Austin Equitable Transit Oriented Development Strategy Study

Austin, Texas
An Equitable Austin

Capital Metro, City of Austin, and Austin Transit Partnership engaged Nelson\Nygaard, Perkins&Will and HR&A Advisors to create and adopt a system-wide Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Strategy Study. The ETOD Study focuses on equitable outcomes for all future growth in the 98 station areas anticipated under Project Connect, a voter-approved transit expansion plan. This study is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement major infrastructure policies that mitigate displacement pressures and ensure that everyone, especially historically marginalized communities of color, can benefit from transit connectivity. Project Connect will expand and improve the public transportation network for the City of Austin with two light-rail lines, one commuter line, and one bus rapid transit line.

Community engagement played a critical role in the development and successful adoption of the ETOD Strategy.
The study developed 46 equitable policies to prioritize quality of live outcomes for underrepresented voices.

The 46 policies developed provided a comprehensive framework to help the Austin community ensure that future development around the Project Connect transit system supports residents of all incomes and backgrounds, especially those who have been disproportionately burdened by past transportation and land use decisions. It targeted the following goals:

Goal 1: Enable All Residents to Benefit from Safe, Sustainable, and Accessible Transportation.

Goal 2: Help to Close Racial Health and Wealth Gaps.

Goal 3: Preserve and Increase Housing Opportunities That are Affordable and Attainable.

Goal 4: Expand Access to High-Quality Jobs & Career Opportunities.

Goal 5: Support Healthy Neighborhoods That Meet Daily Needs.

Goal 6: Expand Austin’s Diverse Cultural Heritage and Small, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-Owned, and Legacy Businesses.

“We really believe that neighborhoods serviced by transit should be equitable for people at all income levels, including legacy residents and multi-generational residents. They should also enjoy all the benefits that transit and new facilities bring.”

― Anna Lan, Principal Planner at Capital Metro

North Lamar Transit Center Station Area Plan
Station Area Vision Plans

Perkins&Will has led the Station Area Vision Plans around two selected stations (North Lamar Transit Center and South Congress Transit Center), developing an urban design and land use framework that is both place-based and people-based. Supported by targeted policy tools, our work strives to mitigate displacement and negative externalities of new development around transit while creating new opportunities for existing and future residents of all income levels.

South Congress Station Area Vision Plan
North Lamar Station Area Vision Plan
Sustainable and Resilient

The vision for the station area plans are centered around a sustainable and resilient design for the site. There is opportunity to generate renewable energy, capture and re-use water on site, treat stormwater in bioswales, and provide shade and comfort to transit riders and visitors.

North Lamar Station Area Sustainability Strategies
South Congress Station Area Sustainability Strategies

Project Team

Geeti Silwal
Stephen Coulston