Dallas's Urban Regeneration Flies Beneath the Radar

Though "generally cited as an example of all the things you don’t want a city to be," Karrie Jacobs finds reason to believe that Texas's third largest city has taken to heart the "country’s newfound passion for all things urban."

Spurred by a plan approved last year called Downtown Dallas 360, and "the bottomless capacity of local philanthropists," the city is embarking on efforts to increase the downtown residential population, expand multi-modal transportation options, and provide pedestrian-friendly streetscapes. Plenty of obstacles to establishing an urban utopia still remain, however, primarily in the form of an elevated asphalt noose encircling the city.

According to Jacobs, planners "offer few strategies for dealing with the constraints posed by the elevated freeways. Apparently, there's no local appetite for removing the highways, even in the interest of an improved urban experience. Indeed, at the same time that the city is talking about surrounding the Trinity River with parkland, it's planning to run a new toll road within the river's levees."

Although the challenges are immense, Jacobs lauds the effort to transform the city.

"While the attempt to make central Dallas walkable is something of a long shot, the desire seems genuine. And the fact that this is happening in a state not known for progressive thinking, and in a city built largely by and for the oil industry, suggests that this country's newfound passion for the communal pleasures of urban life runs deep, representing a generational shift that has the power to transcend political and geographic boundaries."

Full Story: Instant Urbanism


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.