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Imagine Austin

Imagine Austin, the city of Austin’s comprehensive plan, was adopted by City Council in June 2012. The plan outlines eight priorities:

  1. Invest in a compact and connected Austin.
  2. Sustainably manage our water resources.
  3. Continue to grow Austin’s economy by investing in our workforce, education systems, entrepreneurs, and local businesses.
  4. Use green infrastructure to protect environmentally sensitive areas and integrate nature into the city.
  5. Grow and invest in Austin’s creative economy.
  6. Develop and maintain household affordability throughout Austin.
  7. Create a Healthy Austin Program.
  8. Revise Austin’s development regulations and processes to promote a compact and connected city.

Each priority program has a cross-functional team of city departments, a lead department and a work plan.


The Austin City Charter requires that the land development code be consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. Since the Austin Comprehensive Growth Plan was drafted in 1979, city officials approved a resolution to contract with consultants to develop a new plan. Once the Imagine Austin plan was complete in 2012, the city began the process of rewriting the land development code.

RECA participated in all three phases of the Imagine Austin planning process from October 2009 to June 2012.

The initiative to rewrite the city’s development code has been named Code Next. It is a four-phase planning process that began in 2013. A final product is due in 2016. The first two phases, listening to the community and diagnosing the code, are complete.  See more on the Code Next issues page.

A staff recommendation of a draft outline will go to the Austin City Council in the fall of 2014. A preliminary draft of the code is expected in summer of 2015. City staff are working with consultants from Opticos, a firm that uses a new type of planning process based on understanding the character of neighborhoods and the larger community.