Planning that meets the human needs of the present and preserves the environment so as not to compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

As Texas continues to experience unprecedented population growth, communities must begin to consider alternatives to “business as usual” development, where urban sprawl is the norm, and focus on sustainable community planning that provides for the needs of today without jeopardizing the needs of future generations.

In tough economic times, community character becomes an even more important factor in attracting new residents and Local businesses. By learning how to capture growth without jeopardizing the community’s sense of place, a municipality can continue to prosper. In addition to the economic benefits community character can add to a growing community, citizens of Texas, now more than ever, demand more from their place of residence.

In an effort to provide some of the tools and resources available in planning for future growth, the Texas A&M Forest Service communicated with medium- to large- sized communities on the maintenance of their natural resources in the midst of growth and developed a set of case studies to convey this information to emerging communities. The case studies serve as a resource for emerging communities in planning for growth, but can be useful to other communities as well. Topics discussed in case studies include proactive planning, comprehensive plans, urban forestry programs, water management, nonprofit organizations, tree planting and inventory, wildland urban interface, and other related topics.