New Report from the Urban Land Institute Urges the Trail Foundation, City of Austin to Work Together to Maintain and Expand the Butler Trail
December 18, 2019
For more information, contact Justin Arnold, 202-448-8717, [email protected]
WASHINGTON (December 18, 2019) – The Trail Foundation and the city of Austin should work together and complement each other’s strengths to explore new and better ways to maintain the Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 46,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving communities.
The report is based on recommendations from a panel of land use and urban development experts convened last August through ULI’s Advisory Services program to advise the city and the Trail Foundation how to best maintain and expand the trail for future generations. The panelists recommended:
- Formalizing the public/private partnership between the city and the Trail Foundation, which will allow each entity to build on the strengths of the other;
- Launching initiatives to fully fund implementation of strategic plan that is based on a shared vision;
- Involving, engaging, and reaching out to the community to build support and trust; and
- Planning for future growth and an expansion of the Butler Trail through improvements and connections
The panel was chaired by leading ULI member Julie Underdahl, urban district development and management consultant with Underdahl Strategies in Denver, Colorado. “The growing use of the trail and the corresponding need to fund increased trail improvements and maintenance made creating a stronger partnership a necessity,” Underdahl said. “Based upon the four guiding principles of trust,-equity, collaboration, and stewardship — the agreement will provide a road map for what needs to be done to protect, preserve, and enhance the trail as a shared and cherished community asset, while serving as a model for other conservancies in Austin and elsewhere.”
Underdahl was joined on the panel by Kimberley Driggins, director of strategic planning, City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department, Detroit, Michigan; Shane Farthing, director of economic and community development, City of Martinsburg, West Virginia; Suzanna Fry Jones, director of marketing & community outreach, High Line Canal Conservatory, Denver, Colorado; Edward Henley III, principal & project executive, Pillars Development, Nashville, Tennessee; Sandra Kulli, president, Kulli Marketing, Los Angeles, California; Amie MacPhee, founder, Cultivate, San Francisco, California; Charlie McCabe, parks consultant, Boston, Massachusetts; and Beth Silverman, co-founder, Lotus Campaign, Washington, D.C.
The panel’s visit was part of ULI’s involvement in the 10-Minute Walk Campaign — a national movement being promoted by the institute in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the National Recreation and Park Association to ensure that residents in cities across the U.S. have access to high-quality parks within a 10-minute walk of their neighborhoods.
For more than 70 years, ULI’s Advisory Services Program has assembled ULI members who are experts in the fields of real estate development and sustainability to advise communities facing complex urban development challenges. In addition to Austin, Advisory Services panelists have assisted other communities, such as Kansas City, Missouri, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Detroit with creating equitable and sustainable parks systems.
Past sponsors of ULI Advisory Services panels include federal, state, and local governments; regional councils of government; chambers of commerce; redevelopment agencies; private developers and property owners; community development organizations; lenders; groups focused on historic preservation; local nonprofits; environmental organizations and economic development authorities.
About ULI Austin
The ULI Austin District Council strives to advance the mission of ULI throughout the Austin metropolitan region and Central Texas. Founded in 1994, ULI Austin now has more than 950 members.