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AURA is an all-volunteer grassroots urbanist organization focused on building an Austin for everyone by improving land use and transportation through policy analysis, public involvement, and political engagement.

We are dedicated to a vision of an Austin where everybody is welcome and everybody’s interests matter: young and old, rich and poor, renter and homeowner, healthy and sick, citizen and immigrant, lifelong resident and new arrival. The greatest asset our city has is its people, and our city is at its best when it facilitates connections between all.

Our History

We began in 2013 as a group of community activists, formerly known as Austinites for Urban Rail Action, advocating for a transparent, data-driven approach to choosing the best rail route and plan for Austin. As AURA’s original executive committee and their allies reached out to a wide variety of stakeholders and interested residents, it became clear that there was a hunger for a way to organize around a whole range of urbanist issues, including but not limited to rail.

In 2014, AURA adopted a broad platform aimed at creating an Austin for Everyone. Our members advocate in favor of better land use and transit policy to improve affordability and connectivity throughout the city. In 2014 and 2015, AURA was voted Best Grassroots Group by Austin Chronicle readers.

What We Do

PLANNING PROCESS PARTICIPATION. AURA members join and engage with citizens advisory committees like the Project Connect Citizen’s Advisory Group, the Land Development Code Advisory Group, and the Capital Metro Customer Satisfaction Advisory Committee in order to provide an urbanist perspective on issues facing the city.

POLICY ANALYSIS. AURA members analyze data and planning documents produced by government agencies and independent groups in order to develop and evaluate policy proposals. This policy analysis is then published and shared with city council members and other decision makers.

PUBLIC OUTREACH. AURA publishes press releases and provides statements to the news media on local policy issues. AURA members communicate with the public about local policy questions through their neighborhood associations, blogs, and social media.


[1] AURA Website