There is a final city workshop tomorrow where Austinites can offer their input on the community character assessment, and then later this month the City will be rolling out a "do-it-yourself" Neighborhood Community Character kit.
I hope that lots of Austin's families are weighing in on this assessment. What about our neighborhoods' unique character supports families' ability to raise children, and what makes it hard to raise children? What do we like and not like about our homes, our streets, our public spaces, and our businesses?
Here is my (partial) list of things I love about my community's character, with a focus on the things in my neighborhood that contribute to my family's happiness and well-being. What does your list look like?
6. Cul-de-sacs. While cul-de-sacs are generally shunned in urban planning circles, I love my neighborhood's cul-de-sacs. Our cul-de-sacs offer the safest places for kids to play in the streets, learn to ride their bike, shoot hoops, roller skate, and more. Studies have found that cul-de-sacs result in a substantial increase in play activity compared to an open grid street pattern, and the Atlantic Cities recently ran this great article on how cul-de-sacs increase social interaction among neighbors. Here's to the cul-de-sac!