A group of nationally recognized land use, resilience, and urban planning experts representing ULI will be making recommendations to the city of Dallas, Texas, on how to promote greater social cohesion near the Walnut Hill and Denton Drive Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) station while promoting climate resilience and environmental justice. The ULI representatives convened virtually in August through the Institute’s renowned Advisory Services program and will include interviews with a variety of stakeholders in the community along with a virtual tour of the site.

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Panelists will consider the distinct business and demographic populations roughly a half mile (0.8 km) around the Walnut Hill Lane and Denton Drive DART station, and advise on the following:

  • The policy and regulatory adjustments that should be considered to affect localized investments and broaden the types of small and minority- and women-owned business enterprises in the study area;
  • Policy, planning, and design opportunities to reduce resident vulnerability to extreme heat and other extreme weather;
  • The types of infrastructure investments that would make multimodal transport easier and more frequented by the area’s residents and workers;
  • Design types and infrastructure needed to attract and sustain a growing population of mixed-income residents while ensuring climate resilience and environmental justice; and
  • Which stakeholders and organizations need to be brought together to affect the physical environment, economic growth, and quality of life for residents and workers.

The panel will be chaired by Ladd Keith, assistant professor of planning and sustainable built environments and chair, sustainable built environments, University of Arizona, Tucson. “We are excited to bring the experience of our ULI members to the city of Dallas through the innovative virtual Advisory Services panel format,” says Keith. “Our panel will examine the social, economic, and environmental conditions of the Walnut Hill DART Station study area, listen to a variety of stakeholders, and use their expertise to offer practical recommendations to equitably enhance the resilience of the community.”

Keith will be joined on the panel by Pegy Brimhall, principal, Figurd Development, San Antonio, Texas; Jill Allen Dixon, associate principal planner, Sasaki, Boston; Chanceé Lundy, co-owner, Nspiregreen LLC, Washington, D.C.; and Riki Nishimura, associate principal, Populous, San Francisco.

The assignment for Dallas is one of eight projects in an advisory services, technical assistance, and peer learning program called the Resilient Land Use Cohort (RLUC) being supported by JPMorgan Chase to advance the Institute’s promotion of climate resilience. With JPMorgan Chase’s support, ULI is leveraging the substantial expertise of its members to provide guidance on community building in a way that helps preserve the environment as well as foster a high quality of life.

This panel is a virtual Advisory Services panel (vASP), a new Advisory Services product created as a response to continuing ULI’s mission of creating vibrant, sustainable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vASP is a two-and-a-half-day panel that convenes a multi-disciplinary team of between four and six experts from across the United States who possess a range of professional backgrounds and use their collective skills to meet the needs of an identified land use or policy challenge.

Now in its 72nd year, the ULI Advisory Services program assembles experts in the fields of real estate and land use planning to participate on panels worldwide, offering recommendations for complex planning and development projects, programs, and policies. Panels have developed more than 700 studies for a broad range of land uses, ranging from waterfront properties to inner-city retail.

According to Thomas Eitler, senior vice president of ULI’s Advisory Services program, the strength of the program lies in the Institute’s unique ability to draw on the substantial knowledge of its 45,000-plus members, including land developers, engineers, public officials, academics, lenders, architects, planners, and urban designers. “The independent views of the panelists bring a fresh perspective to the land use challenge,” Eitler says. “The Advisory Services program is all about offering creative, innovative approaches to community building.”