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Austin's groundbreaking new 'social contract' is first in nation, plus more popular stories

Austin's new 'social contract' is first in nation and more top stories

exterior of Austin City Hall
Austin passed a resolution last week to write a social contract. Photo courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

Editor's note: It's that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Austin's groundbreaking new 'social contract' is first of its kind in nation. Last week, the Austin City Council issued a groundbreaking directive to the city manager: write a social contract for Austin. The document would define Austin's collective values, and is the first of its kind in the nation, according to those who worked on the initiative.

2. Nation's largest land bridge for people and wildlife opens in San Antonio. The United States' largest wildlife crossing opened in Northwest San Antonio last week. Robert L.B. Tobin Land Bridge is designed to help pedestrians and wildlife move freely — and safely — over a highway and between the two portions of a popular park.

3. Austin home prices climb sky-high as real estate experts issue warning to city leaders. As Austin home prices keep climbing, local real estate experts are issuing a warning: this growth isn't sustainable.

4. Austin suburb welcomes sustainable development with homes starting at $220,000. A new development promising environmentally minded home for under $250,000 is making its way to San Marcos.

5. Austin may soon move to Stage 5 restrictions with citywide curfew. Austin's COVID-19 cases continue to soar even as some of our most vulnerable populations begin to get the vaccine. Dr. Mark Escott, Austin's health authority, said if we continue to see new cases at this rate, the city may need to return to Stage 5 restrictions and a city curfew.