Into the future: 10 stories to look for in 2013Published 10:52am Wednesday, January 2, 2013
4. Vision 2020 starts to show
Vision 2020 is expected to make its mark on Austin this year.
The first large signs of the community improvement project should be revealed this year as Vision 2020 committees have big plans for 2013.
Vision 2020 started in late 2011, with the community submitting more than 4,000 ideas to improve Austin before those ideas were eventually whittled down to the Top 10 Ideas for Austin, each with its own action committee.
The effort drove more local organizations to align with each other and increase partnerships throughout the community, from Austin Public Schools paying for a new baseball diamond at Todd Park to Vision 2020 organizers securing more grant funding for local bike and walking trails.
That’s part of the process, according to Laura Helle, director of vision creation for Vision 2020. Helle said last month that previous cities like Dubuque, Iowa, also experienced an increase in local partnerships.
Yet each committee hopes to make tangible progress toward the Top 10 Ideas this year, and several committees are already organizing projects. The Gateway to Austin committee is looking into a volunteer labor project to landscape and clean up ditches and hills in the Interstate 90 Corridor throughout Austin this summer, and the Community Pride & Spirit Committee is planning a large-scale housing and lawn beautification project in the neighborhood north of Queen of Angels Catholic Church this summer. The Education Leaders and Austin Downtown Plant committees are researching further efforts to help Austin, with the education committee looking into various initiatives and the downtown plant committee organizing focus groups to see what needs the plant renovation can fulfill.