2019 State of Dallas Housing Report: Heirs Property

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Each year, bcANALYTICS releases its State of Dallas Housing Report, a data-driven assessment of the housing landscape in the city. In 2019, rather than releasing the report in a single document, we have decided to roll it out over the course of three installments in order to be more responsive to current needs and changes as the City of Dallas begins to implement its first ever Comprehensive Housing Report. 

Our analytics team has been working hard and the first installment of the State of Dallas Housing is here! This report assesses the scale, distribution and impact of heirs property on neighborhoods and individuals in Dallas County. 

Read the full report here!

Welcome Kelsey Menzel!

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We are excited to welcome Kelsey Menzel as [bc]’s Development Manager, based in the Dallas office.

Kelsey previously worked as a copywriter for a local nonprofit development agency before moving abroad to teach English as a foreign language in Bogotá, Colombia. Here, Kelsey became interested in what makes a community thrive—which later led her to pursue a Master of Urban Management. During this time, Kelsey received substantial theoretical and hands-on training in urbanism and community development, including a summer at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she worked side-by-side with residents to evaluate key strengths and opportunities regarding public space in the vibrant neighborhood of Braamfontein. While completing her master’s thesis, Kelsey partnered with the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville to research affordable housing approaches and how public policy can be enhanced to help the most vulnerable achieve their right to adequate housing.

Kelsey has a Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of Texas at Austin. She is anticipated to complete her Master of Science in Urban Management from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in February of 2019.

Learn more about Kelsey here.

Bridging the Block Wrap-Up

This fall [bc]’s Bridging the Block project set out to hear from Dallasites about some of the challenges they face when trying to use the sidewalks of Downtown Dallas. Through a series of design meetings and a tour, participants identified the biggest problems hindering mobility, and workshopped design solutions. The most pressing issues singled-out included broken and narrow sidewalks, steepness of driveways, a lack of curb cuts, visibility issues, and poles or debris blocking the public.

[bc] and participants concluded that recognizing an issue can be the first step to solving it, and that people often don’t recognize something is a problem unless they have been personally impacted by it or know someone who has. This understanding framed the approach to the final installation: not only would the final product include a method to address the issues seen and discussed, it would also make it a point to highlight the issues and the various populations they alienate on a daily basis.

The final work is a kit of parts that together create different configurations of temporary “bridges” on the sidewalks of Marilla Street between City Hall and the Farmers Market - a stretch of sidewalk in such poor condition that it is extremely difficult to navigate. These “bridges” are mobile installations that raise awareness of accessibility issues in public space and celebrate creating a city accessible to everyone. To accompany the bridges, [bc] built a series of signs featuring pictographs and text that explain the challenges the ramps address. As a whole, the installation uses color, texture, and modularity to create awareness about the breadth of mobility challenges and experiences in public space.

There will be another opportunity to see the installations at the #MarillaMakeover Grand Opening on Friday, Nov. 16, 11:30 am - 2:00 pm.

The Bridging the Block project is supported by AARP and coincides with the #MarillaMakeover Project currently being led by Downtown Dallas Inc. and the City of Dallas’ Planning and Urban Design Department.


 

Smart Growth for Dallas Decision Support Tool Launched!

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We are excited to announce the launch of the Smart Growth for Dallas Interactive Decision Support Tool, produced in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, and the Texas Trees Foundation.

The Decision Support Tool can help stakeholders working across various sectors identify the areas of our city where investments in green infrastructure can have the greatest possible impact.

The Decision Support Tool has been released in conjunction with a User Guide, descriptions of the data sources used in this analysis, and PDFs of the Smart Growth for Dallas priority maps (Absorb and Protect, Connect, Cool, Equity, and Health). The site also features a Story Map, through which you can learn more about the project and the analysis results.

Visit this link to explore the full site!

Bridging the Block

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This fall [bc]’s Bridging the Block project will be installing temporary “bridges” on the sidewalks of Marilla Street between City Hall and the Farmers Market. These “bridges” will be a group of mobile installations that aim to raise awareness of accessibility issues in public spaces and celebrate creating a city accessible to everyone.

