Creating One Dallas, World Class
In 1839, a man named John Neely Bryan set foot on the land that would one daybecome Dallas, Texas.
Officially incorporated as a town in 1836, Dallas grew into anattractive location for businesses and southerners in search of opportunity over the next few decades.
By 1890, Dallas began to show signs of its now-trademark aggressive growthpersonality as it began annexing surrounding areas.
Over the next century and a quarter,that ambitious personality resulted in a sort of civic schizophrenia: the dueling destinies of Dallas.
I use the term “dueling destinies” to capture an unfortunate truth about the place I
love. At this point, Dallas is really two cities (one north and one south) separated by theTrinity River. Northern Dallas is a shining beacon of light replete with booming businesses,population growth, and a diverse housing stock. In
Dallas, median incomes continue tosoar, educational opportunities abound, and employment prospects are high. But there is avery different Dallas that looms to the south. Southern Dallas is largely forgotten and
underdeveloped. In “
Dallas, there is an eye-popping unemployment rate, schools arestruggling, and massive tracts of land remain undeveloped.Dallas began as a promising novel. With a bright beginning and energized earlychapters, the city seemed destined for a limitless horizon. Somewhere along the way Dallasgot trapped in its own tale of two cities. Increased disparities in wealth, educationalattainment level, and health characterize this seemingly interminable chapter. It is time to