APATX19 | WACO, TX | NOV 6-8, 2019
BIG STATE. BIG PLANS.
Everything in Texas is big – and getting bigger. Studies show Texas will have a population between 31 million and 54 million by 2050, depending on immigration levels. Much of the population growth in Texas is projected to come from the large urban counties of Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, and Travis, but the fastest growth is projected to occur in the suburban rings surrounding these counties.
The dramatic growth in jobs and population in Texas cities in recent decades is indisputable proof that the decisions Texans have made at the local level have produced the kind of communities where people want to live, work, and do business. As Texas continues growing, those of us in the planning field know that our work is more relevant today than ever before.
We need to continue to think big and plan big: the Texan way. Planners in Texas are working to improve mobility with big projects such as the Hyperloop, high speed rail, and the roll-out of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Arlington and Frisco have already introduced AVs into their communities. Cities are evaluating the need for tiny homes and developing regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to address housing affordability and availability issues. The American Planning Association and AARP have developed a partnership to advance housing solutions for aging citizens, which includes supporting ADUs. Community planners are also testing and implementing unique placemaking improvements to reinvent aging downtowns and improve the overall experience in new urban centers. Furthermore, city planners in Texarkana, Plano, and other communities have incorporated key sustainable components into their comprehensive planning process like public health, equity, regionalism, and environmental quality based on APA’s Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places. Whether it is transportation or public health, planning connects us to help deal with the diverse, beautiful patchwork that our Texas communities combine to make.
Every year the APATX conference brings together the hottest topics, the latest tools, and the leading voices with something new to say. As planners, we can't do this alone - so we are excited to bring to you as part of #APATX19 a Partner's Track with sessions from partner organizations to better connect us with our allied professions.
Big things are happening in Texas, and we need to continue to be aware of what is coming and plan big. From the coasts of Corpus Christi, to the mountains of El Paso, and the pines of Tyler, to the plains of Lubbock, there is no better time to be a planner in Texas. In this time of exponential growth, we have the unique ability to influence and shape our communities for decades to come.