Austin Chosen for AIA Sustainability Program for Communities

Austin is among seven U.S. cities selected by the American Institute of Architects for planning assistance this year through the AIA’s Sustainability Program for Communities. The annual program sends a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) for site visits to help develop strategies for achieving long-term solutions to economic, environmental, and social equity challenges.

Auditorium Shores: current
Auditorium Shores: proposed improvement concept plan
Lady Bird Lake: current
Proposed Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake
Proposed Boardwalk Trail at Lady Bird Lake

Announced Jan. 10, this year’s selections were based on proposals that outlined specific challenges faced by each community. Along with Austin, the following cities will be a part of the 2012 AIA SDAT program: Augusta, Georgia; Sipaulovi Village, Arizona; South Hadley, Massachusetts; Springfield, Illinois; Stanwood, Washington; and Wenatchee, Washington. Since 2005, the SDAT program has provided technical assistance to 54 communities in 34 states.

Austin’s application was submitted by Alan Holt, AIA, principal planner with the City of Austin Planning & Development Review Department’s Urban Design Division. Titled “A Sustainability Assessment of the Codes and Plans for South Shore Central of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake,” the proposal sought outside review of recommendations by a City Council-appointed task force on future commercial development along Lady Bird Lake (previously known as Town Lake) near downtown.

Letters supporting Holt’s application were submitted by AIA Austin, the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and the local chapter of the Urban land Institute.

The entire application is posted in the resources below.

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