Austin approved the East Riverside Corridor Master Plan last week, the first step in the city’s plan to direct future growth along rail lines, according to the Austin Chronicle. The mayor and city council rejected a last-minute attempt by the planning commission to limit height in the area, which the Chronicle says “could have gutted the density necessary for the new rail transit line at the heart of the plan.”
The Chronicle reports, “Council Member Sheryl Cole emphasized that the city is now committed to rail transit – and with that comes a commitment to directing population growth into denser areas along rail lines.”
The Chronicle also calls for a well-orchestrated public-private partnership to take full advantage of the transit-oriented development opportunities. The article points to Portland, which it calls “the poster city for smart growth, transit and walking,” and which has relied extensively on public-private partnerships to achieve ambitious planning goals. The article says that Austin must reorganize and greatly expand its planning staff if it hopes to mimic those results.
According to some estimates, Austin will grow by 50 percent in the next ten years.
(Photo credit: sahmeditor)