The southeast Austin neighborhood of Colony Park is being re-imagined as a model civic space. And the city’s asking the neighborhood for input on the changes.
A door-to-door survey of Colony Park residents starts today. Through the middle of the month, volunteers hope to complete 450 surveys. That’s about 10 percent of the number of households in the five Colony Park census tracts.
As KUT News previously reported, a new master plan for the Colony Park neighborhood will use a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to remake the area. The city’s in the process of planning the use of 200-plus acres of vacant, Austin-owned land near Overton Elementary School.
The survey will record demographic data and assess community needs and wants in creating a master plan. Topics range from desired housing types to what amenities are most needed in a park.
The canvassing effort is a joint venture from the City of Austin, Austin Community College, University of Texas and Colony Park Neighborhood Association. Laura Cortez, project director with UT’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, says surveys are an integral part to neighborhood planning in underserved areas like Colony Park.
“The majority of individuals who live in this area do not have access to some types of technologies,” Cortez says. “In fact, they don’t even have a library that is available to all five Census tracts. That’s why we want to go door-to-door.”
Results from the survey will be made available to the public and reviewed with residents during outreach meetings throughout next year.
Suchitra Gururaj, assistant vice president for The Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement, says both survey takers and survey administrators will learn something.
“They are attending college in the city of Austin,” Gururaj says. “It is important for students to recognize that their work and service is for use within campus and also outside of the confines of campus.”
Those that would like to voice their opinions on development in Colony Park can do so by calling 512-974-3100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.