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August 20, 2018, 07:58:27 pm
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Author Topic: Dallas: Case Study for Growth?  (Read 4767 times)
SXSW
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« on: June 25, 2014, 10:37:55 am »

Interesting article about Dallas and how they are at a unique transitional point similar to Chicago early in the 20th century as one of the fastest growing metros in the country, both in population and economy.  

An excerpt from the article about how Dallas responded to a consulting firm's report on the future of the city:
Meanwhile, the cracks in the DFW growth model were becoming apparent, especially in the core city of Dallas. Ten years ago the Dallas Morning News ran a series called “Dallas at a Tipping Point: A Roadmap For Renewal.” This series was underpinned by a report prepared by the consulting firm Booz Allen. This report is well worth reading by almost anyone today as it is a rare example of a city that was able to get insight and recommendations from the type of tier one strategy firm used by major corporations. Booz Allen was direct in their findings, though perhaps with a bit of hyperbole in the Detroit comparison:
 
Dallas stands at the verge of entering a cycle of decline…On its current path, Dallas will, in the next 20 years, go the way of declining cities like Detroit – a hollow core abandoned by the middle class and surrounded by suburbs that outperform the city but inevitably are dragged down by it.
 ….
 If the City of Dallas were a corporate client, we would note that it has fallen significantly behind its competitors. We would warn that its product offering is becoming less and less compelling to its core group of target customers…We would further caution the management that they are in an especially dangerous position because overall growth in the market…is masking the depth of its underlying problems. We would explain that in our experience, companies in fast growing markets are often those most at risk because they frequently do not realize they are falling behind until the situation is irreversible.
 
Put into the language of business, we would note that Dallas is under-investing in its core product, has not embraced best practices throughout its management or operations, and is fast becoming burdened by long term liabilities that could bankrupt the company if the market takes a downturn.


Dallas responded by investing in 3 main areas: public safety, transit and green space
The city responded in a number of ways, some of which were similar to Chicago at its inflection point. Many of these involve various urbanist “best practices” or conventional wisdom type trends.
 
By far the most important of these was adopting modern statistically driven policing approaches. As crime plummeted in places like New York during the 1990s, Dallas did not see a decline of its own. But with the expansion of police headcount and adoption of new strategies by new police chief David Kunkle in 2004 – and no doubt some help from national trends – crime fell steeply during the 2000s. The Dallas Morning News says that the city’s violent and property crime rates fell by a greater percentage than any other city with over one million residents over the last decade. In 2013, Dallas had its overall lowest crime rate in 47 years.
 
This is critical because nothing else matters without safe streets. I’ve had many a jousting match with other urbanists on discussion boards about where crime falls on the list of priorities. In my view it’s clearly #1 – even more so than education. It’s simply a prerequisite to almost any other systemic good happening in your cities. Students can’t learn effectively if they live and attend school in dangerous environments, for example. NYU economist Paul Romer made this point forcefully in his New Cities keynote, saying that fighting crime is the most important function of government and that if you don’t deliver on crime control your city will go into decline. Fortunately, Dallas seems to have gotten the message.
 
But there’s been attention to physical infrastructure as well. The area has built America’s largest light rail system (which was in the works since the early 1980s).

Both the city and region remain fundamentally auto-centric, however, and this is unlikely to change.

There’s been a significant investment in quality green spaces. A major initiative called the Trinity River Project is designed to reclaim the Trinity River corridor through the city as a recreational amenity. This is underway but proceeding slowing. Among the aspects of the project is a series of three planned signature bridges designed by Santiago Calatrava. The only one completed is the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Another green space project – and the best thing I saw in my trip to Dallas – is Klyde Warren Park, which is built on a freeway cap. About half the cost came from $50 million donations.


I bolded the main elements that apply directly to Tulsa.  Public safety should be a #1 priority and never should have budgets cut, as Tulsa has done with police, fire and the 911 call center.  If you don't feel safe that is a serious issue and significantly impacts population growth and economic development.  Tulsa has issues with crime, many of which would be solved by a larger and more equipped police force.  Dallas understood that and reduced its crime rate significantly for such a large, diverse city.  

Dallas, just as auto-oriented as Tulsa, started improving their bus system in the 90's and building a light rail system.  Now many areas are connected by transit though more work needs to be done.  Tulsa meanwhile is reducing funding to transit, which is not the way to go. 

The investment in green spaces are also areas where the two cities are similar, with Tulsa getting ready to build a new showcase park and plans for additional riverfront green spaces in the future.  Cities without major natural features such as the ocean or mountains must do what they can and Tulsa has the Arkansas River which has been neglected for decades but hopefully the Gathering Place and putting water in the river will change that into a regional destination.  Tulsa has more natural beauty than Dallas but hasn't fully capitalized on it.

http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/06/22/dallas-a-city-in-transition/
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 10:41:57 am by SXSW » Logged

 
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 11:24:23 am »

Dallas is growing so quickly because of many factors.  Critical mass/size for city and metro, oil, other large industries, all of which add synergies to each other.

