We believe information is power, especially when it comes to planning the future of downtown Austin. The Downtown Austin Alliance gives the downtown community many opportunities to discuss important topics with local and national leaders. Also see our Plans and Reports section for other helpful educational information.
Economic VALUE of Downtown Austin
The Downtown Austin Alliance has long known that downtown Austin is the economic engine of Central Texas. To quantify its value, in 2014 we asked Joe Minicozzi of Urban3, an Asheville, N.C., consulting firm, to conduct a study of taxable value per acre across Travis County. The results included a compelling 3D model of 2013 Travis County taxable value per acre, with significant spikes downtown. Because of the density that downtown Austin has, the value of an acre in downtown is about 28 times more potent than the city and 80 times more potent than the county on average.
While it’s clear that downtown Austin is the economic driver of our region’s property tax base, there are opportunities for other centers as we develop into the compact and connected city called for in the City of Austin’s Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan. We must make land use and transportation decisions that will sustain Austin economically so we can continue to enjoy the quality of life in this great city.
Shifting Gears: A roadmap to safer streets and smarter cities
The Downtown Austin Alliance hosted a standing room only crowd at Brazos Hall on October 29, 2015 at a forum featuring former New York City Transportation Commissioner and current Bloomberg Associates Principal, Janette Sadik-Khan.
The keynote speaker shared her insights and lessons learned from some of the key New York City projects she has spearheaded, including the ‘pedestrianization’ of Times Square, redesigning 2.3 miles of Broadway from Columbus Circle to Union Square, and the design and implementation of the nation’s largest bike share program.
In her remarks, Sadik-Khan explained that designing streets for more than just cars not only creates a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users; it is also part of an economic development strategy for cities.
The forum was held in coordination with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) conference.
The Downtown Alliance’s leaders regularly speak to community organizations about downtown issues, projects and the area’s overall economic impact. Our leaders have also been invited to speak about downtown’s economy and the Downtown Alliance’s success stories at many national industry events including:
Each fall, we hold an annual breakfast meeting for DAA members, which includes a speaker.
2013: Bill Ghormley and Nat Welch, Innovation District: A Bold Idea for Downtown
2012: Tom Meredith, Donald Stastny, and Michael Van Valkenburgh, Waller Creek’s Potential for downtown Austin
2011: Carol Coletta, Keeping the Lead
2010: Marc Ott, A Conversation with the City Manager