Houston Matters

Once-Rural Communities Try to Hang Onto Their Identities, Despite Houston Sprawl

Recently the Texas Transportation Commission decided to move ahead with plans to extend the Highway 249 toll road out to Grimes County. Some residents are unhappy, and argue the “Aggie Highway” will ruin their quality of life. This is a common theme for people who choose to live in rural or more remote areas on […]

Recently the Texas Transportation Commission decided to move ahead with plans to extend the Highway 249 toll road out to Grimes County. Some residents are unhappy, and argue the “Aggie Highway” will ruin their quality of life.

This is a common theme for people who choose to live in rural or more remote areas on the edges of Greater Houston. Urban and suburban growth eventually encroaches, bringing change that’s not always embraced. Acres Homes, on the northwest side of Houston, has been dealing with this for years. Many residents there choose to maintain small gardens. They own chickens or other farm animals, and as such seek to maintain a more rural life in the shadow of a growing and bustling metropolis.

We examine both Acres Homes and Grimes County as examples of communities trying to hang onto a rural identity in an increasingly urban metropolitan area. Then we talk with Michael Fortunato from the Center for Rural Studies, and Stacey Osborne from the Central East Texas Alliance, about efforts to address the effects of this growing urbanization on rural communities.

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