We have held several community design meetings to hear from people about their experiences as a pedestrian in downtown Dallas and the ways they would approach addressing the issues at hand. The meetings set out to identify accessibility issues and have conversations about who would be impacted by these limitations. We learned from participants about the challenges of broken and narrow sidewalks, steepness of driveways, a lack of curb cuts, visibility issues, and poles or debris blocking the paths.

The conversations touched on whether minimum accessibility requirements were sufficient in addressing the needs of all. One issue identified was the challenge of navigating textured pavers found at crosswalks with a walker. Another topic of concern was safety and the small but important design decisions that could address this concern—from street lights to reflective materials that would indicate the presence of a pedestrian to oncoming traffic.

The Opening Day Lunch and Conversation will be on Friday, Nov. 2, 12:00 to 1:30 pm. You will have another opportunity to see the installations at the #MarillaMakeover project Grand Opening on Friday, Nov. 16.

The Bridging the Block project is supported by AARP and will coincide with the #MarillaMakeover project currently being led by Downtown Dallas Inc. and the City of Dallas’ Planning and Urban Design Department.

 

Macon Starks Update

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The Macon Starks project is a housing development at the intersection of Macon and Starks Streets in the Bonton neighborhood. This housing project, which began a couple years ago, was met with a few delays along the way, but we are pleased to announce that the five senior housing units have been built and all are currently occupied. This project is a partnership between East Dallas Community Organization and [bc].

The units are a mix of duplex and single family dwellings centered around a communal garden space with raised planter beds. We look forward to advancing our design practice through different housing typologies serving the various populations of our cities.

Harold Simmons Park Public Workshops

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[bc] is serving as a consultant to the Trinity Park Conservancy, bringing our skill set in public interest design to engage Dallas' communities around the future of Harold Simmons Park, 200 acres along the Trinity River. Engagement efforts will focus on discovering how Dallas residents currently use parks and public space while encouraging them to re-imagine what this area could be. This understanding will inform the design of the 200 acre Harold Simmons Park.

Join us as we support the Trinity Park Conservancy in envisioning the future of the Harold Simmons Park as a public space that connects Dallas residents to each other and nature. Starting September 15th, the Conservancy will host 10 public workshops across the city to reimagine our river. For more about Harold Simmons Park, click here. Click here to RSVP to the upcoming workshops.

Welcome Kevin!

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We are excited to welcome Kevin Clapp!

Kevin Clapp is a Design Associate at buildingcommunityWORKSHOPKevin supports various Making and People Organizing Place (POP) projects.

Kevin holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Urban & Regional Planning from Texas A&M University.

Learn more about Kevin here. 

Smart Growth for Dallas Focus Forum Update

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As we gear up for the final two Smart Growth for Dallas Focus Forum conversations on Parks and Public Space for People of All Abilities (August 9th) and Designing for Equity in Parks and Public Space (September 6th), we have been reflecting on the thoughtful conversations we’ve had had so far.

In our first panel discussion in May, moderated by Dr. Ivonne Audirac of the University of Texas at Arlington's College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA), we had a compelling conversation about the issues of urban development and the impact of public space design on neighborhood vitality. Our panelists Aaron Abelson of HR&A Advisors, Brianna Brown of Texas Organizing Project, and Brent Brown of the Trinity Park Conservancy joined us at Better Block to talk about how public space design can contribute to the perpetuation of neighborhood disinvestment or be a catalyst for new development and neighborhood desirability. You can listen to the conversation online.

The second panel discussion in June was moderated by Alfreda Norman, Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where we discussed the issues of race and ethnicity in public space design. Our panelists Bobby Abtahi, President of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board, Isaac Cohen, a Landscape Architect at Studio Outside, Delia Jasso, former District 1 Council Member, and Yui Iwase, New Roots Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee joined us at the Dallas Black Dance Theater to talk about how a city with a long history of segregation might approach current and future public space design in a way that supports equity and access to public space for all of its residents. You can learn about the history of Dallas’ public parks and residential racial segregation within the city in [bc]’s Race and Control of Public Parks and listen to the panel conversation online.

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming focus forums!

