Addison7

The iconic roundabout namesake of Addison Circle. The story of its design, below…

By Amanda Popken
Special Contributor

For a whirlwind four days, hundreds of the world’s top urban planners, engineers, developers, and real estate professionals descended on Dallas to share best practices, data, and ideas about making our cities great. Attendees of the Congress for the New Ubanism‘s #CNU23 tend to seem a bit crazy for walkable neighborhoods, but in truth they respect a healthy balance of all densities and development types. Problem is, there’s far more demand for walkable places than there are walkable places. Especially in D-FW, where 68 percent of residents would like to live in a walkable neighborhood at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent of the real estate in Dallas is in a walkable environment and only 1.5 percent of D-FW is walkable.

This year’s most inspiring conversations included a call to action to build equitable and sustainable places, to be the innovators and thought leaders who will invent the “Just City.” A conversation about “Public Spaces People Love” highlighted Southwest Airlines’ Heart of the Community program in partnership with Project for Public Spaces to support the development of places people love in SWA destination cities.

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Blue-Walkable Places Ad-CNU-smallest

 

The Congress for the New Urbanism’s 23rd annual Congress (CNU 23), is in Dallas-Fort Worth this week, today through Saturday. CNU is the nation’s leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development; sustainable communities; and healthier living conditions.

This year’s theme, “Meeting the Demand for Walkability,” was coined after learning that 68 percent of D/FW residents of all ages want to live in a walkable neighborhood at some point in their life, yet only 4 percent of the Dallas market and 1.5 percent of the greater D/FW market offer a home in a walkable area. The idea isn’t that Uptown is for everyone, but that the demand for Uptown is so high because the supply is so low. (You see the opportunity here — great walkable neighborhoods all over DFW.)

If this piques your interest, there are a few ways you can join the conversation for free. Jump to find out more

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Alex Gavin Yale

I don’t know about you, but when I have to make a pretty vital decision, I try to get as many opinions as possible. As many educated opinions from people far smarter than I. Maybe we need to do this on the Trinity Parkway/Tollway/Parkway?

Thursday night in New York City (where I am attending Inman Connect NYC), I attended a lecture by Alexander Garvin, a noted American urban planner, educator, and author. He has a private architectural practice at Alexander Garvin & Associates in New York City, and is an adjunct professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He also happens to be the man responsible for Atlanta’s greenbelt system. We saw the system in action at NAREE a year and a half ago when the conference was held in Atlanta. Basically, Atlanta had this railroad track running almost a circle around the city, and it was Garvin who suggested turning it into a connected greenbelt. When I told him how we had toured the Ponce City Market (an old Sears Roebuck warehouse turned multi-use foodie nirvana), he was charmed. I told him how I saw joggers utilizing those trails and how they were inspiring private development real estate projects. He, in turn, told me that his book, The Planning Game: Lessons From Great Cities, has a picture of our own Katy Trail in Dallas, which he admires. That too, I told him, is stimulating development.

planning game (more…)

Dense apartments

141% since 2000? This according to a study by UCLA researchers, who say it is the highest price increase in the nation.

Without adjusting for inflation, other cities to see jumps are Washington, D.C. at 105 percent, San Diego at 101 percent, San Francisco at 89 percent, New York City at 73 percent, Seattle at 67 percent, and Chicago at 25 percent. Dallas barely squeaked onto the list at 39%, but at least we nudged out other Texas cities. Plus all these cities built more housing units than Los Angeles did during this time frame. (more…)

BA Norrgard is taking her tiny house on tour, but the Dallas native is hoping living small will catch on in her hometown.

BA Norrgard is taking her tiny house on tour, but the Dallas native is hoping living small will catch on in her hometown.

We’ve been following BA Norrgard and her quest to live small — tiny even! — in a hand-built home after divesting herself of her mortgage and working to help people simplify, simplify, simplify. And as much as I love her mission, I have to wonder if Norrgard’s work is ever going to pay off. Can the people of Dallas, a place whose very motto is “Big Things Happen Here,” live small?

Perhaps the real question is this: Can we appreciate time outside, putting more emphasis on experience and less on material things? That’s what Katie Arnold asked in her essay for Outside magazine:

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Uptown Then and Now

For the longest time, the story of how Uptown came to be successful centered around greedy developers wanting to build towers and condos for only those who could afford it. But Patrick Kennedy of “Car Free in Big D” paints a much more nuanced picture of how Dallas’ most walkable neighborhood came about.

Jump for an excerpt.

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1717 One Arts LRWell I failed to tell you when Angie Barrett sold her 3200 ish square foot penthouse condo at One Arts Plaza last December 13. (Spank me!) The condo, which was beautifully decked out in a stunning contemporary style by Droese and Raney Architecture Inc. was listed for $2,575,000. It had been on the market for a bit. The place was and still is just a palace in the sky: Edelman-leather walls, Tully Weis, Muse Integration, Poliform, Miele and Sub-Zero throughout, there is also 673 square feet of terrace to enjoy, custom cabinetry and motorized window treatments.

The master suite is enormous: 18 by 14 with a study, custom closets ( OF COURSE!), a bathroom with a contemporary vessel tub and shower fed by ceiling-mounted spouts and multiple showerheads.

Joan Crawford, eat your heart out on this one. (more…)

The apartments at Sylvan|Thirty are some of the 1,300 projected units that will be built in West Dallas.

The apartments at Sylvan|Thirty are some of the 1,300 projected units that will be built in West Dallas.

Steve Brown’s dissection of the new apartment projects in West Dallas says that this area with incredible views of downtown and the Calatrava bridge will become the next big industrial-to-residential transition in Dallas. But what impact will these 1,300 brand new apartments have on the existing infrastructure? And will this redevelopment become a model for other areas?

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