No need for a summary — read Patrick Kennedy’s phenomenal article on Downtown Dallas projects. If I have to make a comment it is this — the really big public investments are not evil in and of themselves, BUT they must be (to use of Patrick’s favorite words) “contextual” — they need to be supportive of and integrated into the urban fabric you want to create. There are other major cities in US and around the world that are doing exactly that — large scale public projects but only in proper context with the type of environment they want to create (and in many cases recreate from existing buildings/infrastructure). What is required is vision and not just reaction to latest proposal to build the next big project.
The good news is that I still see huge opportunity for Dallas to move into this next phase — we now have some incredible momentum & excitement in Downtown — now we need to determine the environment we want to incrementally build around that base!!! This is ground floor, grass roots & small scale — not sexy or exciting but what really gives the flavor of any great urban environment (streets of Boston or San Francisco or Portland – it is not the big projects you remember, but the street scene).