Smart Growth for Dallas, an initiative led by the Trust for Public Land, buildingcommunityWORKSHOP, and Texas Trees Foundation, seeks to combine community insight and science to promote quality public spaces and green infrastructure in Dallas. To unpack the issues highlighted during our community engagement process, Smart Growth for Dallas will be hosting a series of 'Focus Forums' to explore the challenging topics of race and ethnicity, urban development, and accessibility within our public space design. The closing discussion will seek to knit together the prior conversation by exploring the specific role of design in bringing equity to public spaces. Through these conversations we hope to uncover forward-thinking ideas about planning and public space design in Dallas by bringing together groups whose work directly relates to each theme.

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP Launches Freedmen’s Town Storytelling Project

Residents of North Texas Freedmen’s Towns will Document Community Histories

buildingcommunityWORKSHOP ([bc]) has been awarded a National Parks Service African American Civil Rights Grant to launch a new project focused on North Texas Freedmen’s Towns. The “Freedmen’s Towns Stories” project aims to support residents of Dallas’s historic Freedmen’s Towns and their descendants in telling the stories of the changes their communities faced during the Civil Rights Period through oral history, cross-generational interpretive storytelling, and text-based multimedia products.

[bc] has partnered with noted architectural historian Dr. Kathryn Holliday, Founding Director of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Dillon Center for Architecture, along with UTA College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs students, and the Writer’s Garret, the first nonprofit literary center in North Texas, which has connected over 2 million writers, readers, and audience members over the past 23 years, to build local capacity through this endeavor. Over the course of the project, [bc] and its partners will train and provide support to residents in conducting historical research, navigating archives, historic storytelling in written and oral formats, and recordings oral histories.

“Since 2012, [bc] has worked with residents of the Tenth Street Historic District—a historic former Freedmen’s Town—to assist residents preserving and celebrating their community’s rich history. With this grant, we will further advance this important work, engaging communities and residents across the region,” says Thor Erickson, President & Managing Director of [bc].

As a community design center with expertise in translating technical information into an accessible graphic format, [bc] will create manuals that will aid additional urban North Texas Freedmen’s Towns in the task of historic storytelling. These resources, as well as the oral histories and written stories collected through the project, will be hosted in a new online repository, which will be built over the course of the project period. This website will establish a new online presence for urban North Texas Freedmen’s Towns’ collaborative efforts.

The project’s launch coincides with a timely need. As construction continues on the Southern Gateway project, which will bring a multimillion dollar deck park to the neighborhood, Dallas’s Tenth Street Historic District faces imminent redevelopment pressures.

Several historic structures recently received demolition orders as residents have witnessed steadily increasing outside interest in neighborhood real estate. These events have catalyzed a number of local conversations about historic preservation, equity, and their intersection.

Freedmen’s Towns Stories will build resident capacity to preserve the local histories of these oft-overlooked communities. By training residents to undertake these efforts, the project will further equip the many residents who are dedicated to this endeavor.

Disclaimer:

Partially funded by the African American Civil Rights program of the Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not constitute endorsement or necessarily reflect the view of the Department of the Interior.

About [bc]:

The buildingcommunityWORKSHOP is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. We enrich the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, [bc] recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work. (www.bcworkshop.org)

Welcome Ucha!

We are excited to welcome Ucha Abbah, our Dallas bcINTERN this summer!

From Dallas, Texas, Ucha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Environmental Studies from Southern Methodist University and is in the process of completing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia. You can read more about Ucha here.

Thus far, Ucha has worked to research Freedmen's Towns in Dallas and how urban development has impacted them to support future storytelling work.

Ucha says, "My experience so far has been great, I have gotten to see completed projects while learning about the processes that lead to the completion of the projects that [bc] works on. I have enjoyed getting to know the different personalities here and how they come together to make the office unique and fun."

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buildingcommunityHEROES 4th Edition Released

[bc] is excited to share our 4th edition of buildingcommunityHEROES ([bc]HEROES) trading cards. This edition celebrates individuals across Dallas who are making strides in the areas of education, food access, community organizing, arts, bicycle advocacy, and community development. With a fresh new design, these cards are a fun way to learn about and celebrate local Dallas heroes.

