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In the News

CAPCOG economic development program earns national award

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Integrating economic development and planning to help Central Texas cities leverage future growth is the focus of the Sustainable Places Project, now being recognized for its innovative approach to community development.

The National Association of Development Organizations just announced that CAPCOG’s Sustainable Places Project, which was conducted in coordination with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, received a 2014 Innovation Award.

“We are proud to have demonstrated place making as a viable strategy for economic development in our small communities,” said Chad Coburn, CAPCOG’s Sustainable Places Project Director. “The award further validates our continued work with the project, now renamed the Prosperous Places Program (P3), and our effort to provide elected officials and staff with the analytics needed to prepare for and capitalize on the growth of Central Texas.”

The Sustainable Places Project integrated planning, analytic tool development and community visioning to help Central Texas cities create vibrant districts to attract new residents and businesses. The project addressed code revisions, infrastructure improvements, and economic strategies needed for development plan implementation.

Hutto, Elgin, Lockhart, Dripping Springs and Austin participated in the Sustainable Places Project between 2011 and 2014 to plan and evaluate a variety of development and redevelopment scenarios.

For instance, Elgin developed a vision of new, walkable residential and commercial uses; revived civic spaces along the railroad right-of-way; a network of roads and trails to connect the high school, downtown, and community college; and a farm-to-table approach toward food-related businesses. Recent upward trends in real estate have already provided opportunities for the plan’s implementation.

With the end of the Sustainable Places Project, CAPCOG instituted P3. P3 provides data and research tools to evaluate the long-term impacts of various growth scenarios on city budgets, the environment, the housing market and the economy.

“The notion of place making as economic development has great potential to spur quality growth and improve regional transportation outcomes,” Coburn said. “CAPCOG is excited to help our communities prepare and capitalize on the growth of the region.”

> Learn more about Prosperous Places Program.
> Read more about Sustainable Places Project.

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