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We are working on a shared vision for this complex, culturally rich and rapidly transforming part of downtown Austin.

The City of Austin Housing and Planning Department is leading this project. The Downtown Austin Alliance is serving as an agency partner, alongside Waterloo Greenway, Capital Metro, the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Austin) and the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture.

The planning area for this initiative spans from 15th Street to the north, Lady Bird Lake to the south, Trinity Street to the west and I-35 to the east. It is bisected north to south by Waller Creek and intersected east to west by the proposed 5th Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor.

Palm District map

The Palm District Planning Initiative will amend the Downtown Austin Plan to include a new strategies for the planning area that address topics such as: equity and accessibility, historic preservation and cultural resources, activities and uses, density and design, the public realm, transportation and parking, utilities and infrastructure, leadership and implementation.

This plan will ensure that public and private investments in the area benefit residents and visitors as well as the larger community. The planning process goals include creating safe and welcoming places, preserving and interpreting history, enhancing educational and cultural assets, providing economic benefits, improving mobility, increasing access to housing and increasing access to nature and natural systems.

American Institute of Architects Design Assistance Team Findings

On July 26, 2021, a Design Assistance Team (DAT) from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Communities by Design presented their preliminary findings and recommendations for the Palm District. The Design Assistance Team is an independent team of national experts assembled by AIA that conducted research, reviewed public input, attended community visioning forums and led additional stakeholder interviews over four days in July, 2021.

The focused recommendations provided by the AIA team will help to inform the draft Vision for the Palm District, however, these independent recommendations have not been reviewed or adopted by the City of Austin. At the conclusion of the Visioning Phase, city project management staff will present a summary of what was heard from the AIA team as well as through other engagement channels and will use what was heard to guide development of a draft Vision Framework for the district.

AIA DAT Presentation on Recommendations

AIA Report

These recommendations will help inform the draft Vision for the Palm District.

Read Report

Get Involved

The Visioning stage of the planning process extends through fall of 2021. The Palm District Planning Initiative SpeakUp Austin webpage includes a survey, an interactive map, and all of the latest engagement materials from Visioning Forums held during June 2021. We encourage you to explore the Palm District study area, complete surveys to share input and help shape the district’s future.

Staff can be contacted via email at PalmDistrictPlanning@austintexas.gov, by phone at 311 or by sending postal mail to Attn: Palm District Plan, Housing and Planning Department, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767.

Community Engagement

To view additional information about the project, including history for the planning area, ways to participate in the planning process and complete timeline, visit the Palm District Planning Initiative SpeakUp Austin webpage.

Visit Website

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Photo credit: Jordan-Ellison. [Palm Elementary School], photograph, 192X; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth125275/: accessed September 30, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

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