URBAN STRUCTURE and GUIDELINES
west dallas area
The Studio’s initial major project focused on a portion of West Dallas. Bounded by the Trinity River levee at the North and East, I-30 at the South and Sylvan at the West, this area also sits at the western foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, scheduled to open in October 2011. The area is .747 square miles with a population slightly over 2,000 people. West Dallas is in close proximity to downtown, the Design District, and Victory Park. The area has many vibrant neighborhoods and provides jobs to hundreds of people.
With the completion of an iconic bridge quickly approaching and the area’s proximity to the Trinity River Corridor Project, it was clear that change to this portion of Dallas was inevitable. The question at hand was how this change could benefit all involved. The City of Dallas saw this as an enormous opportunity to challenge some of its traditional planning and development models, and work with a community to define a new way of redeveloping our city.
For over 18 months, the CityDesign Studio engaged in a community-based planning effort. The Studio team met with business owners, residents, landowners, investors and community stakeholders to understand the desired vision for the area. The Dreaming Session was the first step in this process.
The Dreaming Session was led by Larry Beasley at St. Mary of Carmel. A cross section of people attended. In this initial step, participants had the opportunity to dream: widely, creatively and publicly.
The Design charrette was the second step in the process. Using the ideas generated at the Dreaming Session, the charrette brought clarity and focus to the vision. The participants were broken into groups consisting of a designer, city official, resident and stakeholder.
The next step involved going into the community to involve more residents, business, property owners and community stakeholders. The CityDesign team met with residents in a variety of places from living rooms, churches, community centers, back yards, and even McDonald’s. The Studio partnered with the La Bajada neighborhood association and Vecinos Unidos to engage residents; and a second design workshop was also held to further generate ideas from participating community residents. The Studio also partnered with the West Dallas Chamber and Oak Cliff chamber to target business owners in area. Using the ideas from over 40 meetings held in the community, the Urban Structure and Guidelines were crafted.
urban structure and guidelines
The Urban Structure and Guidelines have seven fundamental objectives:
The Urban Structure and Guidelines is an alternative to traditional local planning tools. It advances the goals of the city’s comprehensive plan, forwardDallas!, and lays out a path for the flexible and dynamic evolution of this part of the city over time. The Structure represents a shifting perspective, not only in the process of the planning efforts, but also in the type of development envisioned. Design plays a critical role in developing the fundamental objectives of the Structure.
The Structure does not change any zoning. It provides a conceptual rendering of future development and indicates phasing of growth. As potential projects come forward, the City of Dallas will use this Structure to determine the project’s support for the area’s long-term vision. At that time, zoning changes can occur and specific development needs discussed in order to produce the most appropriate business solution and benefit for the area. Proposals consistent with this Structure will be expedited. Inconsistent development proposals will be reviewed further to determine their contribution toward achieving the vision. This approach strives to strike a balance between the flexibility needed to adapt to market conditions as they unfold and the predictability necessary to create stability in the marketplace. Balancing the interests of current and future stakeholders, while maintaining dedication to the vision, is essential to maintain the necessary flexibility to keep the Structure relevant overtime. The processes and guidelines bind these opportunities together offering a unique way for achieving the spirit of the vision for this area while allowing consideration of many variations.
The Urban Structure and Guidelines was adopted by Dallas City Council in March 2011.
Successful implementation to achieve the community’s vision will require diligent efforts on behalf of the community and the City.
Urban Structure and Guidelines guidebook
Urban Structure receives
CLIDE 2011 Award
Urban Structure receives
APA Texas 2011 Award
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