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Three finalists vie to create new comprehensive plan for city
Wednesday, February 18, 2009 by Austin Monitor
City departments created the first plan. But this time, the city will hire a consultant to manage the process of updating the “Austin Tommorrow Plan” and, last Thursday, the Council heard from three national firms competing for the job. Council will decide which team to hire on Feb. 26.
The first team to present to Council is led by Phil Hannaker of HNTB. Hannaker stressed that a comprehensive plan must be customized to meet the particular needs of a city. HTNB was in charge of the plan for downtown
Hannaker stressed the company’s commitment to an open community process. He said it was important to pull together both agencies and independent organizations for a look at
Principal Johnny Longo made the pitch for his company, ACP Visioning + Planning, which has offices in
ACP’s team would partner with Clarion Associates and TBG Partners. The latter is well known for its work on Austin-area parks, including the master plan for
Wallace Roberts & Todd, or WRT, was the third team to present to Council. Partner John Fernsler led the presentation with the assistance of David Rouse, who would be the designated project manager on the
WRT’s work includes the plan that shaped
“We have maintained a leadership position in growth management and sustainable planning,” said Fernsler, “before sustainability became such a watered-down word.” Fernsler stressed the company’s expertise in transit-oriented development and other issues of importance to
Questions from the Council members were brief, mostly quizzing the firms about how they would address particular aspects of the current Austin Tomorrow plan. Council Member Laura Morrison asked how the teams would address health/human services. Council Member Mike Martinez wanted to know how potential land code amendments would be handled. Council Member Sheryl Cole asked how equity issues would play into the plan. Council Member Brewster McCracken asked how open space would be integrated into plans.
The city has posted an overview of the presentations and a link to the Council video of the presentations on the city’s home page at http://www.ci.austin.tx.us.
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