Our 4th Edition Heroes include: Lucy Phelps Patterson, Daron Babcock, Kay Thompson, William Sidney Pittman, Yvonne Ewell, Taylor Toynes, Clarice Criss, Cora Cardona, Onjaleke Brown, Joli Robinson, Ronnie Mestas, Lily Weiss, Ben Leal, and Ashly Fields.

[bc]HEROES launched in 2014 in commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. Dr. King challenged us to build a more perfect union and taught us that everyone has a role to play. [bc] honors that incredible legacy of service by recognizing local trailblazers, advocates, organizers, and leaders, who serve our communities.

Check out more at buildingcommunityheroes.org, read HERO bios, nominate your HERO for future trading cards, and explore our HEROES’ causes. If you would like your own pack of [bc]HEROES trading cards please contact give us a call or swing by the Dallas Office. Supplies are limited.

Welcome bcINTERNs!

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This summer, for the first time ever, [bc] will host an intern in each of its 4 offices.

Our Summer 2018 bcINTERNs are:

Ucha is currently pursuing a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Environmental Studies from Southern Methodist University.

Sara is working on her Bachelor of Environmental Design, specialization in architecture, at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Alison is pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lilith is a recent graduate of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Policy and Practice, Political Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine and Studio Arts.

We are excited to welcome these four new interns to our team! Follow the links to their bio pages to learn more about them and what they'll be working on this summer!

2018 State of Dallas Housing Report

Read the full report here!

Learn more about bcANALYTICS  and check out the 2016 and 2017 State of Dallas Housing Reports!

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We are excited to release the third annual State of Dallas Housing report, the latest in our series of data-driven analytics reports that examine the issue of housing affordability within Dallas and present opportunities for equitable housing development.

The maps and graphics included in the report illustrate longitudinal trends in housing production and new residential construction, as well as growth in population, jobs, and income, across Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. The report looks at median incomes by racial and ethnic group and by industry of employment in relation to average housing costs by Census tract.

The bcANALYTICS team interviewed 10 housing experts in Dallas to determine priority areas where additional research was needed. The need to better understand Dallas’s housing market within the context of the four-county region (Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant) emerged as a top priority. The report examines key data that demonstrates how Dallas’s housing market is not producing enough affordable housing to meet the needs of its socioeconomically diverse population. With costs of housing on the rise, the housing products on the Dallas market—and the regional market—are increasingly out of reach for many. Moving to surrounding communities does not, according to the study, provide a viable option for finding more affordable housing.

With the City of Dallas adopting a new Comprehensive Housing Policy, Dallas’s residents and stakeholders will need additional metrics and context to understand the issue of housing affordability at the city-wide scale. This new report aims to equip our city with the knowledge to be informed advocates for their communities’ interests.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

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In 2017 North Texas continued to be one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, and one of the top housing markets in the United States. As the City of Dallas’ prepares to implement its recently passed housing policy, aimed at increasing the production of housing units across the city, it is important to understand housing production at a larger scale to pinpoint where new housing units or typologies may be needed at this critical juncture. The 2018 State of Dallas Housing Report explores current housing trends in the City of Dallas and socioeconomic trends across the four most populous counties of North Texas (Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant) to help contextualize housing production and identify potential challenges and opportunities for improving access to housing for residents of Dallas and North Texas. 

The region’s rise in population, new housing, employment, and income exemplifies the uneven nature of development and economic growth across North Texas. Growth in the region is concentrated in specific cities and neighborhoods, while other areas have experienced less measurable change in recent years. Housing production has followed this growth in parts of the region. However, housing production in the city of Dallas has been heavily concentrated in just a few of the Dallas’ nearly 400 neighborhoods despite more widespread growth across Dallas.

This report helps quantify these trends in Dallas’ housing production from 2011 to 2017, contrasting them with socioeconomic changes and housing production across North Texas. Is Dallas’ goal of increasing the production of housing feasible, inclusive, and able to address the needs of all Dallas residents? Central to this report is the focus of housing accessibility and affordability for different income and population groups in Dallas, based on the ratio of housing values to median income. Has new housing production across North Texas provided opportunities for Dallas’ median income households to access housing in surrounding communities? This report suggests the answer is no. 