Crime has gone down all over the nation and Dallas has also seen a lot of gentrification so crime has gone down for that reason as well.  Sure increasing police presence and changing methods has helped, but they have the luxury of that working for them much better because of those first factors.

As for parks and green spaces. Not what is really creating the growth or bringing wealth to the city which also helps to create nice infrastructure and public spaces, but helps on the fringes though I am sure.

Was in Dallas for a week just last week and couldn't help but notice something.  While driving around and walking around different areas, noticed that though there was this tremendous growth, buildings going up everywhere, hardly anyone was out walking around.  The weather was actually quite beautiful for the time of year and with that nice cool weather one would thought the sidewalks and parks would be packed.  Not so.  You could go into restaurants and shops and they were often full enough of people, but just about every building or development had it's own parking garages so there was very little activity outside. I think this makes Dallas quite boring actually.  Good growth, blah city.

Now here is the deal with respect to Tulsa imho, we have slow growth, and we aren't likely to get the critical mass or upturn in some industry or another to get us into a higher growth cycle.  However…  I do think that if we do focus on quality of life issues like education, crime and good quality, urban/pedestrian friendly infill development, I do think that we can actually begin to compete with other cities and begin attracting people who would like to live in that type of environment.

Tulsa has a lot of potential. If it were a similar day in Tulsa we would have seen more people out at River Parks than I saw out on their Trinity Trail.  I dare say that we probably as many people out in our downtown/Cherry Street/ Brookside areas, or more than I saw outside in similar type areas in Dallas, though we are much smaller.   If we could ramp up our downtown development for instance to have more really good pedestrian friendly development, we could show off and start drawing more development, jobs, companies, etc. our way.  I still every week get multiple people who visit Tulsa in my shop going… "Where is everyone?" "What kind of downtown is this?"  "In my city (Denver, Fort Worth were some recently) the streets are packed downtown on this that". etc. etc.  Not a way to start your impression of Tulsa, attract people, try to bring more companies to the city, etc.

But Dallas also points out the folly that I hear when some in the local city/business community say we shouldn't interfere by introducing any pedestrian friendly zoning.  They say that the free market will do the right thing.  Well despite all the growth in Dallas, they have not created what so many really want with respect to that.  They have areas that "look it" on the surface, but in reality are fake.  Again, their growth is the result of other previous factors, which we do NOT have, but we can develop a "killer competitive app" so to speak if we develop superior quality first, which may then springboard us up to another level of growth.  Plus we could position ourselves to be able to handle that potential growth in a far more comfortable way.

Hope people are getting where I am going with that lol.  Doing what we are doing will only continue resulting in slow blah growth, at best, while Dallas will get faster growing blah growth, along with some fancy toys here and there.  But we can get great, slow growth, which could eventually get us a competitive edge and then begin to ramp our growth and prosperity up.  
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 11:29:11 am by TheArtist » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 11:58:49 am »

Sounds like maybe growth for growth's sake may not be a panacea....

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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 09:37:39 am »

Dallas & Fort Worth are like one huge city. They have it all from fine restaurants to night life to zoo's and Museums. If you don't like the Fort Worth Museums or Zoos  you can visit the Dallas Museums & Zoos, Fort Worth has a fine library system but if you want more you can visit the Dallas libray system or the libraries of the mid-cities inbetween, one libray card useually lets you use the services of all the libraries in the Metroplex. Both Fort Worth & Dallas have first rate Planeteriums, the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History back in the 1990's re-built their museum and expanded everything so now they have more to offer and it's up to date with a first rate planeterium. The MetroPlex also has great parks with great bike & jogging trails, Six Flags over Texas in Arlington has some of the worlds biggest roller coasters. The warm mild climate and booming economy attract newcomers from all over the country. Here in Tulsa we only have one zoo and a few museums and one library system that's county wide and a little bit of night life.
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 10:52:05 am »

Dallas & Fort Worth are like one huge city. They have it all from fine restaurants to night life to zoo's and Museums. If you don't like the Fort Worth Museums or Zoos  you can visit the Dallas Museums & Zoos, Fort Worth has a fine library system but if you want more you can visit the Dallas libray system or the libraries of the mid-cities inbetween, one libray card useually lets you use the services of all the libraries in the Metroplex. Both Fort Worth & Dallas have first rate Planeteriums, the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History back in the 1990's re-built their museum and expanded everything so now they have more to offer and it's up to date with a first rate planeterium. The MetroPlex also has great parks with great bike & jogging trails, Six Flags over Texas in Arlington has some of the worlds biggest roller coasters. The warm mild climate and booming economy attract newcomers from all over the country. Here in Tulsa we only have one zoo and a few museums and one library system that's county wide and a little bit of night life.

Ok?  And the sky is blue and water is wet.
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 10:58:17 am »

DFW metro area has 6.8 million people.  Spread all over he$$ and back....  Perspective - that's twice our entire state population, sauer.  If we doubled the population in OK, in say maybe 10 to 20 years, it would not be a "boon" to the economy - it would be catastrophic for our infrastructure.

