I discovered this documentary, Sprawlling From Grace; Driven To Madness, about the adverse effects of sprawl. Have any Downtown Austin Blog readers seen this? The blog has great photos of old Texas towns.
In Austin, sprawl has encroached on the Backyard, Hamilton Pool, and just about every green belt in the form of horizontal development and black-top parking lots. Simultaneously, Austin has seen the benefits of urbanism. The most salient display of this trend is the surge in density in downtown Austin over the past 10 years. In an ideal world urbanism would provide attainable housing, replace automobile reliance with mass-transit, and reduce the development impact on our hill country.
Austin is finding its way and the discussion is passionate. Our city has vocal advocates for protecting views of the Lady Bird Lake and the Capitol building. A worthy endeavor indeed, but does this result in bolstering already expensive land values in the urban core neighborhoods and thereby inhibiting the development of more attainable housing? How should the city prioritize its goals?
From the website:
“Wrestling with these emerging realities, state and city governments are finding that they can no longer encourage these patterns of growth by further investing in highway and utility infrastructures. They are now forced to find viable alternatives by investing in public transit in the form of BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), commuter rail, and light rail to serve their community’s transportation needs. Through this process they are gaining an historical understanding of the relationship between land use and transportation.”