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As more of Dallas’ housing production is focused on higher-valued homes, largely in the city’s northern sector, new housing built in North Texas from 2011 to 2016 was largely concentrated in areas that are the least affordable to Dallas’ median income households of color. As the City weighs a new housing policy to stimulate housing production in Dallas it is important to understand both the history of recent housing production in Dallas and the connection between housing production and Dallas’ existing residents. 

This report finds that despite large numbers of new housing units built across the region, many Dallas households are only able to easily afford housing in certain parts of North Texas, primarily in Census tracts that are heavily segregated with high poverty and further removed from much of the economic growth in North Texas. Additionally, some of the fastest growing industries in North Texas tend to pay lower wages that create an additional barrier to accessing affordable housing in proximity to jobs and other amenities based. The lack of production of affordable rental units only further enforces the challenge of Dallas’ minority and low income residents from accessing quality affordable housing at the expense of providing luxury housing for more affluent new residents moving to neighborhoods close to Downtown Dallas. 

Update: Healing Hands Ministries

Learn more about bcANALYTICS and check out additional reports in the bcANALYTICS Catalog.

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In 2014, bcANALYTICS worked with Healing Hands Ministries on a report to help advocate for a new DART bus stop at the intersection of Greenville Ave. and Royal Ln. in Lake Highlands. Over the past several years, Janna Gardner, the founder and CEO of Healing Hands, has worked tirelessly to bring that goal to fruition alongside District 10 Council Member Adam McGough, the AllinD10 Collection Impact initiative, DART, and other community groups. 

Thanks to all of that hard work, a new bus stop, which will help Healing Hand’s clients have better access to the clinic by public transportation, has opened on DART’s Route 84.

In our previous work, we found that Healing Hands was located further from public transportation than other low cost or affordable health care options, which proves a challenge for the thousands of low-income families and individuals who receive services from Healing Hands—the nearest stop was roughly ¾-mile away from Healing Hands clinic, while most organizations, as we found, have a stop less than ¼-mile away. 

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The data and information prepared by [bc], with support from Communities Foundation of Texas, was an important tool in Janna’s effort to provide better public transportation to the families who rely on Healing Hands for health care services. 

We celebrate this community victory with Healing Hands Ministries today and will continue to work to equip community leaders with the tools and data analytics services that they need to advocate for positive change. 

Read the full report here!
 

THIS WORK WAS SUPPORTED BY
As the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, 
Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. The foundation professionally manages more than 900 charitable funds and has awarded more than $1.3 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. Increasing financial stability of working families is one of the two key focus areas of CFT’s community impact funds. To support this area, CFT has launched the Data Driven Decision-Making (D3) Institute. The D3 Institute is designed to provide organizations that offer programs and services for low-income working families the power to accelerate their development of enduring solutions to the social and economic problems facing this population. www.cftexas.org/D3

Smart Growth for Dallas Technical Advisory Team

Learn more about our Smart Growth for Dallas related work!

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Smart Growth for Dallas is launching a Technical Advisory Team! As the next phase of a partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the Texas Trees Foundation, we're working to refine a data-driven decision support tool, which will help Dallas and its residents identify opportunities for parks, green infrastructure, and other green investments in areas where it will have significant impact. The information gathered through prior community engagement meetings has informed and will continue to drive the development of this tool. We'll be communicating with stakeholders across the city to get additional input.

As members of the Technical Advisory Team, stakeholders will provide insight as to how this tool can help achieve goals across various sectors, how their data can be incorporated, and specific use cases for the tool. The partnership will be convening a series of webinars through Summer 2018 in alignment with the five planning objectives: Connect, Cool, Health, Equity, and Absorb/Protect.

If you think the tool could be useful to you or your organization, please get in touch with us via email!

[bc], Trust for Public Land, and Dallas Park and Recreation Director Willis Winters were recently featured in an NBC DFW segment. Trust for Public Land North Texas Area Director Robert Kent stated, "Our objective in Smart Growth for Dallas is to provide a best in class data tool, to help the city understand specific areas where we can make investments in green assets, whether it's things like rain gardens or more trees or buying more land for parks, that will have a big impact on social, economic and environmental challenges." 

Stay tuned for further updates!

