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Curbed Cup 1st round: (1) East César Chavez vs. (8) North Austin

Which neighborhood should advance? Cast your vote now!

Large mural of a boy holding his hand over windows
A mural by Luis Angulo adorns the side of a César Chavez commercial business
Mural by Luis Angulo/photo by George Rose/Getty Images

The Curbed Cup, our annual award for the neighborhood of the year, is kicking off with 8 neighborhoods vying for the prestigious (fake) trophy. We’ll reveal each of the neighborhoods this week, and polls will be open for 24 hours so you can cast your vote as to which ones should advance. Let the eliminations commence!

East César Chavez

The East César Chavez neighborhood has long taken center stage for civic conversations around East Austin and gentrification, but pretty much everyone agrees that it is a vibrant neighborhood with a rich history and a energized present. The neighborhood has consistently, and sometimes successfully, held out for responsible change—a great deal of which will come from the mixed-use Plaza Saltillo development around the commuter rail station in the neighborhood, not to mention the rampant development of multistory, mixed-use buildings on East Sixth Street. Nevertheless, the majority of the neighborhood is currently now a mix of old-school bungalows and contemporary builds; award-winning new design (including the Kasita protype and headquarters); older businesses oriented toward the historically working-class, Latinx population alongside boutiques, art spaces, and upscale landscape design storefronts; service organizations, churches, and, yes, piñata stores.

Boundaries are the Colorado River on its south, East Seventh Street to its north, IH-35 to the west, and Chicon Street to the east.

Bridge over Little Walnut Creek painted with flowers
Bridge over Little Walnut Creek

North Austin (NACA)

Most Austin residents think of North Austin as general area encompassing many neighborhoods, and they’re not wrong. For the purposes of this poll, however, we’re focusing on the area covered by what is technically called the North Austin Civic Association. Located just west of Lamar and adjacent to the North Burnet neighborhood (which we didn’t pick because it has more businesses than residences), it’s proximate to the Domain, Top Golf, an Austin Community College Branch, the Gateway shopping/cinema complex, and the Chinatown Center, and is the locus of many major employers. Home prices—for mostly, but not all, 1960s and ‘70s tract homes—have remained affordable in the increasingly convenient area. The past couple of years have seen big strides in revitalizing the area, working with the city and grants to make it safer and more attractive. Add to that the many parks and trails nearby, and you have the makings of a pretty sweet neighborhood.

Boundaries are Hwy. 183/Research Boulevard to the south, Kramer Lane to the north,, North Lamar Boulevard to the east, and Metric Boulevard to the west.