A tool for collective visioning of community sustainability : application in the Austin, TX region focusing on transportation

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2013-12

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Abstract

Sustainability has become a universal goal stated by communities and public agencies in visioning their future. However, when it comes to implementing sustainability, stakeholders often confront all sorts of barriers, ranging from different metrics of performance measures to competing local or agency-specific interests. This professional report (PR) introduces a tool developed through the Sustainable Places Project (SPP) for the Austin, TX region for collective visioning and practicing of sustainable development. SPP received a grant support from the federal program "the Partnership for Sustainable Communities", which was initiated jointly by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, and Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. Under SPP, the Capital Area Texas Sustainability (CATS) Consortium was formed. "Envision Tomorrow plus for Austin"(ET+Austin) is developed as both an analytical tool and a platform for public dialogue among CATS partners. The PR focuses on the development of transportation modules within ET+Austin. It VI first introduces the local setting in which SPP originated. Following the introduction, the PR describes a general policy context concerning sustainability and sustainable transportation. Next, it provides a review of the empirical and analytical context in which the transportation modules of ET+Austin are structured and built. The basis that transportation indicators are selected and grouped is presented in the subsequent section. The implementation of ET+Austin Transportation is illustrated through scenario analyses for four SPP demo sites from four communities in the region; they are Hutto, Elgin, Dripping Spring and Lorkhart. The PR ends with a brief summary and discussion of directions for tool improvements.

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