The state JUST NOW has gotten I-40 in OKC and I-44 in Tulsa FINALLY up to the needs level of about 1990!   And that is probably WAY under estimating.  

How did I get that number?  

Well, Dallas was about 850,000 in 1970.  Smaller than the whole Tulsa metro area today.

In 1970-ish, they created I-635 loop and widened I-35.  I can remember visiting Dallas and driving on those 3 lanes in each direction loops/roads when it was still new.  (I-35 was a little earlier, actually)  So, they created that for a traffic situation equivalent to where we were in 1990.  They had foresight, and were very obviously taking care of their current needs plus a little bit for the future.  We are still 25 years behind on interstate traffic infrastructure!   But, hey, we got out income tax cuts!!!  What could be more important than that....?

Since that time, they have become complacent - 635 seems to be mostly 4 lane and way too small for the traffic when I go through there....

http://physics.bu.edu/~redner/projects/population/cities/dallas.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_635_%28Texas%29
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 11:54:50 am »

DFW metro area has 6.8 million people.  Spread all over he$$ and back....  Perspective - that's twice our entire state population, sauer.  If we doubled the population in OK, in say maybe 10 to 20 years, it would not be a "boon" to the economy - it would be catastrophic for our infrastructure.

The state JUST NOW has gotten I-40 in OKC and I-44 in Tulsa FINALLY up to the needs level of about 1990!   And that is probably WAY under estimating.  

How did I get that number?  

Well, Dallas was about 850,000 in 1970.  Smaller than the whole Tulsa metro area today.

In 1970-ish, they created I-635 loop and widened I-35.  I can remember visiting Dallas and driving on those 3 lanes in each direction loops/roads when it was still new.  (I-35 was a little earlier, actually)  So, they created that for a traffic situation equivalent to where we were in 1990.  They had foresight, and were very obviously taking care of their current needs plus a little bit for the future.  We are still 25 years behind on interstate traffic infrastructure!   But, hey, we got out income tax cuts!!!  What could be more important than that....?

Since that time, they have become complacent - 635 seems to be mostly 4 lane and way too small for the traffic when I go through there....

http://physics.bu.edu/~redner/projects/population/cities/dallas.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_635_%28Texas%29


The Dallas metro had 2.4 million people in 1970. You have to go back to 1950 to see when DFW was under a million people, 855,000 back then.
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 12:23:31 pm »

The Dallas metro had 2.4 million people in 1970. You have to go back to 1950 to see when DFW was under a million people, 855,000 back then.

Dallas city.  Compared to Tulsa city.  Metro areas - triple??

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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 12:58:52 pm »

I lived in the D/FW area the state has no income taxes and no sales tax on food, they also  have alot of Kroger stores something Tulsa does not have. The Texas  climate is much warmer & milder  than in Tulsa. In Dallas Texas  it's warm from March to October, even some winter January days the high temp can reach 60 degrees. The mild warm & sunny climate attracts many people and business to the area. Anything you may want can be found in the D/FW area even hard to find car parts can be had. They also have  lakes in the area for swimming & boating. It's a fun place to live & work. It's a city/metro area  in another league  form  Tulsa or even OKC.
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 01:07:59 pm »

I lived in the D/FW area the state has no income taxes and no sales tax on food, they also  have alot of Kroger stores something Tulsa does not have. The Texas  climate is much warmer & milder  than in Tulsa. In Dallas Texas  it's warm from March to October, even some winter January days the high temp can reach 60 degrees. The mild warm & sunny climate attracts many people and business to the area. Anything you may want can be found in the D/FW area even hard to find car parts can be had. They also have  lakes in the area for swimming & boating. It's a fun place to live & work. It's a city out of reach for Tulsa or even OKC.


We have all the good things in that - even 60 degrees in Jan.  I have had roses blooming on Christmas Eve....  They are also too hot during summer, obliterating the benefit of warm winter.  And we don't have the much worse property taxes that end up being much worse/higher than income taxes and sales tax on food.   Gawd, what I wouldn't pay to see the colors in the sky where you live!!!  When I think of all the money wasted on LSD....

Hard to find car parts?  That's totally random....but you obviously haven't been up to Claremore Auto Salvage, just east of Swann's Dairy on highway 20.  They had a rear control arm for a 1983 Ford Tempo!!  Try to find THAT in Dallas!

Thankfully, "out of reach".....

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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 01:08:36 pm »

I lived in the D/FW area the state has no income taxes and no sales tax on food, they also  have alot of Kroger stores something Tulsa does not have. The Texas  climate is much warmer & milder  than in Tulsa. In Dallas Texas  it's warm from March to October, even some winter January days the high temp can reach 60 degrees. The mild warm & sunny climate attracts many people and business to the area. Anything you may want can be found in the D/FW area even hard to find car parts can be had. They also have  lakes in the area for swimming & boating. It's a fun place to live & work. It's a city/metro area  in another league  form  Tulsa or even OKC.

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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 01:10:04 pm »



Dude, that is incredibly funny; earlier in the thread I was pondering using that exact graphic.  Something about great minds, I guess...  Cool
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