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Facing the Past of I-35 to Create a New Future Together

August 18, 2020

Photo Credit: David Brendan Hall

What comes to mind with you think of I-35? Traffic, protests, segregation? If you could push a button and transform I-35 into something new, what would it be? A massive park, a wider highway, a neighborhood of affordable housing, a transit corridor? Our Future 35 is inviting the community to leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the determine the future of the I-35 corridor.

Facing the Past
First as East Avenue and later I-35, this corridor has divided our city separating People of Color and Whites since the adoption of the 1928 Plan, but what started with racist policies in 1928 was solidified as a physical barrier with the construction of I-35 in the 1950s. And today, Austin is one of the most racially and economically segregated large cities in the country, with one of the most congested highways through the center of it.

Creating a New Future
For the past decade, there has been talk about reconstructing I-35 through the heart of our city, and this year, TxDOT is advancing the planning process to make it happen. We have the opportunity to leverage this major investment to create a new future for I-35. Can we co-create a new process that confronts the racist, unjust policies of our past and centers our community’s power to determine our own future and come to a shared community vision that serves our needs first? It’s time for us to gather around the same table to listen, learn, and create a shared vision. Let’s foster shared understanding, mutual respect, and empathy around each other’s challenges and aspirations for the future of I-35.

This is Our Chance to Dismantle the Systems, and Infrastructure, that Got Us Here–Will You Join Us?

Ways to participate



Our Future 35

Our Future 35 is a new engagement series intended to kick-start the process of co-creating a community vision for the I-35 corridor and focuses on how to guide and build on TxDOT’s investment to achieve positive outcomes for the whole community.

This creative, multi-platform engagement series began Saturday, August 8 with a Community Conversation led by KAZI and featured a panel of leaders across Austin’s key industries.

Series Introduction

Catch up on the conversation, where experts explored the unique opportunity to build on TxDOT’s plans to reconstruct the I-35 corridor and discussed how to achieve positive outcomes for the entire community. Weigh in on the Our Future 35 Ideas page.

Episode 1

The first official episode in the Our Future Series aired Saturday, August 22, during which, we discussed healing and what it means to co-create our future. Watch or listen to the conversation so you can hear about Austin’s past and the decisions made that led us to become one of the most racially and economically segregated large cities in the country.

Stay Tuned

Share your thoughts and comments below about each episode in the series at the bottom of the Our Future 35 home page, underneath the video embed of the latest episodes:

Participate in Our Future 35

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