested and will help inform the drafting of program guidelines.


Tourists bring millions of dollars in tax revenue to our City, and they also have a major impact on City operations and resources, as well as our economy as a whole. How should we best manage the tax dollars generated by tourism to benefit our community?

Austin welcomes thousands of tourists each year, and those tourists pump significant amounts of tax dollars directly into City coffers. Those tourists also have a significant impact on City resources. We're trying to determine the right ways to invest tax money contributed by tourists back into the City. The Visitor Impact Task Force (appointed by the Austin City Council) is currently meeting (through the spring) to discuss how the City of Austin should use hotel occupancy tax funds paid by tourists. The task force will make recommendations to the City Council about how to best utilize all hotel occupancy revenue to impact tourism by May 31, 2017. This feedback could greatly influence their recommendations. 

 Join us to discuss this timely topic as the Austin City Council considers the budget for the coming year.