Regionalism Component

Plano is a principal city in the Dallas-Fort Worth region located in North Texas. With a population of 7.4 million people, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest urban region in the state of Texas and the fourth largest in the United States. Dallas-Fort Worth is also one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, supplying 4.5 million jobs. As a large metropolitan area, there are many future challenges that are beyond the ability of a single city to address. Working cooperatively with the regional governments, Plano and its neighboring cities will need to find complementary solutions to solve broader problems and attain area goals. The Comprehensive Plan has identified several regional topics to address.

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  1. Population Growth
    Background: By 2045, the DFW area is expected to increase by 4 million people and the City of Plano is likely to accommodate a portion of this population growth. With established city boundaries and limited undeveloped land, Plano will need to identify areas appropriate for new housing and redevelopment. This increased regional population will also have an impact on the area’s transportation network although infill and urban development are more efficient than continued regional expansion.
  1. Regional Transportation
    Background: Currently, the average DFW commuter spends approximately 365 hours a year commuting – or 2 weeks per year in their car annually. By 2035, regional commute times are expected to increase without major investment in the roadway and public transit networks. Regional transportation improvements in Plano should focus on expansion of existing transportation choices, reduction of traffic demand, and improving safety.
  1. Air Quality
    Background: Enhancements to regional mobility will also improve the area’s air quality by reducing emissions from vehicles. Currently, DFW does not meet federal standards for ozone levels, which results in breathing difficulties for some area residents and increases in local temperatures. If this situation does not improve, the Environmental Protection Agency could impose sanctions that would result in the loss of federal funding for major transportation projects. Plano intends to lead by example to reach federal standards for regional air quality.
  1. Regional Water Conservation
    Background: Another key issue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is water conservation. Droughts are a fact of life in Texas, so water conservation must be an ongoing effort. Plano shares Lavon Lake, its primary water source, with thirteen neighboring cities. As population increases and drought conditions persist, it will become more difficult to meet future water needs. Plano will assume a regional leadership position and work with neighboring cities to encourage more efficient water use.
  1. Consistency with Neighboring Cities
    Background: Municipal boundaries are primarily for governmental purposes – many residents are unaware of moving from one city to another since roadways, trails, and parks often continue across city borders. To take advantage of its centralized location in the region, Plano will coordinate with neighboring cities to provide more efficient and consistent municipal services and public improvements.
  1. Regional Education
    Background: Other partners for the City of Plano are the local and regional education providers. Educational opportunities and quality of education are major factors in determining a community of choice. While school districts serving Plano receive strong local support that enables academic excellence, the city should advocate for reliable and adequate state funding for education. In addition, access to Tier 1 research institutions and other quality colleges and universities enhance the economic competitiveness of Plano and the region. Partnerships with local and regional education providers will ensure quality academic opportunities for the Dallas-Fort Worth area.