A vision created by Chris Reed’s firm Stoss Landscape Urbanism in collaboration with SHoP Architects has been selected as the jury’s choice in the Dallas Connected City Design Challenge, initiated to reunite downtown Dallas and the Trinity River. GSD alums Amy Whitesides (MLA ’12), Mariusz Klemens (MAUD ’12) and Ellen Garrett (MLA ’13) were on the Stoss team.
Stoss + SHoP’s Hyper Density Hyper Landscape proposal is a pragmatic, innovative approach to strategic community development, activating public land with entrepreneurial urban forests and farms. The proposal connects the city and its river, extending the natural systems of the Trinity River towards Dallas’s downtown through “grid-green” development: alternating bands of lush landscape and high density urban development to form 3 mixed-use neighborhoods with distinct identities. A multi-modal transportation network provides another web of connection among the neighborhoods and downtown.
The plan establishes ecologically diverse urban forests that clean the air and water and provide a habitat for cultural programming and engagement with nature. The lonely flood basins of Old River will be transformed into a beautiful chain of parks and water gardens that reconnect people with the river that was so important to Dallas’s history.
Chris Reed (associate professor in practice of landscape architecture) said, “It’s a great honor to be recognized in this way, and an important step forward in re-thinking the way Dallas both re-imagines its future and connects back to its natural resources. It’s also a huge opportunity to realize a new kind of urbanism that is landscape-based, ecologically tuned, and socially and culturally rich.”
The transformation will take many decades, but initiatives and projects that engage the public and disrupt perception now can make way for change. Stoss and SHoP propose to illuminate the river through an artist’s installation, directing Dallas’s attention back to the contours of the river. Tree nurseries and urban gardens can slowly build stock in the future, while providing visual improvements to the city today. With small, key investments in new spaces and new programs, the Trinity River can quickly regain the interest of the city and begin to reinvent itself as a public space.
Read Stoss + SHoP’s proposal.