Envision Central Texas performance indicators : is central Texas realizing its preferred vision?




Hilde, Thomas Warren

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The Envision Central Texas (ECT) scenario-based regional planning process formulated its preferred vision for future growth in Central Texas in 2004. While the process was successful in developing a unified vision for future development for a region undergoing rapid growth, it is questionable whether any implementation has been seen on the ground since. Utilizing the performance indicators originally used to assess the alternative growth scenarios during the ECT planning process, this study attempts to monitor the region’s growth trajectory since that time. In other words, is the region realizing its preferred vision for new population growth and urban development? An analysis using remote sensing of satellite imagery, GIS and available data was undertaken to calculate eleven performance measures for the current regional context. Results of the indicator analysis helped to form a better understanding of the region’s growth since the ECT vision was adopted. For the most part, the region is continuing to grow in its “baseline” or “business as usual” pattern of development, characterized by low-density, separate use development on the urban fringe. Although the ECT vision is still in its early stages of implementation, the region faces challenges in realizing its fulfillment. The findings of this study are the product of the only quantifiable monitoring efforts of ECT implementation to date. They should be used in conjunction with qualitative monitoring already undertaken by ECT to better understand the region’s growth trajectory, and be used as a model for monitoring ECT implementation in the future. Additionally, the analysis offers a discussion of how the use of performance indicators can be improved in future scenario-based planning processes.



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