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167166-1 Report Abstract

Texas Urban Triangle: Framework for Future Growth

Michael Neuman and Elise Bright, Texas A&M University, May 2008, 34 pp. (167166-1)

This project came into being due to the dramatic transformation of the four core Texas metropolitan areas into an emergent megalopolis: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. Its aims are two-fold: to provide a framework for decisions about future growth in the fastest growing region of Texas, and to spur further research into the complexities of this vast and rapidly emerging mega-region. The Texas Urban Triangle – 17 million persons spread over 58,000 square miles – is a new urban phenomenon, a triangular megalopolis whose development is not linear and contiguous. This report gives policy makers and investors from all sectors of society the critical knowledge they need to make decisions that will shape the future of Texas. The Texas Urban Triangle is one of the most dynamic urban regions in the nation, and to ensure it continues to flourish, we must build a future based on sustainable growth principles. Our preliminary findings suggest that this is not always the case. Further research needs to be conducted to obtain a complete, detailed, and comprehensive portrait. Nonetheless, even these preliminary findings are robust and point to more sustainable options for the future. Now that this preliminary analysis has been completed, readers are invited to consider the results. The ultimate goals of the project are three-fold:

  • To plant the Texas Urban Triangle squarely and firmly into the public imagination of Texans far and wide – to put the Texas Urban Triangle “on the map.”
  • To provide a basis for current policy and planning decisions so that a more vibrant and attractive “Heart of Texas” – its metropolises, counties, and cities – provides a more sustainable environment for its residents, and their descendents and newcomers, well into the future.
  • To determine what future research, particularly at the regional scale, is needed to provide a sound basis for public policy and private investment decisions.

Keywords: Demographic Projections, Population, Water Supply, Transportation Planning, Sustainable Growth, Texas Urban Triangle, Land Development Options

SUMMARY REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 2.6 MB)