Over the past 50 years, Plano has been home to the fastest growing population in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Some of the country's largest and most recognized companies have their headquarters in Plano. Many of the corporate residents have settled in and around Plano’s Willow Bend area neighborhoods. Plano’s many long established home neighborhoods also prospered from the population growth. Careful city planning for the future helped to guide growth and development, and as the city has approached its growth capacity, and the focus of planning efforts shifted from future growth and development to redevelopment and revitalization. The city offers a number of programs to assist in this effort to assure that Plano remains not only one of the most convenient, but also one of the most desirable suburban Dallas living options. Plano was the first city in Collin County to adopt a master plan for its road system and is one of 12 suburbs of Dallas that opt into the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) public transportation system. The planned growth efforts have succeeded, helping Plano earn designation among the best places to live in the Western United States by CNN Money magazine.
A number of city attractions have helped Plano achieve its numerous honors. The historic district of Downtown Plano! offers restaurants and bars, shopping, salons, spas, galleries, museums, libraries and several venues for performing arts. Bob Woodruff Park (321 acres) and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve (801 acres), are connected by biking trails making the green space one huge uninterrupted park space. Plano Sports Authority provides quality year-round recreational youth sports leagues. Plano is a literal shopper’s paradise, with Collin Creek Mall, Plano Outlet Mall, Lakeside Market, Preston Park Village, The Shops at Legacy, The Shops at Willow Bend and a host of other options surrounding these. Golfers delight in the fact that Plano is literally surrounded by course options.
Every year since the award has been presented (1992-2013), Plano ISD has been selected for a “What Parents Want Award” by SchoolMatch®, the nation’s largest school selection and consulting firm. 23 Plano ISD schools have captured the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence honor, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Some portions of Plano are served by the Lewisville Independent School District, Frisco Independent School District, and Allen Independent School District which are also highly reputed districts. In all, there are 70 public schools serving Plano residents, 16 private schools in the area and two campuses of the Collin County Community College District (Collin College).