Envision Central Texas (ECT) serves as a catalyst for regional cooperation and planning in order to realize a common Vision for Central Texas which preserves and enhances our natural resources, economic vitality, social equity and overall quality of living.
To help achieve this goal, ECT promotes and communicates the elements of the Vision, convenes regional dialogues to address growth challenges, creates tools to assist cities and counties in creating livable, sustainable communities and measures progress toward the Vision. Below is an overview of ECT's 2011 Program of Work.
Our Mission: Envision Central Texas (ECT) serves as a catalyst for regional cooperation and planning in order to realize a common Vision for Central Texas which preserves and enhances our natural resources, economic vitality, social equity and overall quality of living.
Our Goal: We must improve how we grow in order to sustain our region’s quality of life and competitiveness. The focus of ECT is on what, where and when we build, and how that impacts natural resources and mobility.
Our Work: To help achieve this goal, ECT focuses on public education, engagement and outreach; seeking opportunities for advocacy; creating tools and resources to accomplish the regional vision; measuring progress toward the regional vision; and our Implementation Committees and Task Forces.
2012 Program of Work
I. Regional Planning
Central Texas has critical infrastructure needs and severely limited resources. There is a need for greater awareness about our regional growth challenges, how issues are interconnected, the trade-offs inherent in various approaches to growth and the need for better regional coordination.
• As a key member of the regional consortium, help complete the work plan of the $3.7 million federal Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant.
Central Texas has been awarded $3.7 million from the federal Sustainable Communities Partnership, part of the DOT’s, HUD’s and EPA’s coordinated effort to promote sustainable communities. The grant will be used to develop cutting-edge tools and plans that provide the information we need to make the investments that will help us create the region we want. ECT’s role in the grant is to assist with demonstration sites and lead the outreach and integration of the grant throughout the region. ECT is a member of the application consortium which includes CAPCOG, CAMPO, Austin, Round Rock, San Marcos, UT Austin, ACCD, Texas State and the five counties. Additional organizations from around the region were involved in the development of the grant and will participate going forward.
• Convene quarterly Central Texas Planner Roundtables to improve communication and collaboration within region.
ECT will continue to provide a forum for discussion of important regional growth and infrastructure issues and coordination by convening regular meetings of the municipal, county, agency and private sector planners.
• Livability Ratings- research best practices and develop suitable tools and reports on the region.
II. Special Events
• Spotlight visionary projects at the Seventh Annual ECT Community Stewardship Awards Luncheon and feature keynote on regional challenges and coordination.
ECT will conduct the Seventh Annual Luncheon on May 11 to spotlight the innovative people, projects and processes that are addressing the growth challenges facing our region in ways that will move us closer to a future that preserves and enhances our natural resources, economic vitality, social equity and overall quality of living. The Keynote Address will focus on regional challenges and coordination.
• Preview 83rd Texas Legislative Session at an ECT Legislative Forum in the fall.
• Launch a Regional Sustainability Conference with a professional focus that will have tracks for those interested in earning continuing education credits.
• Convene a Central Texas Growth and Connectivity Forum to educate on and seek solutions for key Central Texas growth and connectivity issues.
• Issues Resolution Program Exploration
ECT will form a new work group to investigate the feasibility of offering a turn-key service as an advocate and host for community-interest based problem solving projects. ECT could potentially provide a service in partnership with other organization such as the UT dispute resolution group.
IV. Issues and Advocacy
In 2009, ECT began advocacy activities on county growth management and local option transportation funding , and in 2010, began work on water issues. ECT created working groups on these three issues as well as position papers. In 2012, ECT will conduct educational activities when appropriate and seek out other organizations for potential collaboration that would help advance the Vision.
• Advocate for and seek collaborations on county land use authority, transportation funding and water issues.
• Promote and disseminate the Central Texas Greenprint for Growth to help identify areas to preserve as “natural infrastructure” as well as sites for development.
ECT, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the Capital Area Council of Governments, completed its Greenprint initiative in 2009. This unique tool can help communities identify opportunities to preserve their “green infrastructure” as well as help inform larger infrastructure and planning projects. In 2012, ECT will continue to promote the Greenprint throughout the five-county region.
V. ECT Implementation Committees and Task Force. These groups contain about 100 volunteers and help ECT plan and conduct its initiatives and events.
• Community Design Committee
• Community Outreach Committee
• County Growth Management Work Group
• Development Work Group
• Issue Resolution Work Group
• Natural Infrastructure Committee
• Transportation and Land Use Committee
• Vision Alignment/Benchmarking Work Group
• Water Resources Management Work Group