Dallas Cultural Plan Public Engagement

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As a partner in the team with Lord Cultural Resources, HR&A Advisors, and Idyllic Interactive[bc] is working to engage Dallas's residents for the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs' Dallas Cultural Plan 2018. Through a year-long process, the Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) seeks to gather community input on how residents experience culture in their daily lives and how the city can continue to stay arts-friendly. 

The public engagement process for the Dallas Cultural Plan kicked off with a series of four events this September. At the Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Children's Theatre, Walnut Hill Recreation Center, and Southwest Center Mall, attendees participated in a series of activities which included realtime digital mapping, drawing stories of cultural experiences, and building ideal cultural communities. 

Through October and November, Community Conversations at South Dallas Cultural Center, Oak Cliff Cultural Center, Fretz Park Recreation Center, Bath House Cultural Center, Pleasant Grove Branch Library, West Dallas Multipurpose Center, and Moody Performance Hall provided forums for residents to share their visions for arts in their neighborhoods.

The Community Conversations will engage residents of all 14 districts within the City of Dallas. The series resumed for the new year at the Grauwyler Park Branch Library on January 11, 2018. In January/February 2018, we'll continue engaging residents through Community Conversations at:

This phase of outreach also includes a series of discussions focused on specific art mediums, cultural institutions, and practicing artists. Upcoming opportunities include:

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Don't miss your chance to share your thoughts, hopes, and dreams for Dallas's cultural future through this once-in-a-decade opportunity. Be on the lookout for future events on the Dallas Cultural Plan event calendar

Even if you can't make it to an event, there are other ways that you can get involved! Take the Dallas Cultural Plan Survey to help us understand the diversity of arts and cultural activity occurring across Dallas and in your neighborhood.

You can also contribute to Dallas’ Arts & Culture Ecosystem Map by entering locations where you go to to create, experience, or learn about arts and culture in Dallas here—please enter only one location at a time, but you can submit as many responses as you'd like.

The Neighborhood Toolkit can be used to facilitate a conversation with friends, neighbors or co-workers on your own time. Email engage@dallasculturalplan.com to tell us about the date, time and location of your meeting!

Check out photos from Dallas Cultural Plan activities that have taken place thus far in the gallery below!

Cool & Connected Oak Cliff

Learn more about our Smart Growth for Dallas related work!

We've had a blast working with The Texas Trees Foundation, The Trust for Public Land, and The Nature Conservancy; and working together with Oak Cliff residents and schools to implement large-scale tree planting projects in a targeted “heat island” area in southern Dallas. 

Science has shown that healthy urban tree canopies provide cities and communities a broad range of environmental and health benefits. Trees help combat extreme heat and harmful air pollution, both of which contribute to public health concerns like asthma and heart disease. They also regulate water quality, reduce storm water runoff and provide habitat for wildlife. Increasingly, urban forests and other forms of green space are recognized as an important strategy for increasing a city’s resilience to the impacts of climate change and, a growing body of research shows that students benefit from close proximity to green space around schools.

Unfortunately, parks, trees, and green space are in short supply in parts of Dallas—particularly around schools. Research from The Trust for Public Land indicates that only 58% of Dallas residents have a park or trail within a half-mile walking distance from their home; and a recent study from the Texas Trees Foundation indicates that 95% of schools in the Dallas Independent School District lack adequate canopy cover. Additionally, Dallas has the 3rd fastest growing urban heat island in the country.

Project partners are using data driven analysis to identify and advance tree planting in neighborhoods and school campuses with the greatest need. The Trust for Public Land’s recent “Smart Growth for Dallas” analysis identified portions of the historic Oak Cliff community, in southern Dallas, as a high priority for urban heat island reduction, connectivity enhancements, equity improvements and efforts to improve public health.

Over the course of the next several months, project partners will work alongside community volunteers and students to plant over 1,000 trees in a target area of Oak Cliff. Trees will be planted on two Dallas Independent School District (DISD) school campuses and in the surrounding neighborhood, including linkages to the Honey Springs-Cedar Crest Trail.

Join us! There will be more tree plantings and community meetings in 2018. Find out more about the project and the next opportunity to contribute your time and input into this work here: http://www.texastrees.org/projects/cool-connect-cedar-crest/