ECT era ends, but vision continues
Twelve years after the inception of Envision Central Texas and the creation of a regional vision for growth, the board has voted to recognize its successes and step aside for the next group of leaders who seek to ensure that the continued growth in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area will also be a source of opportunity, vitality, pride and diversity.
ECT was launched in 2001 with a mission "to assist in the public development and implementation of a regional vision addressing the growth of Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties, with an emphasis on land use, transportation and the environment." The central questions then were not "if" and "when" we would grow but rather "how" and "where."
The ensuing unprecedented visioning process took two years and engaged thousands of citizens from across the region who may have differed in their opinions on growth but shared a desire to preserve and enhance our region's quality of life, natural resources and economic prosperity with sound planning that valued the interests of existing and future residents.
The result was a Preferred Vision unveiled in 2004 promoting a scenario of focused growth in existing communities as well as new communities along major transportation corridors. This scenario would be the basis of the 37 Activity Centers in CAMPO's 2035 Transportation Plan. And the Activity Center concept would ultimately drive the Sustainable Places Project, an effort funded by HUD's first round of Sustainable Communities Initiative grants led by CAPCOG and a consortium of regional stakeholders.
ECT's work focused on seven key elements: an effective transportation system, protection of the environment and natural resources, a diverse and thriving economy, a variety of housing choices, preservation of the region's unique character, an understanding that social equity and racial harmony are core values and a regionwide understanding that our fortunes are tied together. No doubt these elements will continue to frame many future planning efforts at the local and regional level.
In April 2013, the Envision Central Texas board voted to cease operations. The reports and information developed by the organization will be available on this website and linked to CAPCOG's website
, where they will reside after December of this year.
Regional Livability Symposium Facilitates Multidisciplinary DialogParticipants in the 2013 Envision Central Texas Regional Livability Symposium were inspired by diverse perspectives on water issues in Central Texas
30 speakers from multiple disciplines engaged with participants from throughout the Central Texas region during last Friday's 2013 Regional Livability Symposium. This inaugural symposium, themed Water: Key to Our Future, was held at the University of Texas Union in partnership with the UT's Center for Sustainable Development. Sessions addressed a full range of water-related topics including Designing Sites for Water, Water Reuse, Social Equity and Water, Economics, Innovative Conservation and Education, Infrastructure, Water Policy, Strategies for Dealing with Drought and Sustainability Metrics.
Each session featured multiple presenters and panelists from different professional and academic perspectives, allowing participants to gain new understandings at the intersections of disciplines. A final panel of elected officials discussed key policy-related questions from each of the day's sessions, moving the conversation from knowledge to implementation.
Envision Central Texas plans to host the Regional Livability Symposium as an annual event. Each symposium in this series will facilitate a multidisciplinary dialog about a pressing growth-related issue in our region. These conversations will foster a systems-based approach to meeting the challenges and leveraging the opportunities of growth in Central Texas.
A report and available presentations from the sessions will be published on the Envision Central Texas website. Click to view films of the keynote addresses by Dean Frederick Steiner
and Pliny Fisk
. The symposium program, session synopses and speaker bios may be found in our resource pages
under "Presentations and Publications"
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