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The Palm District is a dynamic part of downtown Austin, serving as both a gateway to visitors and an area of cultural significance for the Mexican-American community. A holistic and actionable plan for the eastern half of downtown has been our long-time priority. We are engaged with the City of Austin and Waterloo Greenway on a Palm District Planning Process to address major challenges and opportunities in the area while delivering a robust funding and implementation strategy.

These efforts will tie together initiatives that support the completion of Waterloo Greenway, address connectivity and community needs in the Rainey Street area, preserve the Palm School, preserve and enhance the Red River Cultural District, develop the Fifth Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor, build out the Innovation District, expand the Convention Center and renovate Brush Square.

The Palm District Planning Initiative will amend the Downtown Austin Plan to include a new vision for the Palm District to address the following:

  • Historic preservation and cultural resources
  • Activities and uses
  • Density and design
  • The public realm
  • Transportation and parking
  • Utilities and infrastructure
  • Leadership and implementation

Project Partners

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 UT School of Architecture.

Palm District map

Community Engagement

The SpeakUp Austin! webpage includes information about engagement opportunities, including a survey, an interactive mapa and information about virtual community visioning forums held in June.

The Visioning stage of the planning process extends from the spring through summer of 2021.

We encourage you to explore the Palm District study area, complete surveys to share input and help shape the district's future.

Take the Survey

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Team Findings

A team of national experts convened by the AIA participated as a partner in the Palm District Planning Initiative to share their preliminary findings and recommendations. These recommendations will help inform the draft Vision for the Palm District.

Read Report

Austin’s Innovation District

Austin's Innovation District taps into a network of innovators, companies, entrepreneurs, investors and nonprofits for the benefit of the entire community.

Learn More

I-35 Cap and Stitch

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has released plans to reconstruct I-35 through Central Austin to remove the upper decks and lower the highway between Airport Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Street. As TxDOT considers changes to this major north-south thoroughfare that has divided our community for decades, the Downtown Austin Alliance is partnering with the City of Austin and a diverse group of Austin leaders to co-create a shared vision that builds on this investment to ensure the best outcomes for all Austinites.

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Urban Greenbelt

Great cities have great parks—places where people can stroll and picnic and enjoy the beautiful Austin weather. We’re collaborating with a number of partners to develop a connected urban greenbelt that wends its way between major and smaller parks, creating a walkable and accessible park system for everyone.

Learn More

Photo credit: Jordan-Ellison. [Palm Elementary School]photograph192X; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth125275/accessed May 13, 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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