By 2050, Greater West Houston will add over one million new residents and nearly 500,000 new jobs. This will make the Region more populace than Dallas and San Jose are currently. It gives the Region a greater employment base by mid-century than either Austin or San Antonio have today. By 2050 population in the Region will have increase 283% from 2000. The growth in jobs over the same period will grow 279%.
Although 2050 seems to be far in the distant future and beyond all current planning cycles, the West Houston Association has determined to evaluate the needs of the West Houston Region to ensure we experience quality, sustainable growth.
We recognize that to provide homes and offices for those joining the Region will require new infrastructure for a city of the size of Dallas and San Jose today.
What will the Region look like and how will it be built? The Plan seeks to answer these questions by:
Keeping the West Houston Region the premier place to live, work and play in the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area
Making the West Houston Region even better by setting new standards for quality growth
Anticipating infrastructure needs and avoiding extensive periods when infrastructure and quality of life significantly trail the demand for improvements.
The Plan identifies several critical components to help achieve these goals:
Drainage & Flood Control
Regional Wastewater Treatment
Conservation & Open Space
Quality Planned Communities TM and Commercial Developments
The key to success in improving our quality of life in the face of growth is to anticipate, acknowledge and prepare. In order to prepare for the future we must first understand that future growth will mirror our historical growth, it will be significant and challenging.
Over the next several weeks the Association will release the Plan and begin a series of briefings for its community leaders with the goal of beginning a conversation about how the West Houston Region will succeed in the future.
For the West Houston Plan 2050 the West Houston Association defines Greater West Houston as an area of approximately 1000 square miles of urban and suburban communities that includes portions of Harris County (50%), Fort Bend County (25%) and Waller County (25%). Twenty percent of the region falls inside the city of Houston and 65% is within Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
The Region is comprised of 11 additional municipalities; 15 independent school districts; 11 special purpose districts and over 200 utility districts.
By mid-century, the Region will have a total population of 2.2 million and employment of nearly one million. Three major activity employment centers totaling over 30 million square feet of office space highlight a region that has enjoyed stellar employment growth since the 1970s.
Employment in the Region will reach 925,000 by 2050, equal to the number currently employed in Austin or San Antonio. The represents a 117% increase from 2000.
Our future mirrors out past. Since 1970 when the area’s population was below 200,000 and jobs numbered below 20,000, the region has experienced nothing but growth. With the influx of jobs and families, city boundaries have expanded. The 1980s brought the the most significant growth for West Houston as major employers migrated to suburban locations.
West Houston Plan 2050 forecasts a continuation of this patter of suburban growth and job migration along with the continued revitalization of Houston’s inner city areas.
The Plan is being introduced at a critical time. As the region’s major proponent for quality growth, the West Houston Association believes there are no indications that the forces and economic trends that drive families and employers to seek improved quality of living and working environments will change. In our view, nothing will significantly alter current trends toward geographically diverse growth.
To plan and manage this unprecedented growth, West Houston Plan 2050, which will be released in April, has several key goals:
To ensure the Greater West Houston remains the premier place to live, work and play in the Houston metropolitan area
To make West Houston even better by setting new standards for quality growth
To anticipate and plan for critical infrastructure needs
“By developing West Houston Plan 2050, the West Houston Association continues to lead the region in strategically thinking about our future growth and how to best accommodate that growth, while at the same time ensuring the highest quality of life for those who work and live here,” stated Ted Nelson, past-chairman of the West Houston Association. “Behind the numbers of people and jobs are tens of millions of dollars for new and rehabilitated infrastructure. Over the next 43 years we will in essence build a new city with homes for over one million new residents and office building for 450,000 new employees. This represents a great opportunity to make sure we build the best,” he concluded.
The Region’s anticipated growth by 2050 will require an estimated 258 additional square miles of land for new single and multi-family housing units. New areas for commercial office, retail and distribution facilities will be needed as well.
In our estimation residential development will extend west and northwest along existing and new radial transportation spines. Office, light industrial and retail development will be concentrated at nodes of major roadways and exiting activity centers will expand and be joined by strategic satellite commercial concentrations.
Forecasts of population and employment growth complied by the West Houston Association indicate significant growth for Greater West Houston through 2050. The result will be unprecedented opportunities for living, working and recreation in the region.
“The West Houston Association is launching a major new effort to ensure that Greater West Houston experiences quality, sustainable growth to mid century, says Mark Kilkenny, chairman of the West Houston Association Board of Directors. “The West Houston Plan 2050 is the product of months of analysis and discussion concerning the nature and location of growth and the infrastructure needs to support and sustain that growth,” he concludes.
For West Houston Plan 2050 the West Houston Association defines Greater West Houston as an area of approximately 1000 square miles of urban and suburban communities that includes portions of Harris County (50%), Fort Bend County (25%) and Waller County (25%). Twenty percent of the region falls inside the City of Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The region is comprised of 11 additional municipalities; 15 independent school districts; 11 special purpose districts and over 200 utility districts.
By mid-century the region will have a population of 2.2 million and employment of nearly one million. Three major activity employment centers, totaling over 30 million square feet of office space highlight a region that has enjoyed stellar employment growth since the 1970s.
“By any measure, Greater West Houston is a massive, economically vibrant community with significant growth in its future and the promise of almost unlimited opportunity,” says David Hightower, vice chairman of the West Houston Association Board of Directors. “By publishing West Houston 2050 we hope to influence policies, and actions, so that the excellent quality of life the region provides today will continue into the future.”
Planning for Growth in Greater West Houston