"Meet the new urban Texas," proclaims USA Today in a story about, among other things, Ross Perot Jr.'s Victory Park spawl-mall built on "on 275 acres of former wasteland." It's quite the advertorial for the Hillwood development: Perot, perched atop the Ghostbar balcony in a photo taken by the great Allison V. Smith, comes off as a conquering hero reclaiming downtown for local businesses and the well-heeled, artsy-fartsy suburbanite tired of driving to work and mowing the lawn.
Among those quoted in the piece is Anthony Flint of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and author of the 2006 book This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America, who finds Dallas' new love for urbanism "a little counterintuitive." And for the first time in forever, there's an actual reference to the forwardDallas! plan, which calls for "density, density, density," as USA Today's Haya El Nasser puts it.
And Peer Chacko, assistant director of the city's Long Range Planning division, gives away a secret, so he claims: Dallas really just wants to be New York and Chicago, only you're not really allowed to say that out loud at City Hall: "It doesn't sell very well to the public. If we say New York or Chicago, they say, 'We're Dallas.' There's a very strong level of pride." --Robert Wilonsky