Ordinary citizens can change the world, particularly if they're the visionary kind. By gathering together 22 volunteers from Austin's mainstream to form the Citizens Planning Committee, chair Ben Heimsath, also a local architect, helped change Austin's vision of itself. The CPC engineered a model for neighborhood and developer involvement in the city's growth process, the end result of which has already led to greater understanding between fighting factions and smoother city operations. It's a pretty simple idea: Everyone gets to play. A revamped land development code and regional cooperation is next on their list.
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