The Community Assessment evaluates Pearland’s competitiveness as a place to live, work, and do business. The Assessment is derived from a quantitative analysis of demographic, economic, socioeconomic, and quality of life data, as well as qualitative input from people who live and/or work in Pearland. Key findings from research and input are woven together into seven key “stories” that explain the city’s current realities, key successes, and remaining challenges. Collectively, they take stock of conditions in Pearland as they presently exist and identify initial areas that may warrant strategic attention. The seven key stories are:
- Introduction: Embracing a New Phase of Progress
- A Continued Destination of Choice in Greater Houston
- Pearland’s People: Educated, Young, and Diverse
- Implications of a Local-Serving Economic Composition
- Economic Diversification: Opportunities and Challenges
- Traffic, Transportation, and the Jobs-Skills Mismatch
- Enhancing a “Sense of Place” in Pearland
This executive summary provides an overview of key findings and strategic implications from the Community Assessment. As will be discussed in this summary and in the full report, a key theme from stakeholder input is that many Pearland residents feel the community is at an inflection point. Pearland has in many ways “caught up” to the rapid population growth it has experienced in recent decades and stakeholders are now beginning to ask, “What comes next?” The Community Assessment serves as a starting point for leaders in Pearland as they consider this question and begin developing their next economic development strategic plan.
Before proceeding to the key findings, however, it is useful to briefly reflect on what such a strategic plan can accomplish. At its core, economic development is about raising levels of prosperity and improving quality of life for residents. Best-practice communities take a holistic approach to this work and consider the many factors that influence community competitiveness and resident well-being. Doing so can convey a variety of benefits to a community’s residents and create a “virtuous cycle.” As one example, a diversified, expanding economy can translate into more local job opportunities, greater economic mobility, and a more sustainable, balanced tax digest. In turn, a broader and deeper tax base can fund additional investments and services, such as parks and trail infrastructure or public safety. Enhanced amenities and services can, in turn, help a community remain attractive to existing and prospective new residents, which can serve to make the community even more attractive to businesses. By continuing to embrace a proactive and holistic approach to economic development, leaders in Pearland can make their community a more prosperous, successful, desirable, and sustainable place.