"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
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.