Volunteer Planning Team to Assist Rockport, Texas

CHICAGO (May 15, 2019) — An American Planning Association (APA) Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) is coming to Rockport, Texas, May 20–24, 2019, to provide assistance in integrating hazard mitigation efforts within the existing community infrastructure. The six-person volunteer planning team will coordinate its work with Texas A&M University's Texas Target Communities (TTC). TTC is concurrently working on an update to Rockport's Comprehensive Plan.

"Strong" sign following Hurricane Harvey in Rockport, Texas.

Rockport, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey.

Rockport took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, which heavily impacted all aspects of this small, waterfront community from housing to business to its once thriving tourism industry. APA’s team will focus on the Austin Street Corridor, the heart of downtown Rockport, a major retail district along the harbor front that is also a perennial victim of flooding from high tides and stormwater runoff.

Community input is an important part of the planning process:

  • Tuesday, May 21, 6–7:30 p.m. — Residents, business owners, elected officials, city staff, and other interested parties are invited to meet the team and participate in a public workshop to provide local knowledge and ideas on improving the Heritage District of Rockport’s downtown. The workshop will take place at the Aquarium Education Center (706 Navigation Circle).
  • Thursday, May 23, 6–7:30 p.m. — After hearing community input from Tuesday’s public workshop and conducting a preliminary study of the target area, the team will present their recommendations at the Aquarium Education Center (706 Navigation Circle). All are welcome to attend.

During the visit to Rockport, the team will seek ways to:

  • Alleviate ongoing drainage issues through green infrastructure and other stormwater management methods.
  • Diversify the mix of downtown businesses to create greater economic resiliency.

Funding for the volunteer planning team is provided through the APA Foundation’s 2018 Disaster Recovery Grant program to assist communities hit hard by hurricanes and other natural disasters. Support for the APA Foundation Disaster Recovery Grant program was provided in part from the Pisces Foundation, which seeks ways to accelerate to a world where people and nature thrive together.

APA’s Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT) are composed of nationally recognized experts who volunteer their time to work with residents, government officials, and other key stakeholders to offer planning assistance to communities to develop plans and policies that support good planning. The CPAT program was established in 1995. Previous teams have recently worked in Pine Hills, Orlando, Florida; North Beach, Maryland; Hartsville, South Carolina; and Franklin, Tennessee, among other locations.

The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The 42,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. Through its philanthropic work, APA’s Foundation helps to reduce economic and social barriers to good planning. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.

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Roberta Rewers, APA Communications Manager, 312-786-6395; rrewers@planning.org

May 15, 2019