The Colorado River in East Austin is an exceptionally rare urban natural resource—an essentially undeveloped riverine greenbelt unlike anything any city can claim. In an age when great cities like Munich, Los Angeles and Houston are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to restore their industrialized urban rivers to a more natural condition, Austin is blessed with a stretch of essentially wild river that has managed to survive more or less intact, mostly through the accidental preservation of industrial downzoning (which was no accident from the planners’ perspective—the product of Jim Crow-era racism). With a little bit of planning and leadership, we can make sure we don’t go in the other direction, and provide a vision that encourages compatible redevelopment while maintaining this precious asset for future generations.
The Colorado River Conservancy is dedicated to advocating for that vision, and bringing together the broadest possible coalition of community, environmental and corporate stakeholders in support of it. Our immediate tasks include stakeholder outreach and organization, engagement with current development interests to promote riverfront planning preservation, access and restoration, and engagement with local government and public institutions to advocate for implementation of the Colorado River Corridor Plan already adopted by Travis County and the City of Austin.