Texas Triangle

Texas_Triangle.pngBy 2050 about 35 million people, or 70 percent of the population of Texas, will live in the four metropolitan areas that comprise the Texas Triangle. Three of the nation's 10 largest cities are in the Triangle, including Houston, which has a port that handles more foreign tonnage than any other U.S. port. Efforts to create a NAFTA superhighway from Mexico to Canada could create a developed corridor through San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. Tradition and economics create the potential for economic collaboration between the metro regions, which could also address serious environmental concerns.

Principal Cities: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio
Population 2010: 19,728,244
Percent of U.S. Population: 6%
Population 2025: 24,809,567
Population 2050: 38,132,600 
Projected Growth (2010 - 2050): 93.3% (18,404,356)
2005 GDP: $817,510,000,000
Percent of US GDP: 7%

Recent Entries

Since 2007, America 2050 has held megaregion forums in seven of America's eleven megaregions nation-wide. There forums were held as part of a "Rebuilding and Renewing America" campaign, which aimed to build support for the infrastructure investments we need to guide America toward a sustainable and prosperous future. The forums aimed to achieve three goals:
  • Build support around the country for an ambitious national infrastructure plan in the areas of  transportation, energy, and water.
  • Identify and prioritize the key infrastructure priorities in the megaregions, which can act as building blocks to a national plan.
  • Create megaregion coalitions to support these megaregion priorities and begin coordinating with each other.
Each megaregion prioritized slightly different issues and has followed up on the forum in varying degrees. To read about the megaregion forums and next steps, download the summary below. Also available is a PowerPoint presentation given by Petra Todorovich at the America 2050 national meeting, which also outlines common principles on federal policy that were emphasized in each of the megaregions.

Download the Summary of Megaregion Forums.

Download a PowerPoint about the Forums.


The next of the America 2050 megaregion forums is now open for registration.  Co-hosted with Houston Tomorrow, the forum is called Megaregions and MetroProsperity: Sustainable Economics for the Texas Triangle. It will be held September 24-25 at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas.


The Texas Triangle Megaregion faces many challenges similar to other fast-growing megaregions around the country. Rapid growth in population and diversity is expected in the coming decades that will put increasing pressures on natural resources and infrastructure.

A report released recently by the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture provides an overview of how the region may address these challenges; included is a brief history of the major cities within the megaregion.

To view the full report please click here.

A conference in Houston convened by Houston Tomorrow and America 2050
September 23-25, 2009
The Crystal Ballroom/Rice Lofts, 909 Texas Avenue, Houston, Texas

Confirmed Partners to date:
University of Texas Austin, Houston-Galveston Area Council

Texans think big, and the megaregion concept demands very large-scale thinking. 
            - Frederick Steiner
tutcover.jpg Students and professors at Texas A&M University have created a Texas Urban Triangle web portal for their long-term study of the Texas Urban Triangle -- the megaregion encompassing Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. A graphic and technical report of the Triangle is available on their website, including an Executive Summary.

Two recent editorial pieces from cities as disparate as Columbus, Ohio and Houston, Texas call for a federal commitment to de-clog our airports and highways with long-term investments in high-speed intercity rail.  Proponents in Texas argue that state officials need to move beyond 20th century policies and not to sell short on the state's transportation system in the 21st.  Both pieces argue that high-speed rail has shown benefits in improving a nation's carbon foot print, and help to relieve congestion at major airports, especially for short-distance intercity travel.  They conclude that it is time to provide Americans with a safe and reliable transportation network that includes intercity rail.

Read the Columbus Dispatch piece here.

Read the Houston Chronicle piece here.

Healdsburg cover.jpgRegional Plan Association and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy convened scholars and planners at a research seminar in Healdsburg, California last April to explore an emerging urban form: the megaregion. Megaregions are networks of metropolitan areas linked by economic and trade relationships, transportation infrastructure, large natural systems, and growth concerns. First identified as "megalopolis" in the 1960s, the Northeast Megaregion, from southern Maine to northern Virginia, presents the most recognizable example of this urban form. The report includes four scholarly papers examining case studies of megaregions in California,Texas, the Midwest, and Western Europe. 

by Ming Zhang, Frederick Steiner, Kent Butler. University of Texas at Austin.

This paper presents a further study of the Triangle by addressing two questions:

1) Is the Texas Triangle an integrated megaregion (or will
it be) or is it only a geometric coincidence? and

2) What are the implications for planning and policy making from a megaregion approach to accommodate the addition of 10 million people over the next 40 plus years in the Triangle?

Are the Triangle cities economic rivals like their home NBA teams, or do they function as complements?

Read the report here.