Why the LDC Matters: Telling the Urban Story

Next week (September 23-25) will be the first “listening sessions” as part of the City of Austin’s CodeNext initiative — the long-awaited revision of the city’s broken and battered Land Development Code. This is a major policy priority for CNU-CTX, through development of the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan (which provides a foundation for the code revision) to the current work of the city’s appointed Land Development Code Advisory Group, which is hosting the listening sessions.

So what, you say? Why should normal human beings who care about Austin care about the code? Glad you asked! Simply put, while the LDC doesn’t control everything in Austin (or in Imagine Austin), it controls most of what urbanists value and want to see encouraged as we create more, better places for people in Central Texas. That doesn’t mean turning Austin into some other kind of city — many of Austin’s most special places and vital neighborhoods, which have enriched the community for many decades, couldn’t be built today under the current code.

Starting Tuesday, we’ll be featuring here on the CNU-CTX blog observations on how the LDC revision can advance the cause of urbanism, which is in turn a proven strategy for fulfilling Austin’s community values and bringing Imagine Austin to life. We’ll be looking at land use and transportation, housing affordability, cultural vitality, and preserving our natural resources.

We hope these observations help you prepare to participate in the CodeNext listening sessions next week and other opportunities for public input going forward. It’s vitally important that CNU-CTX make its voice heard in these conversations.

--- Mike Clark-Madison, Co-Chair, CNU-CTX Outreach Committee