Growth is Coming...Let's Be Smart About It

Category: Innovation (Page 1 of 2)

New and smart ideas for managing growth

City Council will set Downtown’s Future over the next 18 Months…Let’s Hope they’re Smart about it!

There are two major City projects that will be coming together over the next 18 months that will either produce a “perfect storm” or a bright future for our historic downtown and Old Town.

The City is starting the long-awaited Downtown Master Plan Update and the Austin Ave Corridor Study, in partnership the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).  Both projects will significantly influence the potential viability and livability of the center of Georgetown.

The Downtown Master Plan Kick-Off occurred on November 15, which I attended.  The consultant, DesignWorkshop, reviewed the City Vision for Downtown and discussed community involvement in the process.  One of the more controversial issues discussed at Council this year has been commercial development density and building heights.

I know Georgetown is growing rapidly, but let’s be careful that we don’t lose the charm and uniqueness of downtown and Old Town…if we ever lose it, we’ll never get it back.

We all need to be Smart…let’s not “San Marcos” our Square!

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The New San Gabriel River Pedestrian/Bike Bridge…Let’s Get Creative with its Design!

The new pedestrian and bike bridge planned for the South & North San Gabriel Rivers gives Georgetown another opportunity to attract regional and national recognition with a new city landmark that overlooks our beautiful San Gabriel River.

Liberty Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina

Liberty Bridge at Falls Park, Greenville SC

The new bridge, which will be built alongside the Austin Ave Bridges, will connect to the San Gabriel park/trail system and link the Square & downtown to the Sheraton Hotel/Rivery development, the City’s west side, and ultimately to Lake Georgetown & Garey Park.  The pedestrian bridge also  gives us the opportunity to create a unique “gateway” for downtown Georgetown.

Instead of taking a traditional engineering approach to designing a basic utility bridge to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic over the Rivers, hopefully the City will think outside the box and be creative in how they go about selecting the design for the new bridge.

Do we take the usual route and give the job to an engineering company without competitionor do we decide to be imaginative…and SMART?

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Making the Most Beautiful Square in Texas Better………with “al fresco” dining in the Streets?

al fresco dining in the Streets

I really enjoyed reading D.Ann Shiffler’s Guest Essay, “Going al fresco”, in last Sunday’s  Williamson County Sun. Her essay got me thinking about how we could increase outdoor eating around Downtown Georgetown and help our struggling restaurants around the Square.

Over the last few weeks, this idea has been discussed at City Council, in the papers and around the Square. Is there a way we could try it out and see if it could work…while still enforcing social distancing requirements?

Since I’m an architect, I decided to use my good Texas Tech education (Go Red Raiders) and look into the possibilities of experimenting with al fresco dining on some of the streets around the Square…but remember, we have to be Safe, Protected and Smart!

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