City Forum | Panel on Austin's Colonias: Informal Settlements and City Planning | Peter M. Ward, Korey Darling, Karen Paup,

Friday March 12, 2010 , noon to 1:30 p.m.

As housing becomes increasingly unaffordable for the region’s poorest, many are looking to informal settlements outside the city as inexpensive places to make their home. This forum will explore informal settlement patterns in the peri-urban areas in Texas, specifically drawing on examples in the Austin region. The discussion will address the following key issues: factors which lead to the formation of such settlements in the Austin area, the migrant and immigrant populations that often live in these settlements, the impacts that these populations have from a city planning perspective to include housing needs and human services issues.


Peter M. Ward earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Liverpool in 1976. He held senior teaching positions at the Universities of London and Cambridge before moving in 1991 to The University of Texas at Austin, where he is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Korey Darling is a Senior Planner in the Research and Planning Division of the Travis County Health and Human Services & Veterans Service Department.

Karen Paup holds a Masters’ Degree in Urban Affairs from the University of Delaware. Karen is Vice Chair of the City of Austin's Community Development Commission.