Waller County State of Community Report 2016
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In 1993 the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, initiated the Texas Target Communities program (TTC) to provide technical assistance to small towns on issues related to land use planning and economic development. Today TTC, , in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, also works with rural counties and marginalized communities across Texas to provide technical support in keeping with Texas A&M’s mission as a land grant university. At the same time it serves as a “real world” learning laboratory for graduate students within coursework on campus. Students gain valuable planning experience while targeted communities receive valuable assistance they could not access otherwise and results in a positive difference in the quality of life for its residents. Communities are chosen for participation in TTC based on demonstrated need and their commitment to the planning process. The Waller County Strategic Planning Committee (WCSPC), with connections through Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), contacted The Texas Target Communities (TTC) program at Texas A&M University to develop the Waller County State of Community Report 2016 in anticipation of the development of a county strategic plan. In order to support the strategic planning efforts of Waller County, TTC program associates gathered data from a variety of disciplines related to the present state of the County. The TTC team then analyzed the data to identify potential areas for growth and development.
DescriptionWaller County is on the northwest side of Harris County. It offers the best of a rural lifestyle and a short commute to the nation’s fourth largest city. Citizens of Waller County enjoy access to many social and economic opportunities already and the outlook for expanding access to opportunities is positive. Waller is set to grow ahead of the state and H-GAC 8 by 2050. The County expects an increasing Hispanic population, a trend seen throughout Texas. Approximately 34% of the population in Waller is college educated and 46% of residents are enrolled in schools and colleges. Waller County is a home to PVAMU and four (4) independent school districts (Hempstead, Royal, Katy and Waller). Proximity to Houston plays an important role in the economy of the County. Manufacturing and agriculture sectors lead the economy. These sectors are more specialized in the County in comparison to Texas. Education services follow in level of impact, due to the presence of many school districts and PVAMU. Employment ‘by place of residence’ has increased significantly, 40%, from 2004 to 2014. Texas in comparison increase by 25% over that span and the nation only increased by13%. Roughly, 19% of people in Waller County are living under poverty. Of those in poverty, the City of Prairie View has the most due to the student population at PVAMU. The County does not have many affordable housing units, but 40% of all homes are under $100,000. The City of Houston is rapidly encroaching upon Waller County, threatening to disrupt the rural lifestyle many County residents enjoy. As Houston expands, there will be an increase in impervious surface cover, which will increase the risk of flooding.
DepartmentLandscape Architecture and Urban Planning
Cooper, John T.; Masterson, Jaimie; Thapa, Jeewasmi; Nair, Gopika; Li, Wei; Zahra, Qazi Aniqua; Sathaye, Vrushali; Ruan, Xinhe; Day, Wayne; Chen, Qikun; Tasnum, Tamanna; Thiagarajan, Manasvini; English, Garrett; Trietsch, Kelly (2017). Waller County State of Community Report 2016. Available electronically from
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