Planning Department

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The Planning Department’s mission is to provide equitable and people-centered planning services to shape an Austin where everyone can thrive.


By collaborating with residents, businesses, and public partners, we seek to develop and implement creative solutions that promote equitable development, environmental stewardship, cultural preservation, and economic prosperity.

Through thoughtful long-range planning and inclusive community engagement, we aim to create a resilient and thriving city for all residents, workers, learners, and visitors alike.

What We Do

Zoning, Urban Design, and Preservation
  • Zoning determines how our city looks by establishing what and where buildings can be built and services can operate in our communities. The Planning Department reviews development proposals to make sure they match the city’s goals to grow in a sustainable manner.
  • Urban Design examines places where people may gather: Parks and open spaces, streets and sidewalks, bridges and water bodies, historical features, trees and landscaping, lighting, and signage. The Planning Department seeks to shape these places to make sure they are functional, attractive, comfortable, lively, and safe for all.
  • The goal of the Historic Preservation Office is protect the important parts of Austin’s past as the city grows into the future. The Planning Department works to identify and manage historic landmarks and districts, preserving Austin's cultural heritage and architectural legacy.
Long Rang Planning

The Department develops and puts into action long-term plans and policies to guide the city's growth and development in a sustainable and equitable manner. This includes stewarding the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan, ongoing efforts to update Austin’s Land Development Code, and other efforts aimed at achieving the City’s adopted housing, affordability, mobility, and sustainability goals.


The City Demographer collects, studies, and publishes data about the residents of Austin, including where they live, where they work, how much money they make, and how they get around town. This information provides a snapshot of our population that helps officials and the community make informed decision about how best to plan for our future. 

Ongoing Initiatives and Featured Projects
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Learn about proposed land development code amendments aimed at making Austin a more walkable, transit-supportive, and environmentally-friendly city.

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The South Central Waterfront Combining District and Density Bonus Program could bring affordable housing, improved streets, parkland, and green infrastructure to Downtown’s emerging southern gateway.

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The Equity-Based Preservation Plan will replace Austin’s 1981 historic preservation plan with an inclusive, community-oriented process and outcome.