LUBBOCK, Texas — As Lubbock continues to grow, some parts of the city are struggling to keep up. The Lubbock 2040 plan was approved in 2018, and the city has said the plan is meant to guide development. Featured in the more than 200-page plan is a recommendation to create a neighborhood planning program.

Wilson Bowling is the city’s new neighborhood planner. He has held the position for a little more than two months. He is also new to Lubbock.

“[I am a] graduate of Auburn University but don’t worry, Tech is not in the SEC so I can be a Tech fan,” Bowling laughed.

Bowling said he would much rather talk about neighborhood planning than himself. The Alabama native has experience in economic development but is excited to be in Lubbock. He said although he is an outsider, he has felt at home since the minute he arrived. Bowling said one of the advantages of not being from Lubbock is the ability to look at communities from an unbiased perspective.

“So by strengthening these communities, it really does make a stronger city and really that’s my passion,” Bowling said. “That’s why I’m here.”

Prior to Bowling’s arrival, his role had not existed.

“Every neighborhood is different so they really do need different, they need attention to the different needs,” Bowling said.

Currently, Bowling is the only person in the neighborhood planning program. He said on a typical day, he will meet with people of different communities, and get their input. After evaluating neighborhoods, Bowling said he will write plans, but he will not be the creator of them.

“I know some of the bigger things I’ve noticed — a lot of [what] residents want is really to live where they live,” Bowling said, when asked what sort of feedback he has received thus far.

As prescribed in the 2040 plan, Bowling will focus on neighborhoods in East Lubbock first, then move on to North and Central Lubbock.

“It’ll be the community that tells me what the strengths and weaknesses are. The wants the needs and at that point I just have to figure out how to get them done,” Bowling said.

If citizens would like to make suggestions, they can contact the planning department at 806-775-3239.