The Harold Simmons Park Equitable Development Toolkit merges from the Trinity Park Conservancy’s mission to transform the Trinity River to become the heart of Dallas, fostering community development that brings the city together. Implicit in the Conservancy’s mission is a commitment to equity and equitable development.
Today, Dallas is embracing its river, viewing it as a way to connect neighborhoods and provide access to nature, while continuing to play a major role in flood protection.
The Trinity River has been an untapped natural resource for generations and now is being transformed into a true asset, bringing together communities and nature. After the great flood of 1908, George Kessler led a plan to move the river away from downtown and to the west, building levees to protect Dallas from future flooding. Since then, Dallas has grown up all around the river with little interaction. The Trinity Park Conservancy champions the transformation of the Trinity River to become the heart of Dallas. With the community, we will design public spaces that unite us, enrich people’s lives through access to nature, create economic development opportunities, and inspire protection for the river ecosystems in this shared natural treasure. The first project within the Trinity River Corridor Plan, is Harold Simmons Park, which invites all of Dallas to Reimagine Our River as a wellspring of connection – to nature, to one another and to new opportunities shared across our neighborhoods. This new feature includes a naturalized river landscape, elevated urban parks, hard- and soft-surfaced trails, and places for people to gather, walk in nature, and celebrate community—all while maintaining the river’s role in protecting the city in case of flooding.
|Infrastructure Type||Waterfront / Waterway|
|Status||Advocacy & Design|
|Design Team||Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, LimnoTech|
Managed by Trinity Park Conservancy in partnership with the Trinity River Corridor LGC and the City of Dallas
|Project Leader||Walter Elcock|
Latest News / Harold Simmons Park
This latest designs for Trinity River in Dallas represent refreshingly holistic approaches to thinking about the river. The designers have redirected their focus to enhancing the natural possibilities for the basin by understanding and designing for its form, function, and ecology.
Two organizations are approaching the challenge of a Trinity River park with different—though not necessarily conflicting—ideas for moving forward.