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Dallas Developing One of America’s Largest Urban Parks

The Texas metropolis might become a role model for green cities everywhere.

Will Dallas soon become one of the greenest cities in America? Earlier this year, the Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings unveiled a concept for the first phase of the Trinity River Park, which is poised to become one of America’s greatest urban parks. Private donors are now boosting this ambitious project, which will be realised by the landscape architects of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

For over a century, the Trinity River has shaped the city of Dallas as both a critical resource and a powerful force of nature. Despite its connection to city’s history and identity, the river today is disconnected from the public by long stretches of undeveloped land and a general lack of access. The design for Trinity River Park wants to connect the river with the city, envisioning the space as an intensely beautiful and naturalistic network of trails, meadows and lakes living in harmony with the Trinity River.

Civic spaces, such as playgrounds, fountains, plazas and lawns, will provide a connection between the city and the floodplain, protect programmatic areas from extreme flooding, and bring a sense of identity to the dry side of the city’s levees. Riparian landscapes, on the other hand, will restore the ecological function and natural beauty of the channel and its banks while also reducing the vulnerability of pathways and other important design elements.

The proposed park area spans more than 285 acres in the heart of the city. When it comes to the surrounding areas, other large projects are in the works to bring the nature closer to the city, like the Trinity Strand Trail, which will connect 73 miles of trails. According to the mayor, those changes are about to redefine Dallas for the 21st century.

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