Working Groups

AURA has a variety of working groups that lead our efforts on particular issues. The board of AURA invites our members to join working groups based on the members' interests, abilities, and availability. You can register your interest in specific working groups during membership registration or by contacting the working group chair. Working groups typically ask their members to commit to a minimum period of involvement and to attend a minimum number of meetings. If you're excited about a particular issue that isn't covered by one of our current working groups, you can submit a proposal to the board for a new working group. AURA currently has three working groups:

CodeNEXT Working Group:  Austin is currently studying and rewriting its Land Development Code (LDC), through a city-authorized process called CodeNEXT. There is arguably nothing as intricately linked with every item of AURA’s platform as the Land Development Code. The LDC regulates the market forces that incentivize or disincentivize developers from building abundant, affordable, and livable housing for current and future residents of Austin. Furthermore, the extent to which the LDC encourages or discourages sprawl will influence the future of Austin’s transportation infrastructure, economy, and environmental sustainability The working group's goals are to educate AURA members and supporters on how the LDC affects their communities and the city overall, and to advocate for AURA’s platform throughout the CodeNEXT process. The working group will remain involved at every step of CodeNEXT, up until the implementation of the new LDC in 2017. The CodeNEXT Working Group is chaired by Tommy Ates.

State Hospital Working GroupThe State of Texas is in the process of analyzing the sale of the State Hospital real property in central Austin. The State Hospital land is located in a central location, with a high level of current transit service, and within walking/cycling distance to major employers and other amenities. This site represents an opportunity to radically change the nature of the area and central Austin in general. Urbanist development in this area has historically been challenged by powerful local groups. As the future use of this central site is crucial to implementing land use and transportation policies more in line with AURA’s platform, AURA has created a State Hospital Working Group (SHWG) that is charged with representing our organization’s interests throughout the process. 

Guadalupe Corridor Study Working Group: The Austin Transportation Department has initiated a study of Guadalupe Street between MLK and 29th—the Drag—and surrounding areas. The study will recommend changes to “increase pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular, and public transit mobility, accessibility and safety.” This working group is focused on the potential for extending transit priority lanes from Guadalupe and Lavaca downtown to the Drag, and ensuring that public discussion on the matter is ongoing and data-driven. The working group will engage in observational studies in the corridor, collecting and analyzing data on transportation usage to better inform the public process. The Guadalupe Corridor Study Working Group is chaired by Robert Prentiss.