Naked City

ECT Serves Up Its Vision

After more than two years of work, Envision Central Texas presented the fruits of its regional planning effort this week, releasing an ambitious and optimistic "vision" for a future Austin metro area that "absorbs and tames its growth by becoming taller and denser in places, greener throughout, and more connected – while keeping its unique sense of place and soul."

The vision reflects public input received through months of workshops, surveys, and focus groups, in which (in ECT's characterization) Central Texans "voiced a desire to see growth managed in ways that are very different in attitude, involvement, and commitment from what has existed until now" and "voiced a desire for more choices in their lives – in transportation, housing, and opportunities." That translates into more urban density, more environmental protection and open space, more affordable housing, more regional cooperation, and more transit. Much blood has been shed in Central Texas over these issues over the years, and decision-makers in the five-county region are bound in no way (other than via political pressure) to adhere to the ECT vision. The organization – which has brought together leaders from all sides of the growth wars to forge what it considers to be consensus – acknowledges that making the ECT vision a reality will involve lots of further dialogue and negotiation at the local level.

The organization's 73-member board plans further work to advise and assist local communities as they try (or not) to implement their part of the ECT vision. The ECT board has also formed subcommittees to tackle specific issues that cut across the region, including integrating transportation and land use, coordinating economic development efforts among Central Texas communities, and creating a balance of jobs and housing throughout the region. ECT also notes that much more work needs to be done on social equity – to "assist communities in developing goals that will close the gap for underprivileged and underserved populations" – and the group aims to be "an important resource and facilitator in this process."

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Naked City

    The district responds to parents – and its own demographics

    Naked City

    Breast-feeding advocates seek to restore programs after hospital layoffs
  • Naked City

    Will – or should – the Forty Acres take over America's top bomb factory?

    Naked City

    A study looks at how, when, and why innocent prisoners ever get exonerated

    Naked City

    A proposed LCRA water line – and 1,300 new homes – alarm the neighbors

    Naked City

    Yes, we remember hearing about those nuclear-power plagiarists …

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Envision Central Texas
Regional Planning
Regional Planning
Like herding counties

Katherine Gregor, April 9, 2010

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
At some point Austin history will stop looping upon itself. Until next time …

March 17, 2023

Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
It’s going to be sad, so sad, when Mayor Pete’s money comes if Austin’s not ready

March 10, 2023


Envision Central Texas, ECT, regional vision

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle