Are there 15 distinct neighborhoods Downtown? Are there more? Less? Over the past two months, [bc] has participated in six public events for Downtown Dallas 360, the recently revisited master planning process undertaken by the member-based Downtown advocacy organization Downtown Dallas, Inc (DDI) and its project partners. [bc] is among those partners, teaming up with DDI to incorporate Draw Your Neighborhood into the 360 engagement process to answer these and other questions about neighborhoods Downtown. Just as the people, buildings, and businesses of a city change (or stay the same), the same is true for neighborhoods and their boundaries. In fact, these changes or stases may be what drive changes in how we perceive neighborhoods. Using Draw Your Neighborhood, DDI and the master planning team will get a better sense of what people understand the geographies of their neighborhoods to be - how they’ve changed since the neighborhoods were drawn in the earlier version of 360, and how they’ve stayed the same.
DDI’s previous public engagement process to chart the future of downtown happened in 2011 and was the first iteration of Downtown Dallas 360. The plan either confirmed or created 15 officially recognized neighborhoods within the downtown area and outlined five strategies that were to “serve as guiding forces for steering public and private investment” in these Downtown neighborhoods in the years to come. Although that was only four years ago, there have been significant changes in who lives, works, and plays in each Downtown neighborhood. Residences of all types - from the townhomes of the Farmers Market to the apartment towers of the Arts District - have been added, radically changing the residential base. New businesses have opened. New neighborhood organizations have started. Neighborhood identities have been strengthened. These changes have necessitated a revision of the master plan to reflect the sweeping transformation.
Neighborhoods feature prominently in all discussions about the new plan, and as neighborhood advocates who have our office downtown, [bc] is extremely enthusiastic about and invested in its outcome. At in-depth workshops and community forums the 360 team encourages the public to talk about their neighborhoods: what do you like? what don’t you like? what would you like see to happen there? [bc] has also been there asking folks to draw their downtown neighborhood boundaries with the Draw Your Neighborhood website. Feedback gathered through these sessions will inform the final plan which will include neighborhood specific plans to capture and enhance the unique qualities of each geography.
What do you think about the neighborhoods Downtown? Are The Cedars and South Side two different neighborhoods? Is Uptown part of Downtown? Where does the Civic Center end and Farmers Market begin? If you live, work, or play Downtown and are interested in being a part of shaping the Downtown master plan, check out the event calendar, join the DDI mailing list or contact us, we’d love to know what you think.