Who wants to rally behind a government plan that sits on a shelf? No one!

With that in mind, the City of Austin is organizing its operations, core services, decisions, and investments around Imagine Austin. We are also working with community partners to achieve the collective vision laid out in our 30-year comprehensive plan.

8 priority programs

Transforming vision into reality will require incremental steps over time. Eight priority programs provide the structure and direction to implement the plan. These programs build on some existing initiatives and are guided by community input provided during the process to create Imagine Austin.


A Healthy Austin Program will reduce chronic and diet-related diseases and risk factors by coordinating access to community and health services, local and healthy food, physical activity, and tobacco-free living.   This priority program seeks to create places where people can easily walk, bike, play, and find nearby healthy food options and healthcare.

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Growing and investing in Austin’s creative culture is a cornerstone of the city’s identity, as well as of its economy. The focus is to encourage and support Austin’s live music, festivals, theater, film, digital media, and new creative art forms. In order to support the creative industry, this priority program will include educational and economic programs as well as programs that provide affordable transportation, work space, housing, and healthcare.

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Addressing transportation concerns requires the City of Austin and its partners to look for solutions beyond how we travel and begin dealing with underlying conditions that make it difficult for Austinites to move around the city. To do so, we need to coordinate the physical form of Austin — how it’s organized and how it is built with our transportation. When viewed as a coordinated planning framework, the Growth Concept Map, complete communities concept, Capital Improvement Program, small area and transportation master plans, and incentives for business attraction, retention, and expansion can work together to achieve the goal of a compact, connected Austin that is less car-dependent and more walking, bicycling, and transit- friendly.

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Imagine Austin directs us to revise the Land Development Code, which determines how land can be used throughout the city – including what can be built, where it can be built, and how much can (and cannot) be built. The City’s Land Development Code needs to be changed to help us create the kinds of places we want, and to address critical issues such as diminishing natural resources, household affordability, and access to healthy lifestyles – to name a few.

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Central goals of this priority program are to conserve water resources and improve watershed health, which will require extensive involvement in regional efforts and close coordination across all aspects of Austin’s water resources. Bringing together existing efforts allows us to move forward with integrated strategies that address the range of water resources issues such as supply, quality, conservation, public health, and recreation.

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A primary goal of this priority program is to manage Austin’s urban and natural ecosystems in a coordinated and sustainable manner in part by increasing protection of environmentally sensitive land, improving tree cover in every neighborhood, improving health of the watershed, increasing access to parks, and linking these resources throughout the city.   This program seeks to improve environmental, recreational, and transportation functions and improve the connection between people and the environment.

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Rising housing and related costs are major issues facing Austinites. A comprehensive approach is needed to define and provide household affordability for Austinites. In order to maintain and increase household affordability, this priority program will take into consideration not only household costs such as mortgage, rent, and utilities but also transportation and access to daily and weekly needs as essential and inter-related components of household affordability.

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This priority program seeks to ensure Austin’s continued economic health by developing a widely skilled workforce, recruiting new businesses, retaining and growing existing businesses, and tapping into our entrepreneurial spirit. In particular, this priority program seeks to increase job opportunities for Austin residents and increase small businesses and entrepreneurship.

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