Imagine Austin: Participate in Shaping the Future

Imagine Austin is a comprehensive plan for Austin’s future growth and development that will be presented to the City Council for review in April and voted on in May. Why do you care? Well, because you either live here or are interested in the city of Austin or you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog (if neither of those apply, more power to you). But more importantly, because you can participate in shaping Austin’s Future! The Vision Plan for Imagine Austin says, “Austin’s greatest asset is its people: Passionate about our city, committed to its improvement, and determined to see this vision become a reality.” And these words are true. Many people have already participated and given their input and you can be a part of that as well. Time is running out to get involved, but either way, take this as an opportunity to read up on the progress that has been made so far. You can do that on the Imagine Austin Website. Also, after the plan is adopted it will guide policymaking and spending, so this is a great way to get a glimpse of Austin’s future.

This plan will be devised through a collaborative effort from the City Planning Commission (formed by city charter), the Citizens Advisory Task Force (appointed by city council) and the community- that means YOU. Over 16,000 ideas for Austin residents have been considered in shaping the plan. This has been done through surveys, public meetings, a community forum series and working groups.

So how can you get involved?

Well, start by reviewing a draft of the Imagine Austin Plan.
The plan is strongly focused on making sure Austin is natural, sustainable, mobile, interconnected, prosperous, creative and educated. There is also focus on preserving Austin culture, values and history for future generations.

Attend a Public Hearing
A calendar of upcoming events on the Imagine Austin website allows you to view upcoming events and meetings. Even if you don’t know anything about the plan yet, attending one of these meetings might give you an idea of what to expect and how you can participate further. If you do have ideas or input, here’s where you can let your voice be heard.

Join the Conversation Online (And I don’t just mean on Facebook)
While liking the Imagine Austin Facebook page might keep you in the loop of what’s going on, there is a much better way to get involved online if you really want to participate in the conversation. At Speak Up Austin you can add your ideas, the community will vote on those ideas, then the organization that you posted ideas to will review them and decide if further action needs to be taken. You can also vote on ideas that you find online, follow ideas and watch them grow and become a part of the plan for the future.

Contribute to the Imagine Austin Show and Tell
The Imagine Austin show and tell is a place where users can submit photos and stories to bring the project to life and show the City of Austin for how amazing it is. If you would like to submit a photo, join the Imagine Austin Show and Tell Flickr group and add photos to the group pool. If you have a story, like the Imagine Austin Facebook page and submit your story in 100 words or less on their wall. They will contact you to get more details!

Photo courtesy of Flickr, austintexasgov

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