CodeNEXT goes into the field: Public invited to 7 Community Walks

Austinites are invited to join a one-hour interactive walk Oct. 16 with the CodeNEXT team, the first in a series of seven Community Walks asking: As the local expert on where you live, what could be improved around you

The City of Austin is hosting seven Community Walks to tee up the “CodeNEXT: SOUND CHECK” where the technical writers of the City’s land development code – consultants and professional staff from multiple departments — will collaborate and “check their work.”

Public events and activities will take place every day between Nov. 16 and 21.

“We are climbing out from behind our desks to see how our work is impacting people on the ground. The only way we can do that is in collaboration with everyday Austinites,” said Matt Lewis, Assistant Director for the Planning and Zoning Department. “We often find ourselves looking through the lens of a City planner. As the local expert on where you live, we want to learn what you see.”

Each walk will last one hour, during which residents, business owners and staff are encouraged to share observations and insights. Members of the City Council and Code Advisory Group may also be on hand.

CodeNEXT Community Walks

Each Community Walk is in one of Austin’s seven “place types,” that include neighborhood nodes, shopping centers and major corridors. Each area is representative of similar places in Austin, so Austinites who live or work outside these areas are encouraged to participate.

These events are free and open to all residents. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP, wear comfortable shoes, bring water, and bring a smartphone to snap photos and share on social media using #CodeNEXT.

CodeNEXT is a priority initiative of Imagine Austin, “our plan for the future.” The Community Walks are part of the initiative’s place-based approach to improving Austin’s land development code – how and where things are built around Austin. A draft development code will be fully available for public review in fall 2016.

More than 100 Austin neighborhoods participated in a self-guided group activity in 2014, called “Community Character in a Box,” which is captured in Austin’s Community Character Manual.

“We have learned so much from this feedback and we need to build on this and get a better understanding of what people love about their neighborhoods and what is not working, so we can resolve it,” Lewis said. “We will be all over Austin the next couple of months and we hope to see you out there.”

Paul DiGiuseppe, CNU-A
Principal Planner
City of Austin Planning & Zoning Department
CodeNEXT Team
505 Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX 78704