OCTOBER 14, 2020 — UTSA’s Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research has been recognized for helping a small Texas community make big plans for its future. The Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association last week presented the plan—titled “Comfort Vision 2050”—with the Grassroots Initiative Award, one of just 15 Planning Achievement Awards for the year 2020.
Led by Ian Caine, an associate professor of architecture and the director of the center, the UTSA team of faculty and students worked with local organizers to develop the grassroots plan. The center is housed within UTSA’s College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.
The Grassroots Initiative Award specifically honors an effort “that illustrates how a neighborhood, community group or other local nongovernmental entity utilized the planning process to address a specific need or issue within the community.”
“Comfort Vision 2050” was supported by the Comfort Area Foundation and National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, leveraging a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“Comfort Vision 2050” offers the Hill Country community of Comfort a bottom-up, grassroots approach to urban planning that acknowledges the residents’ recent decision to resist incorporation. In 2015 a majority of Comfort residents (71%) voted against a proposition to incorporate their community, affirming a deeply held set of shared values that would come to provide a foundation for “Comfort Vision 2050.”
Since Comfort has no city officials or professional planners to carry out a traditional master plan, “Comfort Vision 2050” instead outlines 75 strategic initiatives that residents, business leaders, nonprofits and county officials can pursue immediately and independently, without help from city government.
“We hope this novel approach will prove useful throughout the Texas Hill Country, where 90% of the communities remain unincorporated,” Caine explained.
To create the vision plan, the UTSA team worked closely with various members of the Comfort community, including residents, the county commissioner and editors for the local newspaper.
“A spirit of collaboration drove this project, from the interactions among local residents to the cooperation between UTSA faculty and students,” Caine emphasized.
The UTSA team included William Dupont, professor of architecture; Corey Sparks, associate professor of demography; researcher Bill Barker; and Matthew Jackson and Thomas Tunstall of UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development. Additionally, student researchers Elizabeth Striedel, Ivan Ventura and Diego Sanchez made critical contributions to the drawings and field documentation.
“The success of this vision plan,” Caine added, “confirms the potential for applied, transdisciplinary research to simultaneously serve local communities, create new knowledge and advance best practices in our discipline.”
UTSA Main Campus will serve as a designated polling station during the early voting period, today through October 30, and on Election Day, November 3.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104)
The Center for Collegiate Recovery presents a discussion series on Recovery. Join the discussion with Dr. Robb Kelly and learn how to build and sustain recovery from addiction. Be prepared to be challenged, encouraged, and enriched!Virtual Event
The tuba and euphonium students of Prof. Gary Poffenbarger will perform remotely in a live-streamed concert to be transmitted via the Department's Facebook page. The students will perform live, from their homes taking turns logging in when they are up and logging off when they are done so the next performer can log in, etc. until the recital is finished.Virtual Event
Are you interested in learning more about how RowdyLink can assist your Student Organization? Are you a new organization leader and want to learn some basics regarding RowdyLink? Please join us at our RowdyLink Lunch and Learn Series. We will be going over various parts of RowdyLink during each series such as Managing your Roster, Mobile Check-In, Managing and Creating Forms, creating events and more.Virtual Event
Chomp and Chat is a series of conversations held casually during lunch on a specific topic. The topic for Oct 28 is cultural appropriation. We will talk the concept in general, but also as it appears during Halloween and Día de los Muertos.Virtual Event
Join Student Health Services as we discuss Spiritual Wellbeing with Counseling and Mental Health Services.Virtual Event
Join us for a drive-thru event from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 29 and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 to give back during this election period. Roadrunners will have the opportunity to give back to the community and get the information needed to make your voice heard for your community. During this experience, you can drive up to make a donation to the Roadrunner Pantry and get all of the voting information you need to early vote this election.Outside Recreation Wellness Center
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