ECT Serves Up Its